Safety equipment for backcountry skiing

Safety equipment for backcountry skiing and to survive an avalanche

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The proper safety equipment is essential to fully enjoy your backcountry skiing. Unless you are a super experienced skier (aka guide level) or enjoy venturing off piste often, it will be unlikely for you to buy any of the below. Heli-skiing companies or local guides will provide you with everything, including (mandatory) training on the equipment or advice on where to rent. The most comprehensive safety gear includes all of the below, with beacons, probes and shovels being required.

Beacon (essential)

Probe, shovel (essential)

Radio (recommended)

Air-bag (nice to have)

Learn more about the essential gear as well as our 101 guides on how to use transceivers, probes and shovels.

Beacon or Transceiver

This is the single most important piece of security equipment to carry with you anytime you are out riding in powder. It’s a transceiver device that sends and receives a radio signal at a specific frequency. This will allow your ski buddies to find you under the snow in case of an avalanche and vice versa. So you really need to know how to you use it properly! Read our Transceiver 101 guide

Probe and Shovel

Once you master the art of using the beacon you have to be prepared to park the technology and pull out your analog devices. The probe is a long stick that will allow you to understand exactly where someone is buried before you actually pull out the shovel and start digging. Read our 101 guide to probing and digging 


Making sure that you are properly equipped is just the beginning. During your safety training you will learn more on how to behave in case of an avalanche. If interested, you can also read our related post on 10 tips on how to survive an avalanche

You can find more an extensive offering of avalanche safety equipment on Backcountry.com

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