Have you ever lost your way? If so, where and why?

Have you ever considered what you would have to do if you would have remained trapped in the wild?

You hear a big talk about survivalists hunting animals, building shelters, and creating DIYs, but real survival is also about finding rescue.

You can do that by learning how to signal for help.

Let’s have a look at these two situations:

  • You are stranded one mile from mainland.
  • You are 50 miles from anyone who could offer aid.

However, if you follow a proper signaling strategy, you can ask for help in almost every scenario.

The central and most important aspect regarding signaling for help is the contrast between your signal and the environment.

It ensures your signal is visible no matter the surroundings.

For a stationary signal, you can use bright colors, or you can make letters or shapes in a natural environment.

For a smoke signal, you can make a black or white smoke that will be in contrast with a white or blue sky.

For sound based signals, you can blow in a horn or whistle or, if possible, you can make metal clanging sounds.

For a light contrast signal, you can make a bright light in a dark place, a flashing light, or even a light making a pattern.

All of the above examples are related to creating contrast using your signal.

Using light to ask for help is an excellent method to get the attention of rescue personnel.

  • You can ask for help at night using LED flashlights and laser pointers by flashing them on and off or even use Morse code to signal ‘SOS.’
  • You can use a reflective surface like a mirror to bounce the light of the sun and redirect it towards a distant target. You must be pointing the mirror to the sun to signal someone that you are facing.

If the sun is not visible, the sound is a perfect way to signal for help.

  • You can yell, but you will become fatigued quickly, and your voice will become hoarse.
  • You can use a whistle as it requires less effort and reaches much further than your voice.

  • If you have something made of metal, you can bang on it to create a loud sound.

However, the sound doesn’t travel as far as light.

Moreover, windy conditions and valleys distort sound signals. 

Another alternative to signal for help is by building a fire, so is good to always carry with you a lighter or a fire starter.

Then, you will need to have a contrast by using rubber or plastic for black smoke, or green vegetation to have a white smoke.

Moreover, an ingenious plan to create a pattern is to build three fires in a line about 50 to 70 feet apart.

Also, you can use a blanket or a tarp to waft the smoke and create a signal with the plumes.

You can also use the Morse for this approach as well.

Don’t hurry to add the plastic or green vegetation until you know for sure that a possible rescuer is in your area.

Have a little bit of patience and avoid run out of supplies too soon.

You can make big letters or shapes in contrast with the ground, which are visible from above ground level.

You should know that three equal lines are a universal sign of distress.

Moreover, if you have any material that is bright in color, you can strand it on a long pole and place it in a high spot.

If you see any rescue team approaching your location, wave it back and forth.

If you’re lost in the wild together with your vehicle, you have the best signal.

Why? Because it’s large, colorful, and metallic.

Besides, you have a horn for producing sound and headlights for light signals, so you don’t have to struggle so much anymore.

If your car’s not running anymore, you can even burn parts of it for black smoke, or bang on the hood for a loud sound signal.

Have you experimented anything like this before?

If yes, tell me how it worked out.

Do you know other ways to attract attention when you’re in need to be rescued?

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