Snow Density Gauge

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.

Brooks-Range Pocket Snow Density Gauge

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

—Ryan Dionne

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Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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