Ill keep it short and sweet...
What beacon should i buy?
already got a metal shovel
Can you use most of the airbag backpacks as a regular backpack?
Beacon is down to personal choice and budget the more expensive ones have more features and allow for multiple burials, have greater range and lock on to signals quicker. On the last avi course we were advised to have at least a 240 cm probe. I rate the ortovox equipment my S1 is simple and easy to use. The most important thing is knowing how to use the kit no point having all the gear no idea when one of your mates is buried.
Here is a bit of advice that I find had a fair amount of weight to it. Go to your local retailer that sells beacons. Have them "hide" one in the store. Then take two or three models you are interested in and just see if you can use them. The one that you find easiest to use for how you operate is probably the one to buy.
If you are planning on riding with your dog and want a doggie beacon, the Pieps DSP (Pro I believe) or Vector are the only ones that work with the Pieps doggie beacon.
As far as probes go, get one that is suitable for the amount of snow you get. A good do it all size is 300cm. Sounds long, but if you travel in deep snow packs such as Washington or BC it really isn't long enough. I don't think you can carry a probe long enough for those. If you are in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, something around 260 should suffice. Really though a 300cm probe barely weighs more than a 240. My probe is a 340 and I live in Colorado but I do travel to the west coast at least once a year.
Airbags work just fine as packs. Mammut RAS and PAS (again I believe with PAS) are removable. BCA are not but you can take the canister out to save some weight.
Hope that helps.
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definitely helps, great advice fellas. thanks
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