Outdoor Survival/Signals

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Bigger is better. Just don't burn down any forests.

  • Three of anything is the international standard for distress (three gun shots, three fires, three flares, etc.)
  • Carry a whistle, it takes less energy and is louder than shouting
  • To prepare for rescue make three signal fires in a triangular pattern make them huge if you have the resources. Check them daily to make sure they are ready to light or in a desperate situation light them even if you can not see any one searching for you!
  • Make black smoke by burning the tires of your car or especially car oil. Plastic can also work (it may not be environmentally friendly but it's OK just this once. Also note that not all plastic will burn or give off smoke.)
  • Make white smoke by burning fresh leaves
  • Pick the smoke color that would show up best against your background. (in snowy conditions a black fire, a dark forest... a white fire)
  • Ground Signals. Write out SOS or HELP. Huge as possible at least 30 feet wide but bigger think 300 feet is better. Bright as Possible. Use clothes, tents, tarps, ect. If using natural materials try to get as much color contrast as possible. Put it in the open away from trees.
  • Reflection. If you remember shining light in peoples eyes in class with your watch this is the same idea. Use you watch, mirror, anything that works to shine light off the sun on distant locations or planes. Reflect in bursts of three.
  • Combine all these three methods to do any thing to make your self as visible as possible.