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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:02 pm
by nomadcelt


Locating yourself, allowing others to locate you

While preparing for these posts, I quickly found this link: ... ignals.htm,

They show the internationally recognised Ground to Air symbols and distress signals.

Luckily for us, the UK is so densely populated that locating yourself is never difficult. If a plane crashed within the confines of the UK (excluding the highlands) you are no more than 60 mins walk from some form of civilisation. Locating yourself in this sort of situation is therefore easy. Locating yourself in a country such as Canada or the Russian plains is somewhat more challenging and a topic for another forum.

Once you have located yourself, you may want others to find you. Search and Rescue may or may not be available still. Failing that, you may simply want others to find you so that you are not alone.

There are many ways in which you can accomplish this:




SIGHT: The symbols shown in the link above are to be created as large as possible in as open an area as you can find, contrasting the ground that you have placed it on. You could draw them on the side of a building, trample a corn field, strip branches and cover a dark field - it's up to your imagination really.

The most common and often simplest way is to use fire. Smoke for Day, Light for Night. There are numerous ways of creating a signal fire and many ways to control it to produce as much smoke as possible or as much light as possible. Three signal fires in a large triangle is internationally recognised as a distress signal. Reflection is another key 'sight' aid. Using glass, metal, plastics, anything that will reflect light to the air. Many people will claim to use a heliograph but in a test over 300m the lid of a survival tin was seen easier than a heliograph.

The main aim with SIGHT is to produce something as large and as 'out of the ordinary' as possible, indicating direction if you can.

SOUND: 6 long whistle blasts followed by a 1 min pause, repeated. The answer you are looking for is 3 short blasts, telling you that someone has heard your blasts. Do NOT stop blowing your whistle until you have established visual contact! Failing the use of a whistle, banging metal objects together to the same 'beat' as above.

Again, with SOUND, the aim is to produce out of the ordinary sounds as loud as possible

SMELL: Burning rubber, plastics, foam - anything that produces an 'out of the ordinary' smell. Clearly, you need to take in to account of wind direction and the fact that what you are burning could be toxic! This is not the tactic of choice but if you are trying to be rescued, it's only your imagination that's stopping you being found!

Of course, this is all on the assumption that you WANT to be found!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:26 pm
by tracy

So, if you are going to be alone in your woodland, always have a whistle and a lighter in your pocket!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:29 pm
by nomadcelt

If only lighting a fire were that easy ;)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:05 pm
by tracy

Ok, and some silver birch bark.... !

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 2:19 pm
by nomadcelt

In the rain?

PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:16 pm
by tracy

Keep it dry in your pocket!

Are you suggesting we carry petrol?

What do we need to carry to make fire then? lol

Re: Principles of Survival - Part 1

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:28 am
by bowji-john
If genuinely interested and I'm not teaching granny to suck eggs - I have a series of articles which together form the basis of the 'Bushmans' course I run. Happy to post them here



Re: Principles of Survival - Part 1

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:20 pm
by The Barrowers
Hello Yes please