|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – October 2008
How did you get here? How can you get out? Staying found starts at home.
9. Getting Rescued
WRONG: Stay hidden in dense foliage and don't signal.
RIGHT: Find an open spot and make yourself obvious: Lay bright clothing on the ground and build a smoky fire using green branches and leaves. Blow your whistle and signal your location with a mirror or another reflective surface, like a watch face, stove windscreen, compass mirror, GPS screen, or headlamp.
How to use a signal mirror
Grasp the mirror by its edges (1). Holding it near your face, aim the glass toward the sun while looking through the sighting hole. Move the mirror until you see a glowing ball ("fireball") on the reflective mesh on the mirror's back (2). Find your target in the sighting hole while keeping track of the fireball. Adjust the mirror until the fireball appears on top of your target (3). Tilt mirror slightly to flash (4).
How to signal with any reflective object
Hold the reflective surface near your face with one hand. Stretch your other arm (the "sighting arm") toward your target. Aim the reflection onto your outstretched hand. Move your sighting arm and the reflective surface together to focus the rays on your target.