Get in the Know: Preparing for the Backcountry

Scott Toepfer, a member of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, takes depth measurements every 50 feet at the crown of the avalanche near Loveland Pass on Sunday. Photo: Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Scott Toepfer, a member of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, takes depth measurements every 50 feet at the crown of an avalanche near Loveland Pass in 2013. Photo: Helen H. Richardson

As many a-guide and guru will say, you can never be too prepared when heading out in the backcountry. As the season approaches and snow starts to fall, it's time to gather your gear, start mapping out your routes, and practice using the tools that will help to keep you safe in the backcountry. Our friends over at Backcountry Access make ultra-reliable products and provide tips on how to properly use this lifesaving equipment.

These videos guide you through the basics of beacon searches, effective ways to probe and shovel, and provide information you should know before setting out off-piste this winter.

Learn the basics of beacon searching with the team from Backcountry Access in the video above. Before traveling into the winter backcountry be sure to take an avalanche class. Visit avalanche.org to find a course near you.

This video takes you through the pinpointing or probing stage of an avalanche rescue. This is not a substitute for an avalanche class. Get educated before heading out and off-piste this season.

Shoveling is the most time consuming phase of an avalanche rescue. This video takes you through some basic shoveling techniques using 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 shovelers.

This is a perfect time to refresh yourself with the key elements of backcountry safety, and also is a great time to seek out avalanche courses, and further your backcountry training.

Check out avalanche.org to find a course near you and sign up.