Chapter 9

Getting found: rescue communication

So you’ve managed to build a shelter, filter water, build a fire, and catch something to eat, but you’re still lost! Signaling so that rescue teams can find you is a crucial part of survival in the wild.

In this chapter, we’ll learn how to make different smokevisual and audial signals to give you the best chance of being rescued.

Rescue Communication

A Smoke signal

Possibly the best option you have is to use a smoke signal. Make sure that you choose the location carefully. If you start it too close to other trees or flammable objects, you could start quite a problem for yourself. During the day, this is the most effective way for a rescue team to spot you.

Try and create a teepee like in the video. To create a lot of smoke, you want to use green, leafy vegetation or plants. Stick long leafy branches into the top to try to get more height.

This technique is excellent during the day, but once it turns dark, it will be better to have high flames than a lot of smoke. Work hard to heighten your teepee structure so that the flames will reach much higher.

If you can locate a tall green tree that is far enough away from others not to risk spreading the fire, you can create a tree torch.

An Audible signal

You can also make audible signals. These should always follow the rule of threes. It could be three blows of a whistle or three shots of a gun. Leave a few seconds between each signal so that listeners know that it is, in fact, a signal and have time to listen.

A Visual signal

Visible signals are also an excellent choice. Ensure any visual signals laid out on the ground are at least 10-feet long so that it’s easily visible from the sky. Arrows are a great idea to show the direction that you are moving in.

Another visual signal is to use light. If you have a flashlight, signal SOS in morse code (three short flashes, three long flashes, and three more short flashes). If your first aid kit came with a mirror, you could use this to signal to a plane that you may see flying overhead. Otherwise, an old CD or similar reflective object can also work. You need to perfect the art of reflecting the light at the plane, so check out this video on how to do it:

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Getting found: rescue communication

The right signals can be tremendously effective and visible for miles and miles.

Once you’ve tried making signals, take a look at our next chapter on survival knots. Three knots will serve you in almost any survival situation.

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