In my opinion, there are certain pieces of snowboard equipment you "want" (ie: a nice new jacket to match the colour of your bindings) and then certain pieces of equipment you NEED. If you are venturing into the backcountry in search of that beautiful, untracked, white fluffy powder, then Avalanche Safety Equipment 100% falls under the "need" category. Mother Nature can be unpredictable, so keeping one step ahead of her is important. At The Board Basement we sell Avalanche Rescue Equipment from the reputable, tried and tested brand, Ortovox. We feel only the highest calibre snow rescue equipment should be offered to keep our customers safe. Our firm favourite and best value for money that doesn't sacrifice on quality is the Ortovox Avalanche Rescue Kit 3+.

 

What Are Avalanches?

Before we start talking about an avalanche rescue kit, we need to understand more about the avalanches themselves. An avalanche is a mass of snow sliding down an inclined slope at rapid speed. They are also known as snow slides. They can be minor ones, or HUGE ones that can be hazards to human life and communities. They can be catastrophic and bury people and whole towns, basically destroy anything that gets in its path. They occur when the stress of gravity and/ or a weight (ie: a snowboarder) exceeds the strength of the snow. A "slab" avalanche can occur when a chunk of snow is resting on top of a weaker layer of snow and there is a triggering mechanism. Avalanches can caused by a number of elements (wind drifting snow, precipitation, temperature changes) a lot of the time, things that are totally out of our control. However sometimes they can also be caused by human activity. So it's a good idea to have a deep knowledge and understanding of avalanche safety and prevention before you delve into the backcountry. Part of this can be investing in and using a decent avalanche rescue kit. A small price to pay for a life.

 Ortovox Avalanche Rescue Kit 3+

The Ortovox Avalanche Rescue Kit 3+

 

The 3 essential items if you want to snowboard off-piste are: a transceiver, a shovel, a probe. The Ortovox Avalanche Rescue Kit includes all three of these high quality emergency items.

 

The 3+Transceiver:

This is a small transmission devise to send signals through the snow so you can be found/ help find others that may be buried. The Ortovox Rescue Kit has a 3+ Avalanche Transceiver with patented Smart Antenna Technology. This gives intelligent position detection that automatically switches to the best antenna (it has 3 digital antennas!) so you are easier to find/find others in the snow. A real-time display provides information about direction, distance and number of people buried. The intuitive search acoustics give a very accurate location when pinpointing victims. It also has a movements-sensor-based secondary avalanche switch-over which offers additional safety. The 3+ is update-compatible and environmentally friendly, requiring only one battery (1x AA Alkaline 1.5v). Its transmission capacity is approx. 250h and its weight (including battery and case) is 210g. Its dimensions are 122 x 73 x 27 mm. Other features include; display of ALL victims, display backlight, flagging function, automatic switch- over (secondary avalanche), partner check, permanent monitoring of the transmitter, Recco Reflector inside and a self test.

The 3+ Transceiver 

The Badger Shovel:

The ultra light weigh badger shovel is made out of aluminium with an ergonomic hybrid grip for maximum power transmission. It's blade has a volume of 2.5 liters, a good size when needing to dig out a victim quickly. It has a pronounced centre ridge on the blade with high side walls for full rigidity. It also has non-slip step grooves and a centring aid in the shaft socket for rapid assembly. Its weight is 625g, length 70 (40) cm, blade size 28 x 21 x 4 cm. The handle is Aluminium 6060 T6 and the blade is Aluminium 5052.

The Badger Shovel 

The Alu 240 Avalanche Probe:

This large probe is ready within seconds with its quick-lock assembly system thats allows for a quick and easy set up. It can then be folded and collapsed just as swiftly. You can adjust the tension by turning the optimised adjusting screw. It has easy-to-read depth markers and a clear 1 meter marker with an orange bottom segment to adapt your shovelling. Its length is 240/ 43 cm, its weight is 200g and diameter 11mm. It has 6 elements (sections) and is made out of 7075 T6 Aluminium. It also has an Aramid Tension System and is designed for a small pack. Most importantly, it has a large probe tip to save time finding your friends.

