3 Ways to Carry Skis on Backpack

A quality backpack can be a very good piece of equipment for skiers. You can carry extra gear and water, but you can also hold your skis if you head into the backcountry or are trying to reach other hard-to-access terrains. 

I’ve been skiing for nearly my entire life, and I’ve had to carry my skis on a backpack many times. I’ve used backpacks with special carry straps and have also attached them to a bag with rope and/or bungee cords

This post will show you how to carry skis on a backpack. I’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions for making this happen so you can easily carry your skis without worrying if they will slip and slide around. 

Let’s strap up and get rolling. 

Why Carry Skis on a Backpack? 

There are several situations where you might want to carry your skis on a backpack. If you are a backcountry skier or ski mountaineer, you will encounter steep terrain that you’ll need to climb up with your hands and feet free. 

By carrying your skis on a backpack, you free up your limbs so you can better hike uphill to reach a peak. Even if you are just accessing hike-to terrain at the ski resort, it’s much easier to hold your gear on your back than over your shoulder. 

How to Carry Skis on Backpack 

There are several ways to carry skis on a backpack, and which one you choose comes down to what type of pack you have and your personal preference. I’ve tried all of these and don’t have a favorite – it just depends on the situation which one I’ll use. 

The A-Frame Method

One of the most common ways to carry skis on a backpack is to use the A-Frame method. This method will work with just about any modern backpack, even those without special carry straps. 

To carry skis on a backpack using this method, follow these steps:

  1. Take your skis apart and slide each one into the compression straps on either side of your backpack. These are the straps that you can tighten down or loosen up to fit gear inside. 
  2. Get both skis equally placed on the pack, and then tighten the compression straps fairly securely. 
  3. Next, secure the tips of the skis together using a ski strap, bungee cord, or piece of rope. A velcro ski strap is the easiest way to go, but anything that holds the skis together will work. 
  4. This will hold the tips of the skis together and make that A-frame shape that gives the method its name. 
  5. Tighten the compression straps completely. 
  6. Put your back on and get ready to hike. 

Diagonal Method

The diagonal method is another common and easy way to carry your skis on a backpack. For this one, you’ll need a bag that is equipped with special straps to make it happen. Many ski-specific packs come with this feature. 

To hold your skis on a backpack using the diagonal method, follow these steps: 

  1. Locate the diagonal carry straps or loops on your backpack. These will be on opposite corners from one another on the bag. It could be two loops, two straps, or one loop and one strap. 
  2. I like to tie the middle of my skis together using a velcro ski wrap or bungee cord, but this step isn’t essential. 
  3. Place one end in the bottom loop with your skis attached to one another using the ski brakes. 
  4. Secure the other end in the top loop or strap. Be sure to tighten down any straps to hold the skis in place. 
  5. Put your pack on and get ready to hike. 

Shoulder Carry Method

The shoulder carry method is probably the easiest and doesn’t take any special gear or straps. However, it’s not the most comfortable method, so I wouldn’t suggest using it for really long hikes. 

To hold your skis on a backpack using the diagonal method, follow these steps:

  1. Put your backpack on your back. 
  2. Place your skis together.
  3. Loosen one of your shoulder straps to provide enough room to slide your skis between the strap and your pack. 
  4. Slide your skis into the opening you just created. This can be hard to do on your own, so if you are skiing with someone else, have them help out here. 
  5. Tighten your shoulder strap. 
  6. Get ready to hike. 

Tips and Suggestions

These are the most common ways to carry skis on a backpack that I’ve seen. I’ve used all of these methods, and they all work pretty well. Keep in mind that you can always just throw your skis over your shoulder and do short hikes that way as well. 

There is no right or wrong way to carry skis on your back. If you want to get creative and make your own carry system, you totally should. Whatever works best is ideal, and as long as it gets you to where you want to ski, that’s all you need. 

Hiking in the snow on steep slopes can be challenging. Always take your time to stay in control and prevent slips or falls. One wrong move can be bad, so it always pays to be extra careful. 

Final Thoughts

Hiking to reach untouched snow can be a skier’s dream. But to get there, you’ll need an effective way to carry your skis. All of the methods mentioned here will give you the ability to hike quickly and effectively uphill, no matter where your snow-filled adventures take you.

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