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Backpacker Magazine – Fall/Winter Gear Guide 2011

Prep Your Gear: Outfit for Avalanche Safety

Equip yourself with safety gear and practice proper techniques.

by: Evelyn Spence

Brooks Range Sharktooth Longneck Mini Pro
Brooks Range Sharktooth Longneck Mini Pro



>> Avalanche beacon
This GPS-size trans- ceiver sends a signal that other transceivers can detect. If a skier is buried by a slide, his companions switch their beacons to “receive” and zero in on the victim. Wear the beacon near your body (beneath insulating layers). Need to brush up on your skills? Many ski areas have hide-and-seek-style parks where you can practice homing in on the signal.

>> Shovel
Use a metal-edged shovel— aluminum is sturdy and lightweight—with an extendable shaft (go long for leverage, short for tight spaces). Try Brooks-Range’s serrated-edge Sharktooth Longneck Mini Pro ($55).

>> Telescoping probe
Poke these 80- to 128-inch-long poles into debris to pinpoint an avy victim. One cubic meter of snow can weigh more than 880 pounds, so the more precisely you can locate a victim, the better.

>> Inclinometer
Most people misjudge angles, but a precise slope estimate may indicate increased (or decreased) avy risk. Measure steepness by aligning this compass-like tool with the hillside.

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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Kelly
Mar 18, 2013

Good stuff,

Star Star Star Star Star
Kelly
Mar 18, 2013

Good stuff,

Star Star Star Star Star
Kelly
Mar 18, 2013

Good stuff,

Star Star Star Star Star
Kelly
Mar 18, 2013

Good stuff,

Star Star Star Star Star
Kelly
Mar 18, 2013

Good stuff,

Star Star Star Star Star
Kelly
Mar 18, 2013

Good stuff,

RichinWashington
Jan 16, 2012

Learning how to avoid avalanches and move safely through avalanche terrain costs less than the latest technology. What firms sell as required safety equipment should be considered the last resort.

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