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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.

SOUND
Purpose-Built
LOUDEST The Storm Safety Whistle ($6; .7 oz.; stormwhistles.com) lives up to its billing as the “world’s
loudest.” Our testing fave registered 107 decibels (comparable to a car horn) and the tone carried a third of a mile on a blustery day. Bonus: Weak puffs produce shrieks—a plus
for injured hikers.

Survival Stand-in
BEST BUY Cheap and light whistles like Fox 40’s Classic Safety ($4; .5 oz.; fox40world.com) are as loud as a power
mower up close (103 dbs) and audible up to a quarter-mile. The pea-less design works when waterlogged. Warning: Loud alerts require full lung capacity.

DIY
HANDS ON A practiced talent can easily reach the upper-90-db range with a two-fingered wolf whistle. (The record is an air-horn-like 125 dbs.) Practice it: Tuck your lips
over your teeth, insert two fingers into your mouth (angled inwards), position your tongue behind your lower teeth, and exhale sharply.

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