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Emergency Whistles

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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby longri » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:54 am

Fly Guy Dave wrote:
longri wrote:That's hardly the best example. At one point she could hear their voices but they couldn't hear her whistle.


Did you follow the link? The searchers didn't hear it at first, but they did later, so I beg to differ.
And yes, I carry a small mirror as well.


Yes, I read it straight off the page that was linked. She could hear distant voices but they couldn't hear her whistle. It wasn't until the next day that they heard it. So exactly how good is a whistle that is less audible than distant voices?



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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby Jimr » Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:25 am

I have an old Scubapro whistle. I should probably carry it. It's ear piercingly loud. Sound sucks at carrying over water as well as through forest and canyon.

Oh, and I carry earplugs. I call them index fingers :unibrow:
What?!
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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby maverick » Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:32 am

Sound sucks at carrying over water as well as through forest and canyon.


and windy conditions.
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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby whatmeworry » Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:46 am

longri wrote:No whistle for me. I had one of those orange whistle/buckle things on my sternum strap. But I don't like sternum straps so I removed it.

I played a part in a rescue that was initiated when I heard someone blowing their whistle. Would we have heard them screaming help instead? I'll never know since they had that whistle.


As a nearly 20 year member of a SAR team I directly participated in 2 searches where the sound of the whistle led directly to us finding the missing party. I can also confirm instances where a whistle can be heard but voices can't. Searchers often shout or call out along with blowing a whistle to elicit a response. Other search teams may hear the sounds and confirm via radio that it is another search team. Many times we will hear the whistle but not the shout even when both are done from the same location. This is particularly true if there is background noise such as running water. Whistles work.

Mirrors too. The shiny foil inner side of a Power Bar wrapper was even used to catch the eye of a searcher on Mt San Jacinto.
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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby Brien » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:43 am

I carry a JetScream whistle. Super loud and weights virtually nothing.
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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby maverick » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:51 am

Hi Whatmeworry,

Welcome to HST! Thank you for professional input on this subject, and the many years of service. :thumbsup:
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby dave54 » Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:16 am

longri wrote:...Do any of you carry a signaling mirror?


Yes, I do. Use it periodically, to signal someone. Most recently, a fishing buddy who was upstream quite a ways.
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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby Tom_H » Sat Sep 05, 2015 1:30 pm

I used to, but as I got older and needed to reduce weight, I took one only if I thought possible bear or white out conditions warranted it. Finally I got to a minimalist frame of mind and eliminated it.
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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby freestone » Sat Sep 05, 2015 2:25 pm

A simple black whistle with the pea in it from my soccer ref days. I stow it in a small ditty bag with other small personal items, that I throw into my daypack when wandering or fishing. In the digital age, I angst more when I forget the Spot.
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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:34 am

Yes, Fox 40 whistle and a signal mirror. Yes, both have been used to signal that knothead trail runner before he could disappear into the distance... diferent knotheads, different trips.

Whistles can be blown on forever - yelling for two hours, you lose your voice. In some conditions, you can't hear either until you're almost on top of the person. If I were stuck in a canyon with two broken legs I'd want a whistle, some fire starting materials, a PLB, and water. If the helicopter can't land right next to me the PLB isn't the only thing I'd need. Being holed up under tree cover means you're going to have to have something to signal rescuers as they come closer. Thinking that the GPS coordinate will be accurate down to the meter isn't a mistake I'll be making.
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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby SSSdave » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:15 pm

Have been a resort powder skiing enthusiast for decades and leave an orange Storm safety whistle in my parka shells of the year in the little zip pocket that is at the top of most such ski jackets. Biggest danger with skiing fresh powder is getting stuck in a tree well and have personal experience getting so stuck. And then have always had a second same model whistle in my photo day pack. Oddly on my last trip this summer, could not find either whistle in my considerable piles of gear at my residence so this thread is a useful reminder for ordering a couple more. A large collection of whistles are being offered at amazon so just ordered a couple, frog green and orange or $6.67 each and free shipping no tax.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... ty+whistle

If any of the 2 I can't find show up, will give them away to relatives. Everyone ought carry one as sound from them indeed travels a long way as well as a little mirror and at least a small emergency flashlight. If someone in a group in the backcountry gets lost and members can't locate them during daylight hours, a strategy is to climb up to a nearby high point that can look down on area terrain then listen for whistles or light from a distant flashlight while of course blowing the whistle to get someone's attention that may have otherwise at night be huddled down beneath a whitebark pine or other insulating spot. In other words simply climbing up to some high point and yelling and shining a group's headlamps all over may not be enough to get notice of a lost person while a whistle's sound goes further. And that is especially true at night when the cold ground causes sound waves to bend towards the ground and thus travel further versus warm day hours when sound bends upward and is quickly attenuated at distance. So if someone in a group ever gets lost have a plan to try and locating them at night because per above there are advantages.

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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby whatmeworry » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:47 pm

Many SAR teams provide preventative SAR (PSAR) programs like Hug A Tree and similar programs to school, church, scout, etc groups. We often hand out whistles on a small loop of 3mm cord. The kids loved learning how to use the whistle in an emergency. I've seen those whistles on school backpacks 2 & 3 years after a program.
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