If you've been buying snow sports clothing for a while, you've probably heard of RECCO and you may even know what it does! For those of you who have seen this stitched into your skiwear but haven't a clue what it means, then read on, as it's actually quite important and has the potential to save lives.
In short RECCO is comprised of two things - detectors and reflectors. Ski resorts and rescue teams have the detectors and you have the reflector, sewn into your ski clothes...
RECCO reflectors are small and require no maintenance, batteries or charging and they have a pretty much infinite lifespan and their purpose to enable to the wearer to be found by rescuers if they become buried under a avalanche. Reflectors are not a substitute for an avalanche rescue beacon. However, when someone needs help RECCO reflectors provide another chance.
Rescue teams can use the hand-held detector on the ground or from a helicopter, which allows for fast searching of large or dangerous areas, a vast improvement on the first detector produced in the 70's which was very large, heavy and had to be carried on the back of the rescuer. It sounds very sophisticated and complicated but for the wearer of the reflector it's as simple as buying a jacket that comes with the RECCO symbol and putting it on.
Surviving being buried by an avalanche is pretty lucky, RECCO has helped rescuers locate buried people who have survived and also find those who have not. It isn't a substitute for other safety precautions but it is another chance if you're unlucky enough to need rescuing. Many teams and resorts all over the world use RECCO alongside other forms of detection such as dogs, and beacons.
Pretty cool that investing in ski-gear that has RECCO tech could end up saving your life.
Click here to see our range of RECCO products from Helly Hansen and Salomon.