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i am looking for some help in selecting a good shovel for everything from backcountry snowboarding & snowshoeing. my biggest concerns are weight, size, and durability.
i know this is not a place to skimp $$$, however i dont want it to break to the bank either.
does anyone have something that has worked well for them?
 

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nothing plastic.

Brooks-Range has a good one, its got a diagram on it for routing an avy rescue and setting up a wedge and a sled.

some like being able to stash a probe in the handle, the problem with that could be the length of the probe or colapsability(sp) of the shovel.

I personaly would buy a longer, better probe and stay away from the combo deals.

BD makes a good one but the one from BR is good. BCA has a few as well.

http://www.combattactical.com/brooksrange-backcountry-shovel-assort-p-21632.html
 

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Brooks Range makes good stuff.

To reiterate what's been said, look for a metal blade, and stay away from combo tools. (this also applies to "probe poles." Just buy a dedicated avy probe and a pair of ski poles)

I prefer D-shaped handles over T-shaped. Oval or round shaft makes no discernible difference, though oval could limit your ability to use add-ons like a snowsaw.
 

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If your partner has a plastic shovel - take theirs and give them your metal shovel. You want them to have the best to dig your ass out. If they think plastic is so neat then take theirs as you will be using it to try to save their ass.
 

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Like others have said get one that is made out of metal..

I use a BCA that is years old and I have beat the hell out of it. I have used it to beat on sleds, pry out rails, dig in dirt with rocks, chop wood, clean rails, beat on ice, and oh yea it dug out one guy who got burried in the winter of 01-02....

In fact this is the only piece of gear that I have left or am even using from the winter of 01 - 02. So if I were you I would get a metal BCA shovel..
 
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