Small enough to fit in a jacket pocket, Brooks-Range’s aptly-named Pocket Snow Density Gauge is an esoteric piece of avalanche equipment made to aid in the assessment of a slope’s snow quality, rate of snow metamorphosis, slab conditions, and snow-pack moisture content.
The gauge, made from aluminum, consists of a tube one inch in diameter and about seven inches long. It weighs 3.5 ounces. There’s a serrated cutter on one end to fill the tube with sample snow.
By packing the tube with snow, the gauge determines snow density with a scale reading from zero to 60 percent (in one-percent increments). The gauge, modeled on a tool used by the National Weather Service, operates on the principal of mass balance.
Like other snow density gauges, the Brooks-Range operates as a balance, meaning it doesn’t need to be calibrated. But unlike others, it weighs less and fits in a jacket pocket. The company calls it a compromise between “laboratory precision and rugged simplicity.”
The Pocket Snow Density Gauge costs $50. http://www.brooks-range.com