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Avalanche Beacon, Probe and Shovel

Each winter and spring climbers, skiers and snowmobile users are involved in snow avalanches and rescues. The conditions are simply a mass of snow and a slope. With varying temperatures, the snow pack loosens and breaks free. Snow slips on an incline of any surface when a slight melting occurs, causing lubrication from the water. A small scale example is commonly seen on the roof of a house. It is common to see small sections of snow break free and sag and slip down the roof. If you examine this small-scale phenomenon on you may notice how layers of snow break free and slip. This is the principle behind a large-scale version. It is important to reach the victim within about 15 minutes. After that time hypothermia and lack of oxygen will greatly decrease chances of survival. There are several accessories that can improve rescue and chances of survival.

Avalanche Accessory

The Avalanche Beacon can greatly improve chances of rescue when used quickly and properly. It is a small and relatively light device weighing from 7 to 10 ounces. These transceiver beacons are either digital or analog with varying search performance factors with each type. Many avalanche transceivers can switch between modes. The experienced rescuer can use the positive attributes of either mode as he narrows the search.

An Avalanche Breathing Device along with the avalanche beacon are two very important survival tools for the backcountry enthusiast. The breathing device enables the victim to breathe when buried, extending the search time.

Portable Avalanche Shovels are made of lightweight plastic and aluminum. They are made to attach securely to the outside of a gear pack. Once the avalanche victim is located, using a shovel specifically made for snow will increase the speed of digging by a factor of four, compared to digging by hand.

Collapsible Avalanche Probes are easy to carry and fold to a compact portable size. These special poles are tubular steel that are joined together to make a snow probe up to 12 feet long. Some ski poles are made dual purpose with removal grips and baskets. This type of ski poles can be attached together to make approximately eight foot probe. Whether the rescuers use avalanche probes or ski poles, or something else, the key is locating the person quickly to save valuable time by avoiding digging in the wrong location.

The avalanche beacon or transceiver is the most effective and fastest method of locating a victim. When someone is buried in snow, the beacon will send a signal that other transceivers can detect. The backcountry enthusiast should set the beacon to "transmit" before entering an avalanche prone area. If an avalanche occurs, the rescuing personnel switch their transceiver to receive. The rescuing party makes their best guess as to the location of the buried person, then circles in a large pattern, decreasing the radius around the signal. Using an avalanche beacon takes practice, but if used skillfully can dramatically decrease the time an individual is caught in the snow.

Avalanche beacons and rescue gear:

Pieps Freeride Avalanche Beacon

Buy at Backcountry.com
The Pieps Freeride Avalanche Beacon is one of the most compact single-antenna transceivers on the market today. An easy-to-read LCD screen displays distance and dynamic field-flux strength to aid your search, and an accompanying acoustic signal allows you to look away from the beacon to scan the snow...

Freeride Avalanche Beacon

Buy at CampSaver.com
An affordable, high-tech beacon for everyone. The Pieps Freeride is a fully digital, single antenna avalanche transceiver designed for side-country and resort skiers who venture off the beaten path. Simple and easy to use. Small and lightweight. Never be without your Pieps.

ARVA Evolution 3+ Avalanche Beacon

Buy at Backcountry.com
Nobody has time for a complicated beacon when riding in avalanche-prone terrain. Keep things simple to get them safe and use the ARVA all-digital Evolution 3+ Avalanche Beacon for quick recovery. When you clip on this lightweight, compact device it never feels like a burden, and with three antennas,...

Backcountry Access Tracker 2 Avalanche Beacon

Buy at Backcountry.com
The Backcountry Access Tracker 2 subtracts weight and size, and adds real-time display and a third receiving antenna to the best-selling, dead-simple Tracker DTS. The third digital antenna increases accuracy and provides a strong buried signal in any orientation, while the real-time display eliminates...

PIEPS DSP Smart Transmitter Avalanche Search Beacon

Buy at Amazon.com
In an emergency, only one thing counts: unconditional hands-on reliability! To live up to this challenge, PIEPS counts on the collaboration with professional mountain guides, mountain rescure teams, skiing instructors and scientists for its product development. This know-how and more than 30 years of...

