Make An Emergency Signal Mirror

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Anything with a highly reflective surface can be used.

Good emergency signal mirrors come with aiming devices already built in. But if you’re lost in the wilderness and don’t have one, you can still create a signal mirror. Use:

  • a standard hand mirror,
  • anything flat wrapped in aluminum foil,
  • a folded survival blanket or
  • anything with a reflective surface.

How To Use An Improvised Signal Mirror:

  • Hold your mirror in one hand and extend the other, palm up, facing target (plane, helicopter, what have you).
  • Create a “V” between your thumb and forefinger.  Sight your target between your thumb and forefinger “V”.
  • Angle the mirror so that you reflect sunlight at the base of the “V”, then angle up to the sighted target.

It’s a good idea to practice sighting with your signal device before hand. That way, when an aircraft appears you are reasonably certain of aiming correctly and quickly.

Remember These Two Signals For Help:

If you have been sighted–

  • raise both hands to signal that you need help.
  • If you are in an open area and need medical help, lie down with both arms stretched above your head.

It’s always good to have a signal mirror with you.  But things happen, and you may find yourself lost in the wilderness without one. Utilize these tips. They aren’t just helpful; they may save your life.

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