Backcountry Cross Country Skis

Ski Type

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Backcountry Cross country skis for Skiing Off the Tracks

Out of the three styles that cross country skiing has to offer, backcountry is the original version and the most adventurous. Different from classic and skate skis, which are best used on groomed trails, backcountry skis, also called cross country touring skis, are at home in fresh or at least untouched snow. Snow-covered fields and valleys are common areas that backcountry skiers like to explore. Experienced skiers enjoy longer trips, and sometimes spend the night in cabins. Recreational cross country skiers, instead, find great joy in skiing just for a few hours in the backcountry as a nature experience or exercise.

What Size Should Backcountry Cross country skis Be?

Backcountry cross country skis should be approximately 15-25 cm longer than the skiers’ total height. The long skis provide a large surface area to prevent them from sinking into the snow. For more experienced or heavier skiers, it is common to choose a ski at the longer end of the scale. The width of the skis can be decided by the general snow conditions in your area. Wider skis are more suitable in fresh, soft snow, while narrower skis perform better on firmer snow.

Classic vs Backcountry Cross country skis

They may look similar at first glance, but there are a few important differences between them. Backcountry skis commonly have metal edges and are wider than classic cross country skis. This is due to the different snow conditions that you can experience in the backcountry. Metal edges will help grip on ice surfaces, and the extra width will help flotation when you come across deeper snow.

Backcountry cross country skis require specific bindings and boots which you can check out in our categories for Cross Country Ski Bindings for Backcountry & Backcountry Cross country ski boots. If you need all the gear from A to Z, a great option is to choose a cross country package for backcountry including all that you will need, at a convenient price.

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