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Lightweight Shovel, Probe and Beacon
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Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Lightweight Shovel, Probe and Beacon on 10/09/2011 23:48:26 MDT Print View

As far as I'm concerned, these 3 items are must-have safety items (along with the knowledge and training on how to use them correctly--esp. beacons) if a person or group plans on venturing into the backcountry where avalanches are a possibility.

So performance and reliability would conceivably take precedence over weight where life or death situations are concerned.

But that said, certainly there are backcountry safety items that are lightweight as much as they are reliable and effective (???)

So, a simple question I'd like to throw out for discussion is, what's your lightweight (and/or compact) shovel, probe and beacon solution? As always, brands, makes/models, weights--or links to said items--would be appreciated.


Edited by NightMarcher on 10/09/2011 23:50:27 MDT.

Dave Marcus
(Djrez4) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains on 10/11/2011 13:10:11 MDT Print View has a chart that lists every available beacon along with features, dimensions, and weight. You can eliminate lower-performing beacons as well.

For a shovel, I can only recommend you consider two things - get an aluminum blade and decide if you like D or T-handles better. You can only skimp so much on the weight of a shovel before you lose function. I like the Voile Telepro, personally, but it's not light.

Probes are available in different lengths (and weights, accordingly) and there are some carbon fiber models out there. Back Country Access has a 260cm CF probe that weighs 7.3 oz and LifeLink has their 280cm weighing 9.5 oz. G3's 300cm model weighs 10oz. I've been using a shorter BCA model that I'll be replacing this year, likely with the carbon BCA, although I really like the foam handles that Ortovox puts on their probes.

Edited by Djrez4 on 10/11/2011 13:20:22 MDT.

Dave Marcus
(Djrez4) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Ortovox S1 on 10/12/2011 22:54:56 MDT Print View

Picked up an Ortovox S1 this afternoon. It lists at 360g, but measures at 358g with batteries and harness. Is easy to put on correctly and fits comfortably after simple adjustments.

Mark Olah

Locale: New Mexico
Beacon Harness on 10/15/2011 05:03:55 MDT Print View

I find the harness is normally not necessary, and is any easy way to trim a small amount of excess weight. I can fit my beacon (Mammut Barryvox Pulse) in a zippered cargo pocket on my pants or in my jacket pocket. Only store it in a clothing layer that you don't take off while skinning and that can be zipped closed.