When out in the backcountry, an avalanche probe is a must-have inclusion in any skier’s backpack. These life-saving devices can help locate yourself or an individual in need and rescue them before it’s too late. When adventuring in the backcountry, there is always the risk of avalanches, and it’s important to have the right equipment to help you search through the snow – or to help others search for you.

Avalanche probes are vitally useful for skiers, mountain guides, patrollers, and scientists. They can be used in a variety of situations, but help mainly to pull stranded victims out of the snow after an avalanche. Most probes come with a pull cord, allowing the victim to pull themselves out with one easy pull.

Top of the line avalanche probes are equipped with no-slip grips, making it easy the operator, even if they aren’t wearing gloves with traction. Probes are sensitive to pressure in the snow, and are often fitted with depth marks to help individuals search through the snow faster. Along with shovels and locator beacons, avalanche probes are the most essential tools to have in a skier’s backpack. They are almost required for any backcountry activity, as having one can be the difference between life or death.