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SOS Survival Kits


There are many ways in how you can signal for help in a survival situation...


GOT A WHISTLE, HORN or GUN? Three short whistle tweets, three blasts from a horn or three shots fired from a gun and a pause means...HELP! And two short tweets. two horn blasts or two gunshot blasts back means "Hold on Buddy, I Hear Ya and I'm a Coming For You!"


GOT A MIRROR? A small pocket or vehicle mirror? A flashlight or vehicle light mirrir reflector? Some broken pieced of mirror, glass, a shiny tin can lid, aluminum foil, a CD, emergency thermal space blanket? If it’s a sunny day you can use all these items for signaling.


NOW AVAILABLE - Army Ranger Rick's 3 x Piece Folding Mirror! Yep, another new product idea from yours truly (me) and you can only find'em here on my website and no where else. Size: 1 x 2 inch and 2 X 3 inches. For more information on this signal mirror just go to My Wilderness Survival Store page.

Folding Mirror

GOT SOME FIRE? Something to ignite and start a fire with like a lighter, matches or some other type of fire starter? If you build three separate fires (100 feet or 30 meters apart) either in a perfect triangle or a straight line, internationally this means HELP! But if you can’t build them in a triangle or straight line because of the terrain, one signal fire is better than no signal fire at all. But try to build your fire(s) somewhere in an open area and as high up as possible so it can be seen better from the air and ground search parties too.


DID YOU KNOW...during daylight hours a signal fire can be seen a lot further away if you can produce the right color smoke? For example, if you’re in a green environment like a jungle or forest you should try to produce a “white smoke” which can be done by adding some green vegetation to your burnig fire. And if you’re in snow white or desert environment you should try to produce “black smoke,” which won’t be easy unless you have some type of petrol like deisel, oil, plastic or rubber tire. And here’s an example of what black and white smoke would look like from the air.


GOT A STROBE or CAMERA w/FLASH? You can use'em at night for signaling a loooong ways off. Ain't got no strobe or camera but a flint & steel fire starter? Great! If you strike the flint once every 3 seconds the bright white flash from a distance will look like a small battery operated strobe light.


GOT A CELLULAR or TWO-WAY RADIO? Never use it unless you have a good signal, keep it always turned off to conserve battery power. Turn it on only when you come to any high ground, but if there's still no signal, again keep it turned off and put it on only when you arrive at some new high ground. If there's no high ground in sight and it's all flat, try climbing the tallest tree to pick up a signal. Repeat and keep trying.


GOT SOME BRIGHT COLOR CLOTH? Though you can attach any ol’piece of clothe to a stick and wave it, but the brighter the color the more visible it is. The US military uses a 20 x 72 inch ground marker called a VS-17 signal panel. On one side it's flourescent orange and on the other side it's flourescent red/purple and it's used primarily to identify friendly ground troops & vehicles from the air. And boy can these signal panels be seen a long ways off. Though they're made of a tough fabric and weight almost 2 lbs, you can only fold'em 7 x 10 inches in width and a bit bulky to pack away. And so it’s best to pack & carry something more compact & lighter like some bright orange duct tape, property marking tape or one of my "Pocket Signal Panels."


NOW AVAILABLE: Army Ranger Rick's VS-17 Pocket Signal Panel! It's approximately 22 x 22 inches in size and weights just 30 grams/1 oz. Only $3.99 each, a small price to pay when you want to be seen, found and rescued, don't ya think? To order go to my "Store & Stuff" or my "Order Form" page.

EVER HEARD..."like trying to find a needle in a haystack." Well here’s something that will definitely help get you found and rescued whether you're lost or stranded in a desert, jungle or forest. It's called a BCB Location Marker Signal Balloon.


It was originally designed for the military and it’s primary function is for use as a visual beacon to assist helicopter pilots in locating and extracting military personnel in dense woods and jungles. The balloon gets inflated and remains afloat above a jungle canopy thus creating a fixed radar signature. Cost? $500.00.

