Snowsports like snowmobiling or skiing involve some amount of risk but are more if caught in an avalanche. But wearing an avalanche airbag bag pack has proven to be effective in saving lives by avoiding burial. In recent years, avalanche airbag has become an essential aspect in backcountry snow rides, with an effective enhancement of survival percentage if you are caught in an avalanche. If you are searching for “How do avalanche gear or airbags work”, then you have arrived at the right place.
How do avalanche airbags work?
- An avalanche airbag is generally a large balloon that is robust and inflates when you pull the precise handle called a trigger. This balloon is inflated when the trigger is pulled. This activity makes you a large object and makes you stay on top of the avalanche and avoiding the occurrence of drowning. This avalanche airbag is incorporated in a bag pack that lets the individual carry the material as they normally do but with an additional feature. When the avalanche airbag is worn properly and deployed with exact knowledge, they have shown to enhance the chances of survival if they are caught in an avalanche by accident.
- These advanced avalanche airbags function on the principle of “Inverse Segregation” also called the Brazil Nut Effect. This principle tells that in a moving stream of different sizes of objects, larger objects rise to the surface while smaller objects sink to the bottom. This can easily be demonstrated by mixing all types of nuts in a jar where the larger brazil nuts will stay on the top and other smaller nuts settle in the bottom.
- This avalanche airbag is incorporated in a bag pack to ensure easy carriage. It will consist of a large balloon that is inflated when a cord is pulled. Hence, a person wearing the airbag will become larger and come to the surface of the avalanche in case of an accident. But you have to ensure to deploy the airbag effectively during the time of need. There are many cases with people not deploying the airbag properly and leading to disaster.
- The airbag triggers are present on a shoulder strap and when pressed it is activated within no time. This airbag handle is made to be out of reach for avoiding any kind of accidental inflating while riding or other even during idle position. When you are ready to start the ride, keep the handle in position, and if in case you are facing an accident situation, pull the handle. This causes the container that is filled with compressed gas to inflate the airbag immediately. It is wiser to take all the instructions from an expert before going with the equipment.
- There are some other safety features included in the airbag as you are subjected to huge force in the avalanche. A special hip belt is employed for ensuring that the rucksack is held onto the body. This belt employs safety shaped metal buckles to provide optimal strength and is bulkier and more robust than plastic ones. Further, a leg or crotch loop is given to avoid the pack being drawn over the head. You may feel this as too much to carry, but it is important if you need optimal safety. Once inflated, these balloons need to be deflated again and repacked. If the airbag is filled with gas, you have to fill them with the same gas for the next ride.
- Make sure that avalanche airbags are useful during the accidental situation of avalanche slides, but they do not guarantee cent percent survival. They can be employed as a safety measure along with other elements like safety gear like helmets and other protectors. It is also key to make your travel along with a group of trained travelers who know various precautions to be taken and followed during crunch situations.
- Even though if you are wearing the optimal quality avalanche airbag, you have to ensure to make a wise decision of refraining from going near avalanche. But your accidental chance of riding near the avalanche surface or edges can be safeguarded to a significant extent when using an avalanche airbag.
Some Things You Should Consider When Choosing an Avalanche Airbag
- Your type of riding in the specific terrains has a major impact on choosing a type of bag pack. If you are a frequent backcountry rider, then you can go for a bigger airbag system and smaller ones for a side country.
- You can choose an airline compliance bag if you need them on a frequent air journey. There will be varying norms across different airlines on carrying these bag packs, hence be sure to verify the airline that you prefer to travel to more frequently. If you have a cartridge-type airbag then you have to travel with an empty one and fill it nearby stations after the travel.
- Some airbag models allow transferring the airbag inflation system from one bag pack to another. This feature is only available in selected models that allow the users to make use of the same airbags with changes in their bag pack size and style.
- Airbags are also available with different lengths and body types. Hence, make sure to choose the ones that match your torso.
- Avalanche airbags are also available with different budgets across different brands.
- Airbag models also come with an option for carrying other items without causing any obstruction to the airbag setup.
- With a not on all the other factors, you need to be sure that the airbag is comfortable for your way of travel and use. Regardless of all its other features, the airbag must feel comfortable for your ride.
If you are a skiing or snowmobile enthusiast and looking for a different type of riding apparel, equipment’s like avalanche gears, then head on to an all-inclusive store like Rocky Mountain Snowmobile. They consist of all the leading brands that suit your ride requirements and budgeting requirements.