ARVA Evolution 3+ Avalanche Beacon One Color, One Size

Buy at Amazon.com
Travel smart in the backcountry with the Arva Evolution avalanche transceiver - a handy tool for anyone intent on seeking out the sickest untouched pow. Equipped with a strong, constant signal that can transmit up to 60 meters, this little beacon doesn't lag like older models thanks to a 16-bit...

BCA Tracker DTS Avalanche Beacon + Avalanche Probe

Buy at Amazon.com
The world's first digital multi-antenna transceiver. The beacon that started a digital revolution. And still going strong. With a long track record for value, durability, and reliability, the Tracker DTS has been an industry staple since 1997. A real-time, digital display shows both direction and...

3+ Avalanche Transceiver

Buy at CampSaver.com
The 3+ is a three-antenna device with a special extra function to first enhance your own safety. The intelligent position recognition system analyzes the position of the antennas and automatically switches to the optimal transmitting antenna. There is no longer any such thing as the 'worst position'....

ARVA Evolution 3+ Avalanche Beacon

Buy at Amazon.com
Nobody has time for a complicated beacon when riding in avalanche-prone terrain. Keep things simple to get them safe and use the ARVA all-digital Evolution 3+ Avalanche Beacon for quick recovery. When you clip on this lightweight, compact device it never feels like a burden, and with three antennas,...

Arctic Cat Snowmobile Avalanche Beacon BCA Tracker2

Buy at Amazon.com
When faced with an on-mountain emergency, this easy-to-use and efficient beacon is a necessity among your supplies The fastest, most precise pinpointing, with triple receiver antenna Instantaneous real-time display and easy-to-use interface An intuitive search/transmit switch makes it easier to use Thinner...

Tracker2 Avalanche Transceiver

Buy at CampSaver.com
BCA's Tracker2 offers the industry's fastest, most precise pinpointing, with triple receive antenna, instantaneous real-time display, and same easy-to-use interface as Tracker DTS. An intuitive mechanical search/transmit switch makes it even easier to use right "out of the box." Thinner...

DSP Pro Beacon

Buy at CampSaver.com
Designed for ski mountaineers and backcountry skiers who regularly venture into serious terrain, the PIEPS DSP Pro Avalanche Beacon is packed with features. In addition to its massive 60-meter circular range and 55-meter search strip, the DSP Pro features an innovative smart transmitter that recognizes...

Backcountry Access Tracker2 Avalanche Beacon

Buy at Amazon.com
DECENT FEATURES of the Backcountry Access Tracker2 Avalanche Beacon Rapid processor and simple user interface Real-time, digital display shows direction and distance Multiple burial indicator light Bright red LEDs (light emitting diodes) Uses three AAA alkaline batteries Includes a protective carrying...

ARVA Pro W Avalanche Beacon

Buy at Backcountry.com
Your beacon is like an insurance policy--you hope you'll never have to use it, but if you do, you'll sure be glad it's there. The Arva Pro W Avalanche beacon is a high-tech transceiver that's got all the features you need to help in an emergency, even though you hope it gets to spend...

Pieps Freeride Avalanche Beacon

Buy at Amazon.com
...

Pieps DSP Sport Avalanche Transceiver

Buy at Amazon.com
As its name suggests, the DSP Sport is a trimmed-down version of the DSP Pro, with a super-simple one-button interface that gives you only three options-send, search, and flag. Just slide the side switch to toggle between transmitting and receiving, and mark burials using the flag button. When you've...

Backcountry Access Tracker DTS Avalanche Beacon

Buy at Amazon.com
DECENT FEATURES of the Backcountry Access Tracker DTS Avalanche Beacon Rapid processor and simple user interface Real-time, digital display shows direction and distance Bright red LEDs (light emitting diodes) Proven durability Uses three AAA alkaline batteries Includes a protective carrying case The...

Pieps DSP Pro Avalanche Transceiver

Buy at Amazon.com
The PIEPS DSP Pro has a simple two-button interface that gives you only the options you need for fast and effective performance-send, search, scan, and flag. Just slide the side switch to toggle between transmitting and receiving and mark burials using the flag button. When you've flagged a signal,...
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