Gear to have to stay safe and warm if an avalanche happens - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Gear to have to stay safe and warm if an avalanche happens

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

This week lots of folks around our state are enjoying the snow during time off from work by snowboarding, or snowshoeing, etc...

Scheel's Sporting Goods says a great way to prepare for an emergency avalanche is to have something like their black diamond emergency kit, which includes a probe, a hoe slash shovel and a beacon tracking device.

Scheel's has a probe which extends 7 feet 11 inches long and can help you find someone buried in deep snow.  It's like a baton that can go down to small carry size as you can see right there. 

Next, let's say you find a person buried in snow with your probe, now you can use this small travel-friendly shovel that also turns into a hoe.  This shovel can easily attach onto your backpack.

Experts say a shovel can not only be used to quickly dig out a buried person, but also to make snow shelters.

Experts highly recommend for you and a travel companion to have  a beacon.  If you get separated the tracking device will help one person find the other.

Experts say these items require a fair amount of practice before using, especially the beacon.  When minutes are valuable and stress is high, you do not want to waste time figuring out how to use them.

For warm gear to help you steer clear of hypothermia experts recommend snowmobile jackets.  Jackets that have the material "gortex" is a waterproof material that propels water, but also allows water to escape from the inside out.  A jacket like this protects the skin from getting wet, cold and frozen.  A jacket like this can stay under water for hours and propel water away.

Experts also recommend a "balaclava" for your face.  That's "balaclava", not "baklava".  The Greek pastry "baklava" may be delicious, but it won't keep your face warm.

The balaclava could be made from cotton, polypropylene, polar fleece, or other warm materials.

The breath box you can see here, allows you to breathe easier.

The national weather service says at even 36 degrees you could hypothermia in just 30 minutes, or you could get it in 5 minutes at 48 below, so be prepared and protect your body.

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