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1) BLACK DIAMOND REVELATION ($169; bdel.com)
This 3.3-pound, 2,750-cubic-inch pack carries skis effortlessly and has an easy-to-reach pocket for shovel and probe.
2) BCA TRACKER ($310; bcaccess.com)
Experts agree: It’s the easiest digital beacon to use. An instructional video by Teton Gravity Research (sold separately, $10, tetongravity.com) shows you how.
3) LIFE LINK PIT BOSS ($60; life-link.com)
Exum guide Mark Newcomb helped design the Pit Boss shovel, making it exactly 30 centimeters wide for standardized compression, tap, and shear tests.
4) G3 320TECH SPEED PRO PROBE ($102; genuineguidegear.com)
The 3.2-meter probe has laser-etched graduations every five millimeters and is made from light and sturdy Easton aluminum.
5) WINTER ENGINEERING DELUXE SNOW STUDY KIT ($67; wasatchtouring.com)
You may not be able to read temperature gradients or analyze snow crystals like the pros, but the grid-paper notebook and inclinometer—to check for dangerous (30- to 45-degree) slope angles—are must-haves in the backcountry.
6) ORTOVOX SCHNEESÄGE ($63; ortovox.com)
Weighing less than a quarter-pound, the Schneesà¤ge (that’s German for “disturbingly serrated horror-movie blade) is double-edged and attaches to Ortovox shovels so you can cut cornices, rutschblock tests, and avy pits.
7) BLACK DIAMOND AVALUNG II ($125; avalung.com)
The AvaLung redistributes your carbon dioxide—laden exhaled breath from in front of your face to behind your back, adding precious minutes to survival time if you get buried.