Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » How do you signal without a mirror?


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D T
(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
How do you signal without a mirror? on 11/13/2006 01:47:22 MST Print View

I notice that in more than a few UL and SUL gear lists that most don't carry a signal mirror and I am curious as to how you would signal for help when the need arises. Do most just rely on a signal fire , or luck, or maybe the ability to chop down trees with your bare hands to spell out SOS? I am also curious because signal mirrors mostly work with direct sun light, so what do you do on a cloudy day? Here are the parameters:



1. Cloudy day with or without rain in a dense forest. Lows around 40 and highs around 60. On a 60 mile trip leaving a trip plan with someone.

2. You are unable to travel (or lost) but still able to preform simple tasks to survive.

3. No signal mirror, cel phone, sat phone, or personal locating beacon.

4. Excluding whistle(searchers out of ear shot), signal fire, smoke signal, or bright colored artical of clothing (usually to small to be seen), as well as LED light(usually not bright enough to be seen over one mile).

5. Still having your usual three season gear with you and none is missing or broken.

6. Your method to include the ability to signal searchers in the air as well as on the ground.



Anyone up to the challange? I look forward to reading your resonses.

Edited by dealtoyo on 11/13/2006 02:10:38 MST.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: How do you signal without a mirror? on 11/13/2006 01:56:00 MST Print View

Recently, Vlad Putin (wonder what his real name is?), suggested a mylar space blanket could be used in place of a signal mirror.

D T
(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: Re: How do you signal without a mirror? on 11/13/2006 02:02:07 MST Print View

Great tip! That's the kind of answer I'm looking for. Keep them coming.

Michele Mason
(bianchilvr) - MLife
Re: How do you signal without a mirror? on 11/13/2006 06:20:28 MST Print View

windscreen

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: How do you signal without a mirror? on 11/13/2006 10:04:21 MST Print View

My main compass has a sighting mirror too (Silva Guide 426, 1.2oz.). That way I can see who's lost :)

The old Boy Scout signal was three spread-out small smoky fires, but you excluded that.

Turn your Space Blanket into a small hot air balloon....?

Laser pointer?

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: How do you signal without a mirror? on 11/13/2006 12:24:12 MST Print View

Doesn't #1 negate the first part of #6? There's no way to establish line-of-sight visual communication between ground and plane in forest cover. A smoky fire would be the only plausable way, so how about adding that back into the mix (since you've still got your gear)?

D T
(dealtoyo) - F

Locale: Mt Hood
Re: How do you signal without a mirror? on 11/13/2006 15:03:56 MST Print View

Rick, I excluded a smoky fire because that's an obvious answer. Even in a dense forest there are natural breaks which may not be large enough to use a bright garment as a signal, but you would have a clean line of sight to the air to signal a passing plane or helicopter. As for a line of sight on the ground you may be right with the possible senario of you being in a well elevated position (not always likely). I posed this question to get an answer that is outside of the box, or perhaps to get an answer using items that you currently carry but would not normally relate to using as a signaling device.

Scott Ashdown
(waterloggedwellies) - F

Locale: United Kingdom
Re: Re: How do you signal without a mirror? on 11/13/2006 17:55:31 MST Print View

Use your guylines, spectra cord, tent poles, twigs, and tarp cover, myler blanket etc to make a kite and fly that sucker above the tree tops!!!!

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: How do you signal without a mirror? on 11/13/2006 18:35:22 MST Print View

HAM radio.

Reginald Donaldson
(worth) - MLife

Locale: Wind River Range
A few more ideas on 11/15/2006 18:02:04 MST Print View

On occasion I have had to carry an emergency handheld aircraft radio about the size of a GPS in the tundra. However, it is only good if you have a visual. We would have probably used it in conjunction with the bear banger/flare pen.

Snap light sticks can be useful.

By the way, a signal mirror can be used at night with the use of a flashlight.