Some Extremely Serious Gear

Finding the best ski resort in the western United States is a serious job. We’re going to have to do a lot of skiing and snowboarding, interview a lot of people, take a lot of photos and videos, and upload a large number of said photos to Facebook and Twitter to make sure our friends are sufficiently jealous.

We’re taking this job very seriously.

Serious people doing serious jobs require serious equipement. Below is a list of the most important gear that we’re taking with us. Click on the name of any piece of gear for more information about it.

Matt’s Gear for the Hill

1 mattMerino Wool Beanie

I love wool. It’s cool in the heat, warm in the cold, warm when wet, and is probably the the most comfortable type of wool to wear.

Heyburn 2.0 Jacket

This athletic shell allows a wide range of movement, keeps out water, and also vents heat when I’m working hard to keep me cool.

Stash Gloves

Water-repellent leather with poly/merino wool moisture-wicking liners.

Accelerant Jacket

This is a great insulation layer. It vents heat, wicks moisture, and even repels a fair amount of water when worn as the outer layer.

Heyburn 2.0 Pants

Fit and look great on the hill, but have StormRepel® technology that keeps out the elements to an extreme degree.

Salomon Team Grip 2011 160cm

This true-twin flat-to-rocker all-mountain shredder won the Transworld Snowboarding Good Wood award among others.

Rome 390 Bindings

These all-mountain bindings with a small footprint to maximize flex are a perfect compliment to the Grip.

Burton Grail Boots

If your boots wreck your feet, it’ll wreck your season. So bought these bad boys, which are said to be the best on the market.

Emilie’s Gear for the Hill

1 emLogo Pom Beanie

This acrylic cutie is easy to wash and keeps me warm in all but the most bitter cold. My go-to beanie for the hill.

Heyburn 2.0 Jacket

This athletic shell allows me to move freely, keeps the water out, and has zippers to cool me down when things get heated.

White Cloud Layer Fleece Jacket

A versatile and very pretty second layer that keeps me warm and looks great in the lodge. Just be careful with the hot chocolate!

Stash Gloves

They keep out the water well, and when my hands are wet the poly/merino wool liners wick the moisture away from my skin.

Heyburn 2.0 Pants

They have StormRepel® technology that really keeps out the elements, but I like them because they’re pink.

K2 Superific Skis w Marker ER3 10.0 Bindings

Very pretty women-specific, shock absorbent, perfect for groomed runs. Elevated tips make it easy to turn in soft snow.

Lange Venus 8 Boots

Designed for intermediate-advanced female skier, these boots are comfortable and good for a narrow ankles like mine.


Matt’s Baselayer

2 matt

1/4 Baselayer Top

This midweight base layer is made to keep me warm and to use my body heat to transfer moisture away from my body even faster than other wicking fabrics.

Midweight Baselayer Pants

This is basically the same as the top. Keeps my legs warm and dry.


Emilie’s Baselayer

2 em

1/4 Baselayer Top

This midweight top is warm and comfortable, and keeps my skin super dry, even when I’m sweating. It dries really fast after you wash it too.

Midweight Baselayer Pants

These are made of the same fabric as the top, so they’re also comfortable and warm.


We’re going to be documenting a lot of this trip in photos and videos. We’re also going to be doing video interviews with locals and then compiling their responses about certain topics into short videos. Here’s what we’re going to use.
2 em

Nikon D90

This is our go to camera for photos and when we want to shoot the best quality video possible. It shoots up to 4.5 frames per second, so it’s not the best camera on the market for shooting action, but it’s definitely a good workhorse.

Nikon D80

For the sake of space, we probably won’t bring this out to the hill. The D80 will accompany us into town (while the D90 is charging at home) to shoot hotels, restaurants, and city life.

Nikkor 18-105mm VR f/3.5 – 5.6 AF

This, with a polarized filter, will be our go-to lens on the hill. Normally, we prefer to shoot with prime lenses and move to frame the subject. On the hill, however, it’s not always easy to get into position and this lens allows has enough versatility to make up for our lack of mobility, but still produces tack-sharp images.

Nikkor 70-300mm VR f/4.5-5.6 AF

This lens, although one of the nicest in the kit, won’t come out of the bag except on special occasions when the only way to a good angle for the shot is from far away.

Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AF

This will be used primarily for food, detail shots, and perhaps occasionally for shooting super-sharp HD video mood footage.

Nikkor 35mm f/2 AF

Slightly slower and less sharp (in my opinion) than the 50mm, we generally use this when we’d like to use the 50, but need a wider angle.