Detail Description;

136 litre radar reflective balloon,
75m (250ft) tether line,
Flow regulated valve,
Non-flammable / non-toxic helium gas,
Length: 35.1cm (13.5")
Max diameter: 8.06cm (3.1")
Max operation time: 120 hours,
Weight: 1.6 Kg (3.5lb)

Ballons 2

Can't afford to buy one of these? Well neither can I and so that's why I came up with this next idea after some boy scouts got lost in the woods and made national headlines.

KiteKite 2

SIGNAL KITE - Now think about it, if you were in a remote desert, jungle or forest and you saw one of these flying in the sky what’s the first thing you would say to yourself? Like me you would probably say “..who in the hell would be flying a freakin kite way out here?" Get my drift, so to speak? Yep, I’ll bet you do, and I'll bet that’s what you would say too, wouldn't you? Makes finding a needle in a haystack a lot easier to find, don't it? You can also make these signal kites out of those pocket aluminum thermal space blanket too. Which if the sun's out it'll be seen a hellova lot further away than a regular old kite due to the reflection of the sun bouncing off of it like a giant signal mirror in the sky. And if you don't know how to make a simple kite, no problem, just google “how to make a kite” and dozen websites will pop up.

Signal Kit

NOTE: For easy packing & storing don't use the plastic or wooden sticks that come with a store purchased kite, they're too long, you won't be able to pack'em tightly with your kite. But instead replace them with those grocery store "BBQ Shish-Kabob" or "Bamboo Cooking Skewer" sticks, they're thinner, lighter and stronger too. Along with a few plastic "cut up" Burger King or McDonald "drinking straws" so you can cut the shish-kabob or skewer sticks in thirds or half and then you can attach the sticks back together again with these cut up drinking straws to the length you need them for your kite. Check out the photos below.

Kite 1 Kite 2 Kite 3
Kit 4 Kit 5 Kit 6

Kit Flying

Now it’s entirely up to you if you want to write SOS or HELP on your kite, obviously if your kite is flown way too high up in the air no one is going to be able to read what it says on it. But should it come crashing down and lands in some trees and you can't get it down, someone from the air or on the ground just might see it and it could still lead to your rescue. But make sure you use a magic marker and NO SPRAY PAINT or it will add too much weight to your kite and it won’t fly. IMPORTANT: Make sure you test fly your kit before packing it away, don't assume it will fly without testing it first or you just might be carrying “dead weight.” Get it? Another one of my favorite sites in "how-to-make-a-kite" is www.instructables.com, they show you how to make a kite from an inexpensive grocery store paper bag, COOL!

UFO Solar


And here's something else you can fly in the sky to get someone’s attention, it's called a “Solar Hot Air Balloon.” You can make’em yourself or buy’em online. To learn more about them, how to make’em, fly’em, where to buy'em, etc. Just google “solar hot air balloon” and dozens of websites will pop up. Here are just a few…






Don't have any of these items with you? Aaaaah, too bad. But don’t worry you’re not screwed yet. What you can do to get a low flying aircraft/pilot's attention is to use the letters S O S or H E L P. How? By constructing these letters out of some rocks, logs, tree branches, stomped down weeds, snow or sketched out in the sand. Preferably in a open areas or along a water shore, the bigger the letters the easier they will be seen from the air.Not enough room for all these letters? No problem, a large "X" is better than no letters at all and will still get a pilot’s attention and indicate someone down below might be needing some help.

When "lost" or "stranded" should you decide to try to find your way out or home, always leave some type of markings along your route of travel. Why? So in the event someone finally does realizes you're missing and or someone comes across your markings, they will know which way you're going. Or should you have to back track, it will be easier to find your last known position. Make sense? You betcha! And so here are some common sense and easy-to-remember rock, stick and weed markings.

Bent Branches
"Go this way" or "I went this way"
Break branches in between all these markings
Never use this, it could mean any direction
Signs 2
Signs 3
"Turn right" or "I went this way / right"
"Stop" or "Don't go here" or "Not this way"
"Turn left" or "I went this way / left"


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