- Price: £230
Whatever your backcountry needs, Ortovox has got you covered. From merino base layers and gloves to avalanche backpacks, their range is all about staying as safe as possible out of bounds. They even offer a free manual full of advice that you can view online. Of course, they’d also be the first to tell you that when it comes to using their Ortovox 3+ avalanche transceiver, nothing is a substitute for practice.
The Ortovox 3+ transceiver is their most advanced model, but it still functions with fantastic simplicity. A dial on the base clearly allows you to turn the device on – or if you turn it the other way, you can access the single AA battery chamber.
“The Ortovox 3+ transceiver is their most advanced model, but it still functions with fantastic simplicity”
Once on, you are automatically in transmit mode, unless you flick the double triggers on top, which release a button and switch you on to search mode. Once in search, a visual display on the screen reminds you to zig-zag your course search. When it picks up a signal, a distance indicator and direction arrow appear, which in trained hands help with rapid victim location. When you’re within 2.5 metres, the fine search function automatically kicks in, with very clear audio and visual signals allowing you to decide on a search grid.
In the case of multiple victims, the Ortovox 3+ allows you to ‘flag’ the location of the first signal with the push of a button, allowing you to now locate a different beacon. You can repeat this process up to three times, giving you the best chance of recovering multiple burials.
If you’re the one who’s been buried, the Ortovox 3+ automatically selects which of its three individual antennas will be most effective. Should you be unlucky enough to have been caught in a second slide during a search, it can detect when you’ve remained motionless for two minutes, and will automatically switch to back to ‘send’ mode.
You get 250 hours of transmission from a single AA battery, and the whole thing only weighs 210 grams. If you’re yet to buy the most essential piece of backcountry safety equipment, the Ortovox 3+ avalanche transceiver is a fine place to start.