Canon G10

This little guy has all manual controls and takes great images. It’s always in our bag as a backup, just in case.

Polaroid Waterproof Housing for the G10

This well-built, but cheap (only $100) waterproof housing means that we always have a good camera ready to shoot, even when conditions are so bad that we’re afraid to pull out our DLSRs.

GoPro Hero

The GoPro is great for taking crisp HD video and images of action. We use it mainly for self-shots (while mounted on a mono-pod) and POV shots using the head mount. It’s great for getting unique perspectives.

Zoom Q2HD

The Q2HD is a good HD camera with an exceptional microphone, which is exactly why we bought it. We’re going to be doing a lot of impromptu video interviews during the tour, so we need something small we can whip out to do interviews on the spot.

SunPak Ultra 7000 2in1 TriPod and MonoPod

This is a good sturdy tripod that for low-light and long exposure photos, as well as for the video interviews and, of course, taking photos of ourselves. The monopod is perfect for throwing the GoPro on to do some self-video on the slopes.

Kenro Mini Tripod

This will be our portable video interview tripod. We’ll put the Q2HD on it and throw it in a bag to carry around on the hill or out on the town.

Caselogic SLR Sling

We bought this bag just for this trip. It’s perfect for shooting on the hill. The low-profile means it doesn’t carry a lot, but it sits flush against your back so you can barely feel it while making turns. When it’s time to pull out the camera to snap some pics or to hop on the chairlift, it slides easily around in to the front, so you never have to take it off.

Lowepro Fastpack 250

This is the office backpack. It carries a computer, hard drives, and any lenses or accessories that we’re not using. It mainly just sits in the hotel room caring for unused gear.

Computers and Phones

This trip is more than a research project, it’s an interactive social media campaign. To edit photos and video, update the blog, and share our trip on social media, we need serious portable processing power. Also, we’re big techie dorks and love our electronics. This is what we’ll be using.

Matt’s Tech Toys

2 em

Macbook Pro 13-Inch

What is there to say? When editing photos and videos, there’s no better workhorse than a Macbook Pro. Never leave home without it.

Samsung Galaxy SII

This was considered one of the best phones of 2012 for a reason. With a Dual-core 1.2 GHz and up to 32GB of memory, it rarely slows down and I can’t imagine it running out of memory. The 8MP camera takes excellent photos ready for sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I even use them on my blog every now and then.

Emilie’s Tech Toys

2 em

Macbook 13-Inch

The little sister to the MacBook Pro, this baby has nearly the same processing power and the same sleek look, but a significantly different price tag. It’s wonderful for downlaoding a day’s worth of photos and then blazing through them — while lying in bed and listening to the radio ;).

iPhone 4

This phone is my darling. I can’t tell you what I went through to get it in white. It’s nearly a year old, but hasn’t slowed down a bit. The photos are crisp and bright. I actually use email, Twitter, and Instagram on this more than on my computer.

How do you like our gear? Are you jealous? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
Leave a comment and let us know!

This page contains some affiliate links, which means that if you click on some of these product links and then buy something, I’ll receive a small commission for sending you to the website. So, I totally appreciate it if you go buy some stuff — especially expensive stuff. I don’t, however, recommend these products to make money. I only recommend products for two reasons: because they’re cheap or they’re awesome. Occasionally they’re both, and that makes me very happy.

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4 thoughts on “Some Extremely Serious Gear”

  1. Personally, I was raised skiing and boarding in the days before helmets were worn for anything but racing. This year is my first full season of boarding since helmets became popular, so I’m not sure if I’d like to wear one. I feel that, unless you are riding on serious ice, the risk of a skilled rider getting into a situation where they need a helmet (the only one I can think of is hitting a tree) is so infinitesimally small that it seems a bit overcautious.

    I guess there’s the possibility of being plowed into by a novice as well. I suppose that I think that myself wearing a helmet while snowboarding is about as useful as me wearing a helmet when out jogging for fear that I’ll run into a telephone pole or be bit by a car, or while surfing for fear that I’ll land on a shallow rock.

    What do you think?

    BTW: We just got our itinerary for N. Lake Tahoe. We’ll be there Jan. 7 – 14 and maybe coming to S. Tahoe after.

  2. This is certainly the 3rd blog post, of your blog I really read through.
    However I personally love this particular one, “The Ski and Snowboard Gear Used in Best in the West”
    the best. Thanks -Leia


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