How to Backpack With a Karhu XCD GT

How to Backpack With a Karhu XCD GT
The Karhu XCD GT is a waxless cross country ski ideal for winter tours in moderate backcountry terrain. Although the ski isn't fat enough for really deep snow, it can be used on moderately steep hiking trails to backpack in the winter. The XCD GT has full metal edges for better traction on traverses and better carving performance on downhill sections.


Difficulty: Moderate

Getting Ready

Things You’ll Need:
  • Backcountry touring boots
  • Backcountry touring bindings
  • Gaiters
  • Adjustable ski poles
Step 1
Have a qualified shop tech mount the backcountry touring bindings on the XCD GTs. These bindings are a heavier-duty version of standard cross country bindings.
Step 2
Pack your backpack efficiently, with heavier items like water bottles closer to your back and lighter items like clothing surrounding it.
Step 3
Put on your boots and put gaiters over the boots to prevent snow from drifting into the boot cuff.
Step 4
Put your backpack on first, then, while using the ski poles for balance, step into the ski bindings.


Step 1
Start at a moderate pace. Don't overexert yourself early.
Step 2
Use the herringbone technique to climb on steeper uphill sections. Place your skis in a V, with the tails touching and the tips flaring out, and climb up.
Step 3
As you warm up, consider removing a layer so you don't overheat. Excessive sweating will chill you down quickly when you stop.
Step 4
In tighter, downhill sections of trail, use a snowplow, or wedge, to control speed. A snowplow is an inverted V formed by putting the tips of your skis together. You don't want to go too fast on a hiking trail in skis, as you could lose control and hit a tree.
Step 5
Eat snacks like trail mix frequently. When touring in the winter, you will burn a lot of calories, and if you don't eat enough, you can chill down quickly.

Tips & Warnings

If the terrain gets too steep to ski, remove your XCD GTs and strap them to the outside of your backpack and hike the section.

Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

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