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Glacier National Park

Winter Backcountry Checklist

Printable version (PDF, 73 Kb)

Before you head into the backcountry, you need to know how to assess if you're in AVALANCHE TERRAIN, whether hazards exist, and how to minimize your risk. The following information should help you.

Where to start?

Outlined here are some important questions to consider when planning your trip.

  • How much experience do you and the members of your group have?
    All backcountry destinations in Glacier National Park require knowledge of travel in avalanche terrain. All members of your party are urged to wear avalanche transceivers and be prepared for self rescue.

  • How far would your group be comfortable travelling each day?
    Base your trip on the abilities of the least experienced member of the group. Steep terrain, weather, elevation, and group members' abilities should determine the length, duration and destination of your trip.

  • Do you have a good understanding of the hazards you may encounter?
    You should have knowledge of avalanch hazards, experience in avoiding them and a plan to deal with them successfully when required.

  • Does anyone know where you are going?
    Leave a detailed itinerary with a friend or fill out and sign a Voluntary Safety Registration at the Rogers Pass Centre.

  • Do you know which permits you need?
    You will require a Wilderness Pass for overnight camping trips, a Park Pass for entry into the park, and a permit for skiing in Permit areas that are usually closed for avalanche control purposes.

  • Where will you park? All destinations in the Glacier National Park have trailhead parking lots located in safe avalanche terrain. Park to allow for the maximum number of vehicles and for access for snow removal equipment.

Have you got it?

This is a list of suggested equipment, which you can adjust to suit your personal preferences. Mountain weather is unpredictable; be prepared for changing conditions.


  • Checkbox Outer shell top and pants
  • Checkbox Outer shell top and pants
  • Checkbox Long underwear top/bottom
  • Checkbox Insulating top (synthetic)
  • Checkbox Fleece pants and vest
  • Checkbox Warm hat and gloves / mitts
  • Checkbox Synthetic outer socks with wicking inner socks
  • Checkbox Boots - with ankle support and good soles
  • Checkbox Gaiters or insulated over-boots

Snow Gear

  • Checkbox Backcountry skis or snowboard
  • Checkbox Boots
  • Checkbox Poles
  • Checkbox Climbing skins or snowshoes
  • Checkbox Avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel
  • Checkbox Snow kit (crystal card, loupe, thermometer)
  • Checkbox Ski repair kit (spare binding parts, tools)
  • Checkbox Daypack

Other Essentials

  • Checkbox Compass and topo map
  • Checkbox Repair kit
  • Checkbox Food
  • Checkbox Sunglasses, goggles
  • Checkbox Waterproof matches/lighter
  • Checkbox Sunscreen & lip balm
  • Checkbox Candle, fire starter
  • Checkbox Water and Gatorade
  • Checkbox Headlamp extra batteries
  • Checkbox Toilet paper
  • Checkbox First Aid kit
  • Checkbox Knife
  • Checkbox Signalling whistle/mirror
  • Checkbox Trip plan (left with friend)
  • Checkbox Emergency blanket
  • Checkbox Binoculars
  • Checkbox Altimeter
  • Checkbox Notebook and pencil
  • Checkbox Camera & film
  • Checkbox Rope
  • Checkbox Knee pads
  • Checkbox GPS
  • Checkbox Book, deck of cards

Camping Gear

  • Checkbox Backpack
  • Checkbox Sleeping bag
  • Checkbox Stove and fuel
  • Checkbox Water Treatment or Filter
  • Checkbox Wilderness Pass
  • Checkbox Tent
  • Checkbox Sleeping pad
  • Checkbox Cooking /eating utensils
  • Checkbox Change of clothes waiting at trailhead
  • Checkbox Toiletries (including toilet paper)

Have you checked the latest reports?

Check the following reports when planning your trip, and again before you leave. These reports are available at Parks Canada Information Centres, on our website (see Resources and Directory below) and over the phone.

Weather Forecast: Revelstoke and Golden

Avalanche Bulletin 250.837.MTNS

Warnings and Closures

Road Report 1.800.550.4997

  • A valid Wilderness Pass is required and must be kept with you at all times if you're camping.
  • Pack out all garbage (including tampons, sanitary napkins, diapers, food waste and foil).
  • Do not disturb or remove any natural or cultural objects.
  • Pets must be kept on a leash at all times. Consider leaving them at home.
  • Do not feed, touch or harass wildlife.

How you can help protect the park.

Leave No Trace:

  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Minimize campfire impacts.
  • Leave what you find.
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

Trip Details

Printable version (PDF, 73 Kb)

Maps and Recommended Reading

Topographic maps of the Rogers Pass area are available for purchase from the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre and the Parks Canada Administration Office:

301b 3rd Street West, Box 350, Revelstoke BC

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