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Thread: Reasonably Priced (Collapsible) Avalanche Shovel?

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    Default Reasonably Priced (Collapsible) Avalanche Shovel?

    We use larger-headed avalanche shovels for a variety of purposes, including pinning a large lake trout to the side of a hole when trying to unhook the fish, and a person can't immediately get a finger through/behind a gill plate.

    Problem is, the last collapsible shovel of that sort that I picked up was a piece of dung. It lasted less than ONE use before the spacer at the tightening nut fractured, and the thing became little more than a kid's toy for sand box and beach use.

    Though not an imperative, I'm seeking opinions on a good, well-built, sturdy, reasonably priced collapsible avalanche shovel with a fairly sizable head on it.

    When those moments of necessity of one sort or another -do- arise, digging out a tablespoon at a time can be frustrating, so a decent sized scoop is nice, though size also needs to be kept compact enough to be reasonable for packing with gear or strapping to a sled..

    Also undecided re. aluminum construction, vs. some of the newer polymer stuff.

    Opinions? Experiences? Brand names? Prices?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Lifeline aluminum sport shovel. It weighs 1.3 pounds, adjusts from 25"-32", and is three piece construction you can pull apart to pack.
    It has worked for me so far(not long), and seems well constructed. The only plastic piece is the handle and it is stout.
    I got it from sportsmans for $20. hope this helps.

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    Thanks.

    It may be that I over-tightened the hand-nut on the handle of my first one, but ideally it would be built stoutly enough to not have tightening the extension nut be a terminal issue..

    I'll do some research on the one you've posted.

    Thanks again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruffle View Post
    Thanks.

    It may be that I over-tightened the hand-nut on the handle of my first one, but ideally it would be built stoutly enough to not have tightening the extension nut be a terminal issue..

    I'll do some research on the one you've posted.

    Thanks again.

    No nut on these at all. They use(4 total) spring stop buttons. Here is a link for 2 @ $33.

    http://www.overstock.com/Sports-Toys...8/product.html

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    Thanks.

    The one I had was adjustable for length by virtue of a slip ring, located mid-way up the shaft of the handle, and what ever length it was extended to, the ring-nut/hand-nut then tightened it in place, similarly to some of the larger adjustable tent and awning poles seen in the past. Had it been more stoutly consrtucted, it might've functioned better.

    I'l take a peek at the one you've posted.

    -------------------

    Addendum; I took a look, and it appears to be what I'm seeking.

    Of course, keeping four pieces together in a sled full of gear might require a new stuff bag being made to fit the components (unless it already comes with one?)..

    The over-stock site is sold out on them, but I'll check with Sportsman's Warehouse and see if they still have some at the price range you posted.

    And the price seems to be well beneath the upper limit of reasonable...

    Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruffle View Post
    Of course, keeping four pieces together in a sled full of gear might require a new stuff bag being made to fit the components (unless it already comes with one?)..
    It does not come with a bag. It is 3 pieces, retractable, and at it's smallest size is 27". It easily comes apart in 2 seconds, but you would need to get a stuff sack approximately 14"x8", which is the size of the shovel scoop. The pieces are large, and you could use it without the middle piece, so I don't think you will have any problems.

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    ruffle
    I had the same or similar collapsible shovel you describe - broke the first time we tried to use it.. I have since bought the "yukon/avalanche" one piece aluminum D handled shovel AIH sells $17 in Wasilla... It lashes on very nicely to my snowmachine and has worked extremely well the several times we've needed it... as far as moving snow goes... really can't say how it would do holding a big lake trout in place as I haven't had that opportunity...... yet...../John

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    Thanks for both leads, as well as the clarification, tailwind.

    When I looked at the pic on-line, it initially appeared to me to have perhaps four pieces.

    I've got extra stuff sacks of lighter (nylon) material, but also have some fairly stout cordura hanging out that was used for an elaborate sled cover last year. I suspect a skookum stuff sack can be crafted from that for such a critter. And the Safari (the machine most likely to need digging out) has nice saddle bags on it, as well as a back-rest bag of slightly smaller dimension.

    The scoop on the one on-line that tailwind posted about is about the right size for what I'm seeking, too.

