Avalanche Transceiver: Chest Harness or Pant Pocket?With more and more people carrying their avalanche transceiver in their ski pant pockets it raises some concerns versus the norm of carrying it in the chest harness that the manufacturer supplies with the transceiver. While using a ski pant pocket to carry a transceiver has many advantages as you can learn about in the video below, this should only be done if the pocket is designed to carry a transceiver which means that it has a pocket that is welded or stitched to the inside of the pants, with a solid, anchored clip for attaching the lanyard. Cargo pockets do not qualify since they are generally sewn to the outside of the pants and can be ripped off in the event of an avalanche.
BCA thinks a harness is still the best method for carrying an avalanche transceiver. Here's why:
- Locating the avalanche transceiver high on your chest puts the transmitting antenna closer to your airway. If you're buried in an avalanche and searchers are locating your transceiver, you want the probe strike and subsequent shoveling to bring them to the vicinity of your airway as quickly as possible.
- If you're ever in an avalanche, you will be quite focused on protecting your head, neck, and chest. If your transceiver is on your chest, you will therefore also end up protecting your transceiver as you fend off trees and rocks.
- If your transceiver is on your chest, it will be kept warmer and will be less prone to getting knocked around as you move through the mountains. A transceiver in your pants or jacket pocket is more likely to hit things as you ski/board.
- The manufacturer's harness is more robust than a clothing pocket. Clothes can be ripped off in an avalanche.
- You can still access the transceiver quickly when it is in a chest harness. The plan is to never pull out your transceiver for a real search, by using good terrain selection and paying attention to the local avalanche bulletin. However, if you do need to pull out your transceiver, most harnesses are made to easily access it in the event of an avalanche or for doing a group transceiver check at the trailhead.
Let us know which you prefer and why in the comments section below.