Supply & Demand: Shovels
A shovel is a mandatory staple in your backcountry arsenal. They come in handy in tons of scenarios including digging snow drifts, building jumps and just in case (knock on wood) you ever have to dig someone out of a avalanche. Here is the breakdown on a few we like.
Arsenal Shovel with 240cm Probe and Tour Blade
Kill two birds with one stone with the 2 in 1 shovel/probe combo. The full-length probe deploys from the handle easily, while the shaft isn't compromised. The Arsenal is available in two versions- a fixed length with either a Tour or Companion blade. www.backcountryaccess.com [$100]
Take up less space in your pack, while maximizing snow shoveling with the Black Diamond Transfer Shovel. At only 1 lb., 7 oz. the Transfer is super light and at just $45, it is a great buy. www.blackdiamond.com [$45-$50]
With the tag line "You cannot shovel any faster" the Kodiak promises powerful resistance and easier digging. Made of high performance lightweight aluminum, the Kodiak is complete with a sanded grip D-handle making hand slip impossible. The Kodiak also easily turns into a hatchet for precise chopping action. www.ortovox.com [$90]
T-Wood Avalanche Shovel
The major selling point on the T-Wood is the steel saw blade. Simply pop off the handle and voila, saw through anything. Use the saw to cut wood or snow, or avalanche science work. The saw also doesn't hinder the shovel from being shortened or lengthened. www.voile-usa.com [$70]