When I started this project in early fall I was pretty naive to the amount of gear that would be needed to get this thing going. I kinda though all I really need was a splitboard………turns out I was way wrong. Since then I have purchased bindings, specialized boots, climbing skins, and the board. Its a lot of big purchases but totally worth it when your carving beautiful powder with no lift line. My backcountry kit includes a bunch of items I am going to touch on the Splitboard specific ones in the below post:
Thirty-two Jones MTB Boots- https://www.backcountry.com/thirtytwo-jones-mtb-snowboard-boot-mens
While its possible to skin uphill in normal snowboard boots, its certainly not ideal. Normal boots have very little flex and make it less then comfortable to go up hill. Think about walking up or down the steps to the bar in the ski lodge in your normal shred boots, the stiffness and angle make it awkward to walk normal (This could also be do to the bar items). These boots allow you to pull a lever and open up the back area of the boot. This allows your ankle to move normally for the uphill. Once you get up top you can lock it down as stiff as you want and ride down. Additionally they come with all kinds of foam risers, pads, and plastic stiffeners to allow you to customize your ride. I really like the arch support options pictured below. The boots are pricey but totally worth it. Tip- if your an AAC member you can get a discount for soft goods at Backcountry.com. Not only do they have great prices but their gear heads are super knowledgeable and helpful. I felt like I was talking to a friend about gear and not your average customer service rep.
Jones Explorer 156 (Explorer) – worth every penny. I picked board because it is designed to function well in a variety of conditions. Additionally I am a huge fan of the environmentalism that the Jones Brand supports
Jones Nomad Pro Skins (Skins)- These got great reviews and are reasonable in price. They worked great on my first day touring in them. No slipping, bubbles, or fit issues.
Spark R&D Surge Bindings (Bindings)- These bindings had great reviews and had all the features that I was looking for- easy mounting system, wammy bars, and Burton Straps. I also found them to be much cheaper then many competitor products.
Stay tuned to see how this set up worked on some Catskill Backcountry runs.