There's nothing quite like backcountry skiing with its remote, untouched powder, and hard-earned descents. But it's also risky to go off-resort, where you'll have to fend for yourself in terms of deciphering the signs of shifting snow. Here are nine must-take items to help you read snow, avoid avalanches, and get back safe and sound.
K2 Shaxe Shovel
What the multitool did for camp essentials the Shaxe promises to do for winter backcountry survival gear. Primarily a shovel, it can be used as an ice ax, a hoe, a snow anchor, and a rescue toboggan in one compact set weighing just 1 pound, 8 ounces. The ax head and hardware for the toboggan is stored in a pouch, which is printed with assembly instructions for the rescue sled. [$140; k2skis.com]