Heli-skiing: You can do it naked if you have to, as long as you have the ten essentials listed below.

I’m getting gear industry fatigue. The constant silly and overblown marketing and equally silly and overblown consumer reaction to said marketing just makes me tired. I just saw an article about “essentials for heli-skiing” followed by a list of highly specific brands and products, most of which were just provided to the writer as part of a press trip, assembled as an “article” on the online version of a big magazine. Now, I’m a press trip fan myself (fun times!), but come on. If that isn’t the most transparent hidden advertising I’ve ever seen – no, I’m wrong, the huge “sponsored by BRAND X” banners on amateur athletes’ web-sites is the most transparent hidden advertising I’ve ever seen. You’re not sponsored athletes being recognized for your talent and high-level aptitude in your sport, you nitwits, you’re providers of incredibly cheap advertising being recognized for your willingness to provide your “sponsor” with a giant banner advertising their product, while truly talented and accomplished athletes scrape by trying to make it in a thankless profession. I’m more annoyed at the brands for this tactic than at you, but come on. Please tell me you at least see through that whole thing.

Whoops, tangent alert. Anyway, I thought I’d give you some real-world advice untainted by anything other than true appreciation for the joy that is heli skiing. May you all have a chance to try it even if you’re not taken on heli skiing press trips (I wasn’t, by the way. No bias here, ha ha).

The Head Geargal’s Ten Essentials For Heli Skiing: Don’t Take Off Without These

1. A helicopter
2. Skis
3. A helicopter pilot
4. Snow
5. A downward sloping surface
6. Non-fogging goggles (I know this from bitter experience)
7. Helicopter fuel, if you want to get technical about it
8. Ski boots
9. Ski bindings
10. The ability to get in the helicopter, get out, ski down, and repeat.