This Month's Gear Guru Question:by Backcountry Bob
Q. I'm just starting to get into backcountry skiing and wanted to know what you thought was the best and easiest avalanche transceiver (beacon) on the market to use? Is digital really supposed to be better than analog? A ski patroller I know likes analog over digital due to his extensive experience with analog use. He is keyed in to the sounds and beeps. What is your professional opinion on this issue? I appreciate your time and expertise! Thanks,
Thanks for asking about backcountry skiing and avalanche beacons. As a former ski patroller and active backcountry skier I've heard a lot of opinions on digital vs. analog beacons and had the opportunity to try both. For someone like yourself who hasn't had much experience with either type I strongly recommend a digital beacon. They are easier to learn and you'll get to your friends level of proficiency faster than with an analog. The Backcountry Access Tracker DTS was the first digital beacon and still the easiest to use.
Your friend who has considerable experience with an analog beacon should keep using it until he's willing to commit to practicing with a digital beacon. I switched from an analog to a digital beacon two years ago and found my practice search times decreased considerably after the first few practice sessions. Having the distance from your victim displayed clearly on a digital readout is a much better system than listening for beeps on an analog system. However, when you are out in the backcountry the best beacon is the one you are the most familiar with.
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This month's Gear Guru question was submitted by Chuck from Chicago, IL. He will receive a BackcountryStore.com Nalgene bottle for his question. Enjoy Chuck!
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