In most survival situations the need to be rescued
is great. Knowing how to get help, and how to signal
can save your life. With modern equipment like cell
phones, and GPS beckons your chances of being found
are far better than 20 years ago. If you do not have
the ability to call for help, the next best thing is
A passing plan or ship will have a difficult time seeing
you from afar. To increase your chances of being seen
it is best to use multiple methods.
Anything that stands out from your surroundings will
help you to be seen.
You can use natural, or man-made materials to sign
for help. Anything that stands out in contrast with
your surroundings will help. You can write messages
in soil; examples would be SOS, HELP, X. SOS is the
international distress code; anything in threes. X is
a signal that means “Require Medical Attention”.
Fire (at night): Make
three large fires in a straight line, this is an international
signal for help.
Smoke (daylight): Using damp leaves, green leaves, and
moss can help produce smoke. Use a wet cloth to make
alternating columns of smoke (in 3’s).
Sun: You can use shinny metal to signal;
hanging metal that can be moved in the wind, and hung
from trees may catch attention when you are not able
to signal in time.
Using a signaling mirror on a sunny day is one of the
best ways to signal to passing ships, and aircrafts.
Using a skinny piece of metal, mirror, CD, etc.; hold
out your hand forming a V with the target in sight.
- Point your beam of light on your hand just bellow
- Move the light up to the point of the target.
- Remove your hand, and move the mirror back and forth
to get attention.
- You can also signal in 3’s for SOS.
Finding Your Way
If you know were you are, and what direction to travel,
you can find direction using the following methods.
This method will work for the sun, and a full moon.
- Put a short straight stick into the ground angled
towards the sun until there is no shadow cast on the
- Wait until there is a shadow at leased 6 inched
- The shadow will be pointing east from the stick.
- Locate the Big Dipper, then the North Star.
- Put a straight stick about 2 feet long into the
ground (keep the stick plum).
- Put a smaller stick into the ground lining it up
with the North Star utill the star can be sighted
over both sticks (keep the stick plum).
- Draw a line between both stick.
- The large stick will be north, and the smaller stick
will be south.