Things I Like :: Backcountry Edition

By | Published: May 15, 2015

Sometimes it’s hard for me to live in a society that puts so much emphasis on “things”. But undeniably, there are many times when certain products just come in handy. I mean, we have to wear clothes, use snowboard equipment, read books and eat food. And over the years, I’ve found so many great products out there that honestly make my life better! And I want to share them with you! So here is the first edition of “Things I Like”. Periodically I’ll put up a blog post about some of those great products I just love and I’d love to here from you about products you love that make your life better.

This edition focuses on backcountry products. I’ve recently spent more time than ever in the backcountry on some high-alpine adventures and I’ve found these things made my trips easier, safer and more enjoyable. Because what’s the point if we’re not having fun?

Gretchen Bleiler Stuff I Like Backcountry Edition



Salami, brie cheese and baguette : There’s nothing like the good old fashioned cured meat, crusty bread and cheese combination in the backcountry. It makes me feel like I’m scaling mountains in Italy in the 1940s.

Mission Sun Defeated 30 SPF sunscreen : Sunscreen is a must in the backcountry. You’re at higher elevations and the snow acts as a reflector. Our grandmothers may have used tin foil to increase their UV exposure, but I’m so glad we know better.

Cards Against Humanity : If you’re destination is a hut or yurt where the destination provides a place to unwind with friends, Cards Against Humanity is such a fun game to bring people together and definitely make for a few laughs.

Burts Bees Facial Towelettes with white tea extract : Nothing — and I mean nothing — feels better than wiping the sweat off your face from a seven-hour skin trek. Facial wipes are relatively new to the market and this is their perfect use case. Tip: Put a few wipes and a couple drops of water in a ziplock baggie to reduce the weight and space in your pack.

Marmot Angel Fire sleeping bag : A solid sleeping bag is a must for the winter backcountry nights. Marmot makes some of the best and this women’s specific bag only weights two and a half pounds and is rated down to 25 degrees F.

Bluebird Pinot Noir bagged wine : What goes better with salami, brie and baguette than red wine? Nothing. And this bagged wine is so easy to mold into whatever nook and cranny you have left in your pack. Wine has never tasted so good as it does in a hut.

Nomad Adventures Glacier Grip Traction : Mountains come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes they’re so steep you need to give your boots a little traction. These Glacier Grip Traction Soles aren’t as burley as your traditional crampon, but they will definitely help you get up a mountain and are great for hiking as well.

K2 Northern Lite Splitboard : I’ll admit the ski-like nature of skinning on a splitboard had me feeling and looking pretty awkward at first. But the Northern Lite board’s lightweight design helped me make it and once you put it together for those epic rides down, you won’t know it was ever apart.

Black Diamond Whippet Ski Pole : Poles are necessary when skinning in the backcountry so why not get a pair that can double as an ice axe? These Whippet poles do that and more. Because if you’re going to have a ski pole, it might as well be a bad ass one, right?