Saturday, January 24, 2015

Signal Mirror and Whistle

The signal mirror and whistle are rarely talked about or practiced with today. Probably because we are to comfortable with all our electronic goodies like cell phones and all their apps, hand held radios and GPS. The simple truth about these devices is they require battery power and if the batteries are dead or the device is dropped and disabled you're on your own.

In an emergency such as getting yourself lost or children wandering from the campsite, very common here in Florida or if your electronics just happen to be broken in the fall or the device batteries are exhausted, now what? Well, I guess it's back to the 1960's when things were non-electronic and always seemed to work. They were dirt simple like the signal whistle and signal mirror! It's a good idea t get one for every member in your group, they're cheap, and "learn how to use them"! Make a lanyard from para-cord and attach the mirror and whistle so it can be easily worn around the neck when leaving the campsite. Including a small inexpensive compass and knowing how to use it on the lanyard is also a good idea.

The Signal Mirror:
The signal mirror has two uses for me. I keep it in my backpacks first-aid kit for the times you're by yourself and you injure your face or have some small debris in your eye. With the signal mirror you can look in your own eye to find the debris and safely remove it. Without a mirror you're in a bad spot.

A signal mirror's main use is it can attract the attention of aircraft, ground searchers, or passers-by miles away. The only down side to using a signal mirror is you need sunlight and the sun for best results needs to be somewhat between you and the rescue party.

Again to be effective you need to practice using a signal mirror. The kids would love to play with the mirror flashing others and that's fine and educational for them, just be sure they understand how to use one!

The Whistle:
This item affords a chance of self-rescue if one gets separated from your group. A whistle may also be used to attract the attention of rescuers or passers-by. It requires very little effort and energy to blow, yet the sound carries great distances. All group members should be familiar with whistle distress signaling. A universally-recognized distress code is three equal blasts on the whistle, to be repeated until others hear it and respond with two blasts of recognition. Or create you groups own simple but unique distress blasts like two short and one long blasts. Make sure everyone knows the code and practices it before you need it!

Here's where I purchased the mirror and whistle combo:

For just $10.10 for the combo, it hard to not justify having one for all in your group.

Manufacturers Description:

UST JetScream Whistle:
  • 122db whistle can be heard over most natural and man made noises.
  • Pea-less.
  • Whistle will never rust or freeze up.
  • It floats.
  • Compact design fits comfortably in your pocket.
  • Short lanyard allow you to hook it to your backpack or anywhere it is easily accessible.
  • Made in the USA.

Ultimate Survival Technologies StarFlash Signal Mirror:
  • Size: 2 in. x 3 in.
  • Over 90% as reflective as glass, yet far lighter.
  • Scratch resistant coating on mirror surface.
  • StarFlash Mirrors targeting system allows you to aim your signal with pinpoint accuracy
  • Unbreakable and Floats.
 As packaged.

Mirror front side.

Mirror rear side with instructions.


  1. good advice. A small light of some kind as well. The glow from a cigarette can be seen in the desert at night a mile away!

  2. Yes Rat, there are many very small, light weight and inexpensive lights you could add. Most people have no idea just how dark a forest can be at night!