2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – August 2012

Survival Lab: Vital Signs

When you’re lost or injured, you need a foolproof way to get your rescuers’ attention. Ted’s testing team tried more than 25 devices—here are their ratings of 9 top tools.

by: Ted Alvarez

PAGE 1 2 3 4
Safety Wistle (Courtesy Photo)
Safety Wistle (Courtesy Photo)
Refective Wrapper (Courtest Photo)
Refective Wrapper (Courtest Photo)
Laser Light (Courtesy Photo)
Laser Light (Courtesy Photo)

BRIGHTEST Greatland Rescue’s Laser Light ($75-$99; 2.3 oz; is a shotgun slug-size signaling bazooka. The beam sweeps a fan of light (easier to aim than a pinpoint) that caught spotters’ eyes like lightning from 7 miles away in our tests (the manufacturer claims a 20-plus-mile range).

Survival Stand-in
MULTI-USE An ordinary 35-lumen LED headlamp outperformed a flare and survival strobe—with zero extra ounces or cost. Spotters saw an SOS clearly from two miles, and the strobe lit up a tester’s position (in tree cover) from a mile. The diffuse beam blunts accuracy; go to a clearing for maximum reach. AAA-power averages 60 to 80 hours.

SURPRISE SUCCESS Brought your camera, but no light? A pop-up DSLR flash effectively signaled spotters from two miles. Triggering an SOS could be impossible, but three successive flashes followed by several minutes of darkness still signals an alert. Reserve for when rescuers are searching and you can spot them; flashing drains battery power.

PAGE 1 2 3 4

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):
Reader Rating: -


Oct 06, 2012

=== ===
moncler cl0thing $110
cheapest (TOP) N1ke A1r Max, Jordan (1-24) shoes $ 31
all style of UG~G $ 50
Nike sh0x (R4, NZ, OZ, TL1, TL2, TL3) $ 31
T-shirts (Polo, Ed Hardy, Lacoste) $ 22 $ 15Wig
Handbag (LV, Chanel, Coach, DG, ED Hardy.etc.) $ 30
Jean~s (True Religion, Ed Hardy, coogi) $ 30
Sunglasses (Di0r, Oakey, Coach, Gucci, Armaini) $ 16
hooded jersey $ 29 $ 16 A new era of belt (ED Hardy / BT) $ 15
Watch (Rolex) Scarf $ 80 $ 21
Bikini (Ed Hardy, Polo, Gucci, LV, Christian Audigier, Affliction) $ 15
monster head earphones
Accept international bank transfer, credit card,Western Union.
sale all kinds of world brand shoes, jean~s, t-shirts, bikini, beach
pants, handbags, wallets, sunglasses, belts, hats, watches etc.
=== ===

Aug 13, 2012

I use a 50 year old Boy Scout whistle which on real life tests has been heard at 1/2 mile from unsuspecting or expecting subjects.. I found a small ladies "Compact" mirror with hairbrush at Walmart which flashes as far as any other mirror. I also carry another ladies Make mirror on occasion which has two mirrors, one normal and one magnifying.. I carry Aluminum foil, A Petzel Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp with Red lens which has a strobe feature with 150 hours of blink time..and the real life saver..a Spot II unit...Which conincedentally worked in my old stomping grounds in the Laguna Mountains in eastern San Diego County for a SAR situation on the PCT a couple of years ago and the reason why I bought it since Cellphones do not work in that area to well.

Laguna Hiker
Aug 10, 2012

Nothing beats a 406 MHz PLB radio beacon. Direct connection to the SARSAT network; the only piece of dead weight that I would not consider removing from my backpack.

Aug 10, 2012

Don't forget the mirror inside your compass!

AZ Hiker
Aug 09, 2012

Read Felix! the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart (Amazon) before you hit the trail! Learn what survival items to keep in your vehicle, how to navigate your way with and without a map or compass, and how to get rescued. A fast, easy read that could save your life and will definitely make your adventure more safe and enjoyable!


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Hobby Lobby wins case
Posted On: Jul 10, 2014
Submitted By: BillBab
The Political Arena
Americas Flowers in the Attic
Posted On: Jul 10, 2014
Submitted By: BillBab

View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions