PRO Course Equipment List

Items below are REQUIRED for all AIARE PRO courses unless marked otherwise. Clothing considerations should be made for both moving and standing still in cold/snowy weather. Plan to wear comfortable clothes during classroom sessions and check the weather before your course to make sure you have the right gear for the forecast.  

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Personal hand sanitizer to carry in classroom and field. Please bring enough for personal use for the whole week.
  • Face covering that covers nose and mouth (cloth mask, doubled buff, disposable procedure mask etc). Please bring enough to have a clean supply for the entire week.


  • Laptop for online access to Google Classroom, online resources, weather stations and submitting observations (bring to class each day)
  • Notebook and pen/pencil
  • Personal hand sanitizer


  • Outer and Base Layers suitable for stormy winter conditions 
  • Gloves / mitts – 2 pair
  • Warm hat & sun hat
  • Min. 3 cloth face coverings

Protective & storage equipment

  • 35 liter backpack (suggested minimum size; avalanche flotation device optional)
  • Helmet (recommended for skiing/boarding), DOT certified helmet (REQUIRED for snow machines)
  • Knee pads (optional)
  • Goggles, sunglasses & sunscreen
  • Water bottle and/or insulated beverage container & food

Navigation, communication and observation equipment

  • Navigation kit (compass, altimeter & GPS or smartphone)
  • Navigation tools include topographical map (1:24,000 scale preferred), terrain photos and guidebook (digital or book)
  • Digital camera or smartphone
  • Small binoculars / monocular for distance viewing
  • Inclinometer (optional)
  • Headlamp & spare batteries
  • Two-way radio, GMRS, or VHF w/ license (OPTIONAL)
  • Satellite communication device (optional). Example: Sat phone, Garmin InReach, SPOT

Snowpack Observer’s Kit

  • Snow saw or folding pruning saw (minimum 35-40cm blade)
  • 3m long knotted cord (2-4mm thick) or manufactured Rutschblock cord, or 70-100 cm folding “long saw” for setting up large column tests
  • Snow thermometer (graduated in degrees Celsius; NOT Fahrenheit): Dial stem and/or glass/alcohol types are commonly used. Electronic thermometers are acceptable, but make sure you have a spare battery.
  • Crystal identification screen, dark color made of thick plastic or stiff metal (some observers carry one of each)
  • Magnifier Loupe (10x-15x), wide angle view
  •  Folding ruler (graduated in centimeters; either bring a 2m ruler or 1m ruler + probe w/ cm graduations)
  • Inclinometer (may be integrated with compass)
  • AIARE field book (provided on course) + 2x pencils

Note: Pre-packaged snow observation kits may have thermometers in °F, rulers in inches, white crystal cards that make it difficult to see clear snow grains and magnifiers that are narrow, overpowered and difficult to see multiple grains or to identify grain size and type. Please take the extra effort to purchase quality magnifiers (also available in photo shops or linen shops), dark crystal cards and metric rulers.

Avalanche Rescue Equipment

  • 3-antennae digital transceivers that are less than 10 years old. Transceivers between 5 and 10 years old must be sent to the manufacturer and function-checked prior to the course.
  • Avalanche probe 260 cm or longer with high visibility 1 cm markings
  • Avalanche rescue response checklist, found inside the back cover of the AIARE field book and Google Classroom
  • Collapsible metal avalanche rescue shovel

Note: The following equipment can affect your transceiver function. Do not bring or use the following items during field sessions without your Instructor’s consent:

  • Electrically heated gloves or other garments
  • Clothing with magnets (e.g. magnetized zipper flap closures)
  • Chest mounted electronic devices
  • Wristwatches with radio transmission and Bluetooth functions (e.g. Fitbits, Apple Watches etc.)
  • Heart rate monitors (unless prescribed by your physician)

Incident Response Equipment

  • Personal first aid kit (blisters, meds, wound care, gloves/face shield, splinting material, sugar etc.)
  • Repair kit, specific to your mode of travel (consider multi-tool, bit driver, hose clamps, straps, spare screws, tape, zip ties, spare basket, pole repair, spark plugs, drive belt etc)
  • Insulating pad (can be part of pack)
  • Firestarter kit (lighter & tinder)
  • Portable rescue sled w/ supporting slings/straps (optional; one per group is sufficient)
  • Emergency shelter as appropriate (optional: examples include a space blanket, guide’s tarp, bivouac sac / Bothy bag etc.)

Travel Equipment


  • Skis or Split Snowboard: Splitboard with touring bindings. For students using a snowboard, split boards are preferred, as compared to traveling with snowshoes.  
  • Skins and Ski Crampons (optional)
  • Boots
  • Poles


  • Snowmobiles must be maintained in safe operating condition including headlights, tail lights, and brake lights which are operating at all times the snowmobile is operating.  A repair kit is to be carried to make on-the-trail repairs.  Recommended equipment includes the following; Spark plugs, extra belts, tow ropes, tool kit, duct tape, extra light bulbs for both front and rear lights.  
  • Ensure you have paid any applicable fees or registration  to use your machine in the state which you are taking the course
  • Radios with a speaker/mic (REQUIRED), capable of operating on FRS/GMRS frequencies
  • Spare shovel and probe to be carried in tunnel bag (RECOMMENDED)
  • Additional outer jacket, headlamp, socks, and hat