When you’re out in the wilderness camping and hiking, you should always be properly prepared and make sure that you have a first aid and emergency kit with you. However, things do happen that are often out of our control and you may find yourself in a sticky situation with no tools to help you. However, in some cases you’ll be able to make do with what you have.
For instance, if you’re lost in the woods or countryside you can use a small mirror or belt buckle as a signaling device. Because of this, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re wearing a belt while on an outdoors adventure and to carry a small mirror in your pocket. If you happen to lose your emergency kit for whatever reason, you’ll still be able to use these items to attract help.
In fact, small mirrors that reflect sunlight can be so effective that airline pilots have reported seeing flashes from them from about 60 miles away.
Actually, just about anything with a shine to it, such as a knife blade or even a DVD or CD could work.
It’s a good idea to learn how to use these types of shiny devices to reflect signals before you head out on your next hiking or camping trip.
If you find yourself lost or stuck out in the country with no communication device, you should head to the high ground. Your signal will be able to travel further the higher up on the terrain you are.
If you have a signal mirror that has an aiming hole in it, or a DVD or CD, just hold the item to your eye with one hand while looking through the hole. Then try to reflect the light of the sun onto the palm of your other hand.
When you have the reflection on your palm, slowly lift your hand up to the horizon and make sure the light is still reflected on your hand. You can then slightly lower your hand so the light beam will pass through your thumb and forefinger as you create a V shape with them.
If you slowly sweep or move your hand across the horizon, the reflection will travel quite a distance and could be seen by somebody.
If you happen to spot people, a plane, or a boar etc. in the distance use the free hand and aim the light signal towards them. If you move your hand slowly up and down in front of the signal beam it will create a flashing or pulsating signal that may catch their attention. Be careful not to aim the beam at the cockpit of an airplane as you could temporarily blind the pilot.
You can use your mirror or other shiny device to send the international SOS signal in Morse code. This consists of three short light flashes, then three long ones followed by three more short ones. If your mirror or signaling item doesn’t have an aiming hole in it, you can still send a light beam by looking over the top of the device instead of through the hole.
When putting an emergency survival kit together, you may want to include an emergency strobe light. These devices are ideal for attracting people’s attention in the dark. Be aware that the batteries in these devices may only last about 12 hours though. Plastic glow sticks that are able to produce light via a chemical reaction are also good signaling devices in the dark. These are more affective if you can tie the tube to a rope or cord and then swing it above your head like a lasso.