When out on an adventure, you can never fully anticipate what dangers may come your way. There is nothing called ‘being fully prepared’ when it comes to nature. Therefore, a signalling gear is one of the most important and essential tools you need to carry when out on an excursion. There are many ways to signal when you are in danger. Some are make shift and some hi-tech. Depending on the situation, here are some of the signalling devices you can use when caught off guard in nature.
Before deciding what to use, you must chose an ideal site to set off the signal. Whatever signal you use must be fully visible. Otherwise, it fails to serve its purpose. However, you must also ensure that at the same time you are in secure and safe ground. The location must be close to your shelter and have good visibility. Ideally, it should be a clearing, a hilltop or a lake shore. Your signal cannot be camouflaged.
An SOS (Save Our Souls) is the most popularly known distress calls. It can be either audio or visual. The code for SOS is 3 short, 3 long and 3 short signals. Pause. Repeat the signal. You can make an SOS signal with whatever materials you have available like rocks or tree logs. You can even use a laser or strobe light to send out the signal during the night time to an aircraft.
Signal fires are also another way to set up a signal. During the day, the smoke from the fire acts as a signal. However you must keep in mind, to set up three fires either in a triangle or in a straight line at least 100 ft from each other. This is essential to catch the attention of who ever maybe around.
Another impromptu signalling device would be a mirror. A mirror or any reflecting object is a good way to catch attention in broad day light.
Besides these methods, there also other survival tools that are used primarily for Signal survival. For instance, rocket parachute flares or smoke signal flares that are used to draw attention to your presence in a particular location.
Distress radio beacons are also specially mechanized for these situations. The PLB or the Personal Locator Beacon, The Emergency Local Transmitter and the Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon are all devised to interface with worldwide offered services for people in distressed situations. When manually activated, these devices send out distress signals that can be detected by non-geostationary satellites.
Radar reflectors are also commonly used signal devices at sea. Also known as a corner reflector, this device consists of three mutually perpendicular, intersecting flat surfaces, which reflect waves back directly towards the source and translates it at the same time. They essentially reflect radio waves from the radar sets and therefore act as a distress sign to whoever receives the feedback.
Signal survival devices are extremely important to keep you safe in emergency situations. It serves as your only link between you and the rest of the world and sometimes is your only saving grace.