    When I get into town I'll take a look at both Sportsman's Warehouse and AIH, and see what's avaiable. Hard to find decent tools any more for less than $20.00, so either one sounds like a potential deal.

    Thanks again.

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    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Freddies has a three piece aluminuim one in the auto section that has worked well for me. $20 last I saw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveintheburbs View Post
    Freddies has a three piece aluminuim one in the auto section that has worked well for me. $20 last I saw.
    Same one we are talking about I think. i saw them there yesterday.

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    Thanks Dave. They're not far from AIH or Sportsman's in Fbks., depending on whch Freddy's, so that'll be another stop on the way.

    All of these seem to be priced within the same range as the less-than-suitable one I both acquired and discarded last year.

    Another one of those 'dumb luck' purchases, I guess....

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    i like my sos (survival on snow) shovels, in one handle i have a saw that works awesome and in the other handle i have a probe, they came like that, but great shovels, the saw comes in handy time to time, i usually carry the one with the saw cuz i got hmk probes also in there own lil bags also, i have two sets of what i consider essential avalanche gear in case someone i'm riding with doesn't have anything when we go ride turny or hatchers or somethin, i have two packs, two shovels, two probes and two beacons, but back on point, i really like the sos shovels, they've lasted me quite a while, have had both sets for probably 5 years or so and have held up really well being used every winter, there nice and stout and extend out quite a bit, they are probably around 50-60 bucks, but well worth it in my opinion...

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    Thanks.

    That's getting toward the upper limit of what I'd want to spend, but all options are open 'til I do some definitive shopping.

    Thanks again.

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    Listen to Frank, he is the real deal...

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    black diamond makes a couple great shovels that are extremely sturdy/durable. they run around 50-60+ bucks. They are collapsible or come apart in 2 or 3 pieces depending which model you get the T7 is a little longer than the D7. REI in anc has some. They can throw some heavy snow without any signs of wear or stress.

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    Thanks for the pointer, cjustinm. I haven't yet done any buying, so I'll research them on-line as well. I think I recall seeing some of them earlier on the internet..

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    Just thought I would add a couple observations from my experiences. The saw in the shovel handle is great. It is a little brittle so watch that you don't snap it off if what you're cutting binds and you try to force it. In a real avalanche situation the probes that fit in the shovel handle are useless. They are too short at 6 feet. 8 foot probes are what should be carried. Shovels and probes should also be on your person in avalanche country too.

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    Thanks, mod.

    Truth be told, we rarely frequent areas that are real avalanche risks, though the odd moment or two exists.

    More often than not, we're using them to clear ice and slush from auger holes, building barriers with blocks of crusted snow, or 'detaining' the annual energetic 40" lake trout by the gill plate until someone can get a finger or two into the gills, to hoist them out of the hole.

    Of course, carrying such a tool in the truck is apt to occur as well, as it usually does with past similar tools.

    Up 'til now, we haven't encountered any circumstances wherein a probe or snow saw would be required, though even traveling the highways near Thompson or Turnagain Passes would potentially leave a person wanting to have such items in-tow.

    I've got 3-4 weeks left before this year's lake trout outings, so I'm taking more time than usual to get my act together, in terms of any new gear.

    As always, thanks for any and all input.

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    I don't know if it was a typo, but the saw is a wood saw so it might come in handy for making a small warming fire next to the fish hole or impromptu fish stringer

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    I'd seen an interesting/intriguing bow saw recently. It had both fine and coarse wood saw blades, as well as a metal or bi-metal blade, all stored in the longer portion of the diagonal back-rib of the saw's frame, and the handle folded up and over, so that the back-side of the handle ended up laying on the back of the diagonal back-rib when it was in its folded configuration.

    It all appeared to fit neatly into a scabbard that looked like some sort of thinner canvas material.

    The idea was quite appealing, until I read the part where it said "molded handle," at whch point I asked myself how functional a (likely) plastic or polymer saw handle would end up being in serious applications in the bush. That ended up being the last moment of consideration for such a tool.

    Now, if someone has access to, or knowledge of, such a saw that's made from more durable materials (either seriously stout aluminum or medium stout steel), but put together in that manner, I'd be very interested in -that- tool.

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