PRO AND CONTRA: IS IT STILL OK TO CARRY A RUCKSACK WHEN YOU’RE SKIING?

An occasional series discussing the big questions of skiing – questions with only yes or no answers. Today: skiing with a rucksack?

Pro: and how!

The rucksack has grown in standing in recent years. It’s completely ok these days to wear one with a suit and open it up in important meetings. The rucksack is no longer the preserve of schoolkids and hikers, but has found its rightful place in almost all areas of life. This includes winter sports too, of course, and for a very good reason: rucksacks are really practical.

Luckily, there are experts throughout the world with a great deal of experience in making practical things look beautiful. They are called product designers – and thanks to them, we also have attractive-looking rucksacks.

Although, in skiing, is it really important to look good, other than in terms of skiing technique? After all, no skiwear, strictly speaking, actually looks good. In fact, there is barely any other domain – including other sports – where clothing is, to put it mildly, so functionally designed and yet so exaggeratedly sporty as skiing. When you’ve got ski boots that look as if you’re standing in two small Formula One cars, a rucksack can’t really attract negative attention on aesthetic grounds. So what matters more, in the end, when you’re out on the slopes – an elegant appearance or a bit of storage space for important things, like a thermos flask of tea, and a professional camera with professional equipment?

 

Contra: definitely not!

There are a total of four types of skiers for whom a rucksack is an important part of their equipment, and therefore acceptable. Off piste skiers. Ski instructors. Mountain rescuers. And Marcel Hirscher’s support team. The first three groups have first aid gear in their rucksacks, avalanche warning systems and medical dressings, and where else should you keep them? The last group are national treasures, and are allowed to slow down everything apart from HIM. But otherwise?

No one who likes skiing would willingly strap a rucksack onto their back. It’s pretty much like attaching a trailer gadget to a Porsche 911 Cabrio and then towing a caravan. The weight alters the whole elaborate balance, if you ski faster than 10km per hour the rucksack bounces up and down at every hump, and anyway, where do you put a rucksack on the chair lift? On your knees? That makes you like your grandma, when she thinks she’s stroking the cat and only realises two hours later that it was in fact the mop.

No backpacks, not when you’re skiing.

You also have to consider other people, those who are not carrying rucksacks and who are permanently scared of what the rucksack carriers have in their rucksack. Bluetooth boxes for example, which pump out the latest from David Guetta, at disco volumes, on the chair lift. Or a dried sausage sandwich with large amounts of smelly cheese, to be eaten in the lift.

It’s enough to make you stick your ears or nose straight into that mop.