6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

CNET News Video: Tech to help you survive an avalanche

About Video Transcript

CNET News Video: Tech to help you survive an avalanche

2:22 /

From air bags to mobile apps to the newest distress beacons, CNET's Sumi Das shows you the tech you should and shouldn't depend on if you decide to explore the backcountry.

-Backcountry may promise fresh tracks and fewer crowds, but it also carries considerable risks. The holy trinity of avalanche safety tools is a must. -Probe is to look for someone buried in the snow and then a shovel to dig them out, and a beacon, the absolute necessity to find someone when you can't see them. -Beacons can both emit signals when you're lost and receive signals when you're searching for someone. -The newest in beacons is a third antenna, oriented vertically if the first two are crossed this way. And that one can tell depth. -Other Backcountry staples include Avalungs that reduce the risk of carbon dioxide poisoning if buried in snow. In the unfortunate event that you're caught in an avalanche, you're more likely to be rescued faster if you're closer to the surface. An airbag helps you float to the top. To use it, yank on this trigger. Airbag system from Mammut with its horseshoe shape is designed to prevent head, neck, and chest injuries. Current airbags inflate using air cartridges. Filled canisters aren't permitted on airplanes, but a new kind of airbag hits stores this November. Black Diamond has developed the Halo 28 pack which uses a jet fan for inflation. -Statistics show that you'll have a shallow burial if wearing an airbag versus not. -As for the tech to avoid, well, some smartphone apps give the impression they offer beacon-like features, they fall short in many ways, including battery life and loss of signal range in snow conditions. -Arguably, more significant is the incompatibility of these systems with existing rescue systems as well as the non-compatibility with the apps themselves. -Ask any avalanche expert, there is no get-out-of-jail free card. -There is a general idea out there that if I have this equipment and I know how to use it, I'm safe, and that is really not true. -Equipment is no substitute for education. An avalanche safety course is a good start. In Lake Tahoe, I'm Sumi Das, CNET for CBS News.

New releases

Candy Crush fills up Facebook with video ads
2:55 November 24, 2014
The sequel to the popular puzzle game finds success with mobile ads, Google Maps adds new features in time for holiday travel, and...
Play video
The 404 Show 1,585: Black Seadevils terrorize the subconscious (podcast)
23:11 November 24, 2014
The world's best Bridget Carey joins Ariel and Iyaz to decipher smart phone apps, Star Wars trailers, and deadly toys.
Play video
Smarter Driver: New thinking on driver distraction
1:45 November 24, 2014
Brian Cooley runs down new research by the IIHS and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute on driver distraction and what causes i...
Play video
Car Tech 101: The future of head-up displays
4:13 November 24, 2014
Head-up displays are starting to show up everywhere. Brian Cooley tells you why HUDs may be the next revolution in car tech.
Play video
On the road: 2015 Acura TLX V6 Advance
4:00 November 24, 2014
At a time when Acura seeks to redefine what it is and where it stands in the pantheon of new cars, this all-new model draws some pretty...
Play video
Top 5: Reasons for head-up displays in your car
2:32 November 24, 2014
Head-up display technology is emerging as one answer to driver distraction. Brian Cooley offers his top five reasons you need a HUD...
Play video
Black Friday tech tips
0:59 November 24, 2014
For a lot of Americans, Thanksgiving weekend is synonymous with shopping. People line up at stores hours, and days, in advance to get...
Play video
HTC Desire 510 is a dirt-cheap way to get 4G LTE data
2:04 November 24, 2014
The HTC Desire 510 isn't the most high-specced phone around, but if you want 4G LTE and you're shopping on a tight budget, it's one...
Play video