Effective in emergencies: The avalanche shovel
Strap on your snowshoes and go forth into the alpine terrain. But note the following! Avalanches are a danger that should never be underestimated. As such, all skiers and mountaineers should pack avalanche shovels in addition to their probes and beacons. Avalanche shovels are used in emergencies to dig a buried person out of the snow. But these shovels aren't only useful for rescue: Snowboarders can use them to build kickers or excavate their buried cars after a tour.
What characteristics do good avalanche shovels have?
In emergencies, they need to be used quickly and effectively. They have to fulfill special criteria in order for you to proceed quickly and carefully during an emergency.
Avalanche cones consist of densely-packed snow. They are firm and solid. For that reason, stability is an avalanche shovel's most important characteristic. The shovel blade and shaft should be made of a robust material. It goes without saying that the shovel shouldn't buckle or break. A stable avalanche shovel adds a good deal of security when there's an emergency.
Every second counts when you're rescuing buried persons. That's why avalanche shovels should be simple and easy to handle. No time is lost with an ergonomic shovel. It can be used immediately. Two other important factors are weight and size. An avalanche shovel is a standard part of your safety equipment. You should always carry one with you. That's why a lightweight shovel is advantageous. Many avalanche shovels have a collapsible telescopic handle. They fit in any touring backpack without a problem.