Terrain is the most importat thing you need to take into account when you buy backcountry skis.
In the forest and on flat terrain, the skis need to carry the skier over snow. This is why forest skis are normally long and wide. There are different types of bases: traction pattern, wax, grip coating and skin. Skis with traction pattern have a very good traction and they are easy to maintain. The wax base has the best slide when the waxing has been done well. We can warmly recommend the best and most functional forest skis in our selection, Metsä-series from Peltonen.
Forest skis are used with (winter) boots and suitable bindings. A few examples of good forest ski bindings:
In the mountains, especially in spring, it is good to use skis with steel edges since the wind and the spring sun make the snow quite hard. The metal edges create traction when skiing on a sloping surface. Mountain/touring skis are normally shorter and narrower than forest skis since in the mountains, you don't need so much flotation. There are touring skis with traction patterned base and with wax base. Some models, such as Fischer EasySkin ExtraLight, also have removable skins.
In mountain skis you usually have BC bindings, which are more solid than normal ski bindings, and ski boots that are compatible with the bindings. You can also use light telemark bindings and combatible boots.
What are they? Sliding snowshoes combine backcountry skiing and snowshoeing. The skis are wider and shorter than normal mountain skis. There are fixed skins in the middle of the base. The steel edges make downhill skiing remarkably easier.
For hard snow, the length of the pole is calculated by multiplying the length of the skier with 0.83. A skier of 180 cm should use a pole of about 150 cm. Softer snow requires longer poles and bigger baskets.
Touring skis often need extra traction for upphill climbs. The most handy solution is having separate skins. When skiing with a pulka, the skins are useful even on flat ground.
Pulka is the trustworthy friend of the backcountry skier. Why carry things on your back when you can pull a light pulka?