Q and A

Your Questions

We hope this section will soon be filled with your most popular questions and our best answers. You can ask us a question about gear by clicking on the "Your Feedback" link to the left. In the mean time we supply some generic answers to how this site is constructed.

Why Do We Classify a Piece of Gear "Essential"?
We largely follow the advice of independent expert bodies, such as the International Commission on Alpine Rescue (ICAR), who make safety device recommendations. However, we think it is important to consider two additional criteria:

  • The device has stood "the test of time" and there is broad consensus in the Canadian Avalanche Community this is an essential avalanche safety tool.
  • In terms of reducing avalanche mortality, the gear benefits all user groups.

How Does a Piece of Gear End Up Classified as "Recommended"?
If a piece of equipment doesn't make the essential list, we then ask if it should be recommended. When recommending gear we again turn to the advice of independent expert bodies, such as the International Commission on Alpine Rescue (ICAR), who endorse gear that is likely to significantly improve your chances of surviving an avalanche. Additionally, we consider whether the gear is universally valuable: safety equipment could prove essential in certain contexts, but show only limited benefit in other situations. 

I Don't Think Your Rating Criteria Are Good. What Can I Do?
We're open to ideas on what gear fits into what category. We've done our best to be fair but recognize there may be mistakes and are open to reasonable review if our assessments are controversial.

Also we'd love to hear about your experience with avalanche safety gear: what worked, what didn't, and why.