Buy an Avalanche Beacon for Backcountry Skiing

Buy an Avalanche Beacon for Backcountry Skiing
Backcountry skiing is an exhilarating sport. With this activity, you need to keep safety in mind at all times. Purchasing an avalanche beacon is an important part of this. Buying a good quality avalanche beacon could become a life saving course of action, so follow these tips on buying an avalanche beacon and learn to use it.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Research avalanche beacon technology. Avalanche beacons have been in use for the past 25 years. Different technology and features are now available. Study the latest features such as analog or digital beacons, single and multiple antennas, flux line and operating frequencies.
Step 2
Ensure that the avalanche beacon you are interested in uses 457kHz. This is the international standard. Older models may offer 2275Hz or split the signal between the two. Use the international standard for the strongest signal.
Step 3
Decide on digital or analog. Analog usually refers to a single antenna transmitting a signal. Digital usually uses a microprocessor with multiple antennae. It can provide direction and distance information to the searcher.
Step 4
Find an avalanche beacon that uses flux line. This is usually the fastest way to locate someone. A flux line is when the transmitter sends an electromagnetic signal in all three dimensions instead of one straight line.
Step 5
Locate a reliable store or dealer. If you have any questions this may be a good source of information. They will be able to inform you of any new technology. They can also tell you about customer complaints or complements on certain avalanche beacons.
Step 6
Purchase the best that you can afford. Safety is important. An avalanche beacon is not where you want to cut cost.
Step 7
Practice using your avalanche beacon. Equipment is only as good as your ability to be able to use it. Practicing with it will also ensure that it is working properly.

Tips & Warnings

Technology changes quickly. Make sure that your avalanche beacon is keeping up with progress.
Always test your groups beacons in send and receive mode before an outing or practice.

Article Written By Judith Davis

Judith Davis has loved skiing since she was first on skis in the 80's. Her varied experience include European skiing as well as skiing in both Eastern and Western United States.

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