Techniques for Being Rescued

When Stranded in the Wilderness

Finding Signaling Space

When looking for a place to signal, find somewhere where you are visible from very far distant places. You are looking for places with very open characteristics. Here are some good ideas for places to signal:

  • Flat, open land
  • Not many trees nearby
  • Somewhere high up (a hill or plateau)
  • Somewhere visible from the air (in sight of airplanes or helicopters)
  • Somewhere where fire can easily be put out.
  • A place where there is no risk of starting a forrest fire.
  • Somewhere in sight of a large water source. (ocean or lake)

Starting to Signal

After finding the best location you can, look around at your recources. If you are in the sand, your best luck would be to dig out something in the sand. If you are in a grassy area, carrying logs and forming distress signals would be the best way for you to attract someone.

Here are the most important things to remember when beginning your signaling:

  • Red is the international color for distress or help.
  • SOS is also a commonly used abbreviatoin for stranded or helpless people.
  • Three triangles repeated next to eachother is another international sign of helplessness.
  • CQD is another distress abbreviation that was used more typically when ships were sinking, and they were telegraming other ships for help. This could also be used as another sign to flag people down.

Those are the the three things that are most likely to get you help right away. If you are on a beach, try digging holes in the sand writing out SOS, it stands for Save Our Souls. If your area is more grassy and forresty, carrying logs and spelling out SOS, or CQD would be an alternative idea. If you have any red, orange or bright colored clothing or material, make sure that it is layed out along with the sign you make. This way if someone in the water is looking on patrol, or helicopters are flying by, the color could catch their eye.


Fire Signaling

Fire signaling is one of the most effective ways of signaling, but also one of the most dangerous. Fire is best used to signal at night because of the flames. During the day if there is a big fire, smoke signals will attract attention to you. This is where your land that you choose becomes very important. Make sure there are no trees nearby, and a water source somewhat near you. If something were to catch on fire, your whole area could burn down, along with you burning as well. When building your fire, add live vegitation, grasses, and provide lots of oxygen to build smoke. Dry leaves will also create a musty smoke that will carry above you.