Signaling for Help – How to Do it and Still Be Effective

smoke flare signaling for help

Signalling when you are really lost is one way of making sure those searching for you are able to locate your position and formulate a plan to get to you and get you to safety.

Here are some general tips if you find yourself in that plight.

Try an open field, lakeshore, or hilltop. The area must have high visibility for good results.

Indicate your distress by using the S.O.S. signal. This is internationally known to mean someone is in trouble and needs help. Signal this to others by creating three short signals, followed by three long signals, then three short signals.

Signal for help during the day with mirrors or by using rocks and logs. Make the area visible by air and by ground. Spell out the word Help, for instance in a clearing with logs.

The search crew will be looking near the planned route for you. This is why it is important to stay near the planned area whenever possible.

By night, your fire may be visible. Use a strobe light or flashlight to signal for help. If the three short and long signals are difficult, try signaling the same thing three times in a row.

Repeat this step.

Make three fires in a row or triangle shape. This is another international signal for help. The smoke from the fire is visible for miles during the day and highly visible by night.

Being aware of distress signals and knowing how to use flares or mirrors can send help in your direction when you need it. Practice these outdoor survival skills before an emergency arrives to allow the best results in the event of a survival situation.

The key to alerting those looking for you if you are lost is to set up a beacon that is easily seen and recognizable.

You should have signaling and fire making materials in your portable survival kit for just this purpose.

To learn more about signalling for help in the wilderness, check out Survival Times.