A solid avalanche shovel is part of the "must have" standard equipment on every backcountry trip or freeride session outside the controlled ski resort areas. of course, everybody has to carry his own shovel. The shovels are foldable and fit into or on your backpack.
Additionally to the shovel, an avalanche probe is also mandatory. Probing and efficient shovel work has to be practiced in the same manner as the search for burieds.