Avy Gear

by noronaadmin

If your going to head out into the backcountry this year you should make sure you have all the RIGHT GEAR and make sure it is all in tip top shape. Hopefully you will never have to use your avy gear but chances are if you are out there enough you might need to so taking an Avalanche Skills Course each season and practising all the time will help you stay on top of your game. Below are some tips on what to look for!

The Ten Essentials:

Extra Clothes, Warm Toque, Water, Food, Lighter, Head Lamp, Compass, GPS, Radio Communication, First Aid Kit and Knife are the ten essentials you should always have in your pack. Hopefully you will never need them but if you get stuck, lost, or injured it will ensure you survive a night out!

Avy Gear: Shovel, Avy Beacon and Probe

I use the Genuine Guide Gear Spade-Tech Shovel. This little gem is super strong and durable and it will slice through the toughest avy debris. It also packs away nice and light and man can it move snow quickly!

I also use the Genuine Guide Gear Carbon 240 cm Probe. It again is super light and strong and assembles in seconds. Probing is an art form so practice as much as you can. A probe is also a great tool to feel the layers in a snow pack so don’t just carry it around…use it!

My favourite Avalanche Transceiver is the Back Country Access Tracker 2! This 3 antenna beacon is the best priced on the market and has everything you need and a well designed package. The Tracker 2 is the simplest beacon on the market and in my opinion for 90% of the users out there, this is the most important factor since when anyone is involved in an avy rescue it is total mayhem and the simpler your gear is the faster things will happen!

ABS – Air Bag Packs

Although ABS has been making avalanche air bag packs since 1985 they really can be considered new since in the past 2-3 years these bags have become pretty standard. The ABS pack is number one for many reasons. It uses a charge in the handle which punctures the cartridge to fill the bags faster than a cable actuated bag. You also do not have to pull as hard with the ABS handle.

The ABS canister uses Nitrogen to fill the bags so you get a cleaner, quicker and a more consistent fill over compressed air. The two air bags in the ABS system total 170 litres, the largest of any avy bag on the market. The bags are also on either side behind you so they never interfere with your vision or movement.

The ABS system is also the easiest one to reload after use. You just let the air out of the bags, fold them up and screw in a new cartridge and handle and your back in business.

Avalanche backpacks are expensive but they do save lives and they work! If your interested in buying one I encourage you to study them well before making your purchase. Like all things cheaper does not always mean better!

Have a safe winter out there, and enjoy!


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