I recently visited a local outfitter upon whose walls hang various pieces of vintage outdoor equipment. I was unable to identify these, or even guess which outdoor activity they might have been relevant to. None of the store employees knew for sure, either. The diameter is about 18 inches.


  • Newborn protector?
    – g_uint
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 9:23
  • 4
    All-terrain hamster wheels. Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 12:55
  • prolly something to keep food up in trees and away from bears?
    – DatsunZ1
    Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


While I'm not sure, something that popped in my head is that it looks like it could be an early avalanche airbag system. See this history of airbags page for a picture of (one of) the first system made by Josef Hohenester. The hoops you see in the picture you have could be Bowden Cable post expansion.

  • One of the employees had a similar guess. Commented Jul 2, 2019 at 1:49
  • I think they're not so much airbags as 'balloons' that are supposed to float above the avalanche and be attached to you with a cord. The idea is that anyone seeing one knows (1) there's a person under there and (2) can dig following the cord to find them.
    – user3245
    Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 17:15
  • lawinenball.com/produkte.html older version of one of these?
    – user3245
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 19:02

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