I took a very introductory Avy course last winter, and while it may seem obvious, the following cannot be stressed enough, especially since you clearly care about your mans:
1. Beacons use a very, very simple mechanism to work, all of them work together (regardless of brand) and are built to withstand an avalanche. As such brand and model mean VERY LITTLE. Here's what does matter:
2. Beacons dont work with dead batteries, or if they are turned off, or in the wrong function mode... This leads to 3...
3. Intimate knowledge of the simple functions of your beacon gained from 4 and 5.
4. Proper Avy training, Avy I at a very minimum.
5. Practice. Know how to swich from transmit to receive, conduct snow stability tests, use a probe to find a buried beacon, and finally dig about 1 ton of snow in 10 minutes. (oversimplified checklist, get a real one from class)
If an avy beacon is going off and theres no one there to hear it....
There are many people on this site with more BC experience than myself, just saying, picking up a used beacon off craigslist is no big deal, finding one on sale or whatever. Alot of people with money stick their toes into a sport and buy a bunch of this shit only to find out for whatever reason (myriads) they won't use it. This is even more common with higher end mountaineering gear like this (compared to finding a deal on a NeverSummer snowboard for example).
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Last edited by snowklinger; 08-04-2012 at 02:21 PM.