 The ALU 240 Avalanche Probe

We also sell some avalanche probes seperately, made out of different materials and different legnths...........Ortovox Probe Aluminium 320+ PFA Silver 320cm Avalanche Emergency Equipment, Ortovox Probe Steel 320+ PFA Steel/Silver 320cm Avalanche Emergency Equipment and Ortovox Probe Carbon 280+ PFA Black 280cm Avalanche Emergency Equipment. 

Avalanche Safety

Once you have got your kit, you need to know how to use it. It's no use having a nice fancy Porsche if you don't know how to drive??!! There are Avalanche Training Course you can go on to help you get familiar with your kit and what to do in the event of an avalanche. The Ortovx Avalanche Rescue Kit 3+ actually comes with a pretty comprehensive Safety Academy Guide Book, not only explaining in depth about the complex nature of avalanches, but also the need of using a transceiver, shovel and probe in the first place. You need to know how to use your kit not only to keep yourself safe, but also to be able to rescue others in your group in the event of an avalanche.

 

What Is An Avalanche Backpack / Rucksack

These are specially designed backpacks to carry all of your avalanche safety equipment and other snowboards bits, but mainly, has an Avalanches Airbags System AVABAG. We have 2 different Avalanche backapscks to choose from here at The Board Basement:

Ortovox Backpack Free Rider 22L AVABAG System Avalanche Airbags Kit Black Anthracite

This lightweight backpack gives you the hignest level protection together with the airbags system. It can be re-activiated again and again with ease. It has SO many features, including locking clasp sysytem. safety leg strap, chest strap with signal whistle, snowboard and snowshoe attachment, a water resistant zipper, seperate safety compartment, hip pocketm D-Skifix, compression strap, hydration system compatible, ice axe and hiking pole fastening, fixed helemt net, key holder, SPS Flex back proetctor, realse grip height adjustment, holder for safety equipemtn and emergency card. The weight of this bag is 1440 g without AVABAG-Unit and 2130 g including AVABAG-Unit. Its made from Nylon 420D Ballshadow. The 22L Free Rider AVABAG is suitable for men.

Ortovox Backpack Free Rider 22L AVABAG System

Ortovox Backpack Ascent 30L AVABAG System Avalanche Airbag Kit Black Anthracite

This is the perfect backpack for your backcountry adventures, with its compact nature but HUGE useable space (30L!). It is jammed full of other features too, including locking clasp hip belt, safety leg strap, chest strap with signal whistle, snowboard with snowshoe attachment, water resistant zipper, seprate safetsy compartment, gear loops, D-Fix, compression strap, hydration system compatible, , PU coated material (water-resistent), circumferential zipper, ice axe and hiking pole fastening, removable helemt net, rope attachment, key holder, relase grip height adjustment and emergency card. This bag weighs 1170 g without AVABAG-Unit and 1860 g including AVABAG-Unit. Its made out of Nylon 420D Oxford HD + Nylon 100D Robic Ripstop wich is mega durable and strong. The 30L Ascent 30L Avalanche Backpack is suitable for men. 

 Ortovox Backpack Ascent 30L AVABAG System

 

We also sell Ortovox AVABAG System Cartridge Carbon Avalanche Airbag to use in conjunction with your AVABAG System.

Mother Nature

Most importantly of all though is to learn and respect mother nature so you don't get yourself or others into a life threatening situation to begin with. If you are venturing off piste/ into the backcountry, always make sure you check the weather and snow conditions first. You must know where you are going and go with a guide or someone that is familiar and experienced with the area and the conditions. Soaring through that magical soft snow is one of the best feelings in the world. The Ortovox Avalanche Rescue Kit 3+ will just give you the extra bit of security if mother nature does decide to rear her head.