Backcountry Women: Savvy Stefi’s BCA Gear Reviews for Sledders

Stephanie Santeford @savvystefi has enjoyed snowmobiling since she was a child. After a terrifying and almost tragic riding accident descending Mt Baker, she made an incredible recovery. Since her accident, she has become an even more avid rider and a tremendous advocate for backcountry safety and education. Her mission and passion for snowmobile safety have lead to a beautiful relationship with Backcountry Access. As an active believer of the #sendandreturn mindset and a reliable user of BCA gear, she is here to tell us first hand the BCA features that improve her riding experience and safety.

Love This All-in-One Float MtnPro Vest

I wore this all-in-one vest all season as a snowmobiler in the backcountry. There are many features about this Avalanche airbag that I loved. With the protective vest integrated along with the airbag pack, I was able to reduce the bulk I use to have. Before I would wear a protective vest under my outer layer, that was under my backpack airbag. Now I have everything I need all in one. My body temperature is more comfortable than it was with all the layers before.

This pack also seamlessly integrates my BC Link radio for easily accessible use. This system lets me to use my radio without h to remove my helmet. There is a dedicated external pouch for my transceiver, which allows quick access in the event a transceiver needs to be utilized and encouraging regular beacon checks. By adding the external shovel pouch, I found I had plenty of room for my daily essentials, emergency equipment & first aid kit.

The Float MtnPro Vest avalanche airbag pack has waist belt & side panel adjustments. I found this pack to be the best fit I have worn. After a long full day of riding, my shoulders remain free of soreness that I would get from a backpack style pack.

The Airbag trigger has multiple positions as well as a left or right mount. Making it easy to adjust to your riding style. There is also a tether loop for your snowmobile kill switch. I loved this pack so much; especially the weightless feel while riding and low profile for those tight maneuvers in the trees.

The D-2 EXT  Dozer with Folding Saw is the Best Avalanche Shovel Ever

I have used several shovels in the past. This one is my favorite for many reasons. The shovel is compact enough that I can ride with it fully assembled in my external shovel carry pocket, saving precious time in a moment of need. The Shovel is also very lightweight. The ability to switch from a traditional shovel attachment to a “hoe” style is awesome. The “hoe” feature enables you to move a lot of snow quickly. The metal is very durable, and the handle fits very comfortably in your hand.

BCA Link Because Great Communication = Better Safety

Over the years I have used many radios for communication. The little handheld walkie-talkies from Costco, Garmin, but none even compare to the Backcountry Access BC Link. There are many reasons I prefer the Link over the previous radios I have used. First I like the capability to tuck the radio unit into my pack and feed the cord to attach the mic to my backpack. This works well, enabling communication without taking your helmet off and you can hear your buddies communicating with you while riding. I have also found the range and durability to exceed other radios I have used. I highly recommend this radio to add to your essential items for the backcountry.

The BCA Snow Study Kit is Perfect Size Kit with all the Basics

As a Certified Snowmobile specific AAA Level 2 Avalanche graduate and AAA Avalanche Class Assistant Instructor I find the Backcountry Access Snow Study Kit to contain all the essentials. It is small and compact to fit nicely in your backpack with minimal weight. This is a perfect kit for anyone taking Avalanche classes, traveling in the backcountry and need basic tools when digging snow pits.