Innovation That Matters

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Innovative sports gear designed to aid in an avalanche

Sport & Fitness

A sports company has developed dual-purpose backcountry gear designed to improve odds of surviving an avalanche.

We have already seen innovative gear designed for all types of sports, such as heated jackets and smart bike lights. For those who participate in backcountry snow sports, a vital addition is gear designed to aid in the event of an avalanche. Outdoor sports innovators Advenate have developed two new multipurpose survival tools designed to increase the odds in an emergency.

The first is an avalanche shovel which doubles as an emergency shelter. The Advenate Hybrid shovel contains a 94.5-in (240-cm), seven-segment probe in its handle, to help pinpoint the exact location of an avalanche victim and measure their burial depth. The shovel also features a compact winter-proof bivouac in its blade. The shelter can be erected using the probe and two ski poles, with the shovel’s D-shaped handle acting as the hub to connect the poles at the peak. Six snow anchors stored in the shovel’s shaft can be used to stake the tent down.

When caught in an avalanche, the best chance for survival is if the victim can ‘ride’ to the top of the snow mass, lessening the chance of burial. To help, Advenate has also developed a backpack that doubles as an avalanche airbag. Pulling the handle on the backpack inflates the airbag to help the victim float on top of the avalanche. An integrated breathing system allows those who are buried to pull breathable air out of the surrounding snowpack to avoid suffocating while awaiting rescue. The Advenate system uses a plasma-coated filter to draw the air in out of the snow, and redirects CO2 to the back of the backpack to prevent suffocation. The Advenate shovel will retail for around EUR 350, while the backpack will start at around EUR 850. What other gear innovations might be used for emergency survival in the backcountry?




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