When we conduct our deep powder snowmobile shootout, we require – demand – our drivers have at a minimum, BPS – beacon, probe and shovel. We also highly encourage our drivers to have an avalanche airbag backpack (also known as an “avy bag.”)
Here for your knowledge base is some quick technical information on several quick-deployment avalanche airbag backpacks that snowmobilers use. Let’s get to it.
An avalanche airbag backpack is only part of a sturdy four-legged chair: leg one, avalanche rescue beacon/transmitter; leg two, rescue probe; leg three, aluminum or steel rescue shovel; and leg four, the avalanche airbag backpack. Legs one, two and three are rescue directed, whereas leg four is preventative. We use the term “preventative” generically, as the best preventative measure is avalanche knowledge – the skill, training and practice. Know what you need to know, know it better, train on the knowledge, practice the practical and be aware and alert when boondocking.
Motor Fist’s Argo Avalanche Airbag Backpack is a dual cartridge system with one cartridge filled with CO2, which is the volume cartridge, and the other cartridge filled with Argon as the quick burst launch-to-inflate. Both are replaceable cartridges. Argo avalanche backpack owners can carry with them an extra set of cartridges. Like a C02 inflator for a road bicycle or mountain bike, these cartridges, once used, are throw away cartridges. With a second set on hand (owner’s responsibility to purchase a second set, as the Argo bag comes complete with the first set in the purchase price) reinsert the second set into the Argo bag and you are good to go.