Heading deep into the mountains? Bring proper backup.
Ortovox S1+ beacon
The flip-phone style might be old-school, but the S1+ ($489) is one of the most sophisticated beacons around. While its primary search mode is impressively fast and very beginner friendly—we like that it instantly switches to search mode when you open it up—you have to invest some time to figure out its more advance functions.
G3 Ski and Utility straps
Need to keep an ailing climbing skin affixed to your ski on the way up? Lash your poles to your roof rack? Or simply keep your ski tips together? These versatile straps, which are available in a wide range of sizes, do all that and more. From $5, genuineguidegear.com
K2 Rescue Plus shovel
It’s a good-size aluminum shovel with a few tricks up its shaft. You can use the Plus ($90) as a hoe to move snow faster and as a flat surface for your stove. It also comes with hardware for assembling a rescue sled out of any K2 skis with built-in skin attachments.
Backcountry Access BC Link radio
These winterized walkie-talkies are powered by rechargeable lithium batteries, and the glove-friendly handset clips to your pack strap for easy communication with your group—the range is three miles with line of sight. Ideal for giving safety instructions from below or letting your cameraman know that you’re “dropping in ten, nine, eight…” $150, backcountryaccess.com
Backcountry Access Tracker3 beacon
The latest version of the popular Tracker beacon Tracker beacon ($335) returns a little lighter and a bit smaller. It also has a third antenna that enhances search accuracy and a new signal-suppression function that, during multiple burial scenarios, allows you to hide certain signals so you can focus on others. Most important: its simple arrow-and-distance readout is still one of the most intuitive interfaces around.
Black Diamond QuickDraw Carbon 240 probe
The carbon-fiber blackdiamondequipment.com ($90) weighs just eight ounces but comes blazing out when seconds count, thanks to tapered ends and a cable you can pull with gloves on. Make sure you practice getting it fully locked before you need to deploy it in the field.