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Avalanche Backcountry Gear Essentials
Skiers and snowboarders that ski off-piste and in the backcountry are always advised to carry avalanche gear with them. The three most important pieces of equipment are an avalanche beacon, avalanche probe and avalanche shovel. What is equally important, is that the user has been trained to use the equipment in case of an avalanche. All of this equipment can be stored in a ski backpack that can be securely strapped to your body.
How To Use Avalanche Gear
The way to learn how to use avalanche gear is to take a course that is led by a professional. This section provides a simple breakdown of what each piece of equipment is used for.
Avalanche beacons are worn close to the body and give out continuous radio signals that can be detected by other beacons. When searching for a body under snow, beacons can be switched to “search mode” to help locate a body by receiving the desired radio signal.
The probe is used to find the exact location and depth of the body under the snow. It is similar to a foldable tent-pole that you can poke into the snow to feel where the skier is.
Digging out a skier is what the shovel is used for. They are generally designed with an attachable shovel handle, so they can easily fit in a backpack.
Another piece of safety gear equipment that is very useful to have is an airbag pack. Worn as a backpack, this can be activated by pulling on a handle to quickly inflate the airbag with use of compressed air or fan. The additional mass of air helps the skier stay on top of the moving snow and avalanche debris and reduces the chances of getting buried.
For more information and products used for backcountry skiing, visit - Alpine Touring Skis.