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Emergency Whistles

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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.

David
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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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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby Sittingbull » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:15 am

A whistle weighs almost nothing. Why not carry one? Best are the ones that are part of your buckle so you don't have to search for it if you need it.


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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby longri » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:26 am

Sittingbull wrote:A whistle weighs almost nothing. Why not carry one?

My buckle whistle and the strap it attaches to weighs 0.4oz. Slightly heavier than the car key I usually leave behind at the trailhead.

If I apply your simple rule to a few dozen other items of similar weight my pack will grow by an extra pound. So I scrutinize each thing I might want to carry and consider the risk if I were to leave it behind. On almost all trips I do in the Sierra I evaluate the risk of traveling without a whistle as vanishingly small. So I leave it.
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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby oldranger » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:42 am

When in Canada I discovered a device called a "bear banger." While I would never consider carrying one for Sierra black bears, they are another line of defense against griz in that they can be used to discourage a bear before it gets close enough to use spray. The launcher is the size of an ink pin. The projectile has a small charge that will send the projectile about 50 yards and then discharges. Got to be careful though and not launch the thing on the other side of the bear and scare it toward yourself! Directions recommend a vertical launch so that doesn't happen. The launcher is also capable of firing a small flare about 50 yards up that then ignites for 4 to 6 seconds. For those of you concerned about searchers finding you both types of projectiles could be of some value. I guess my big concern about the use of either is if there is a chance of igniting a fire.

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Re: Emergency Whistles

Postby longri » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:10 pm

Bear bangers -- interesting idea. But I'll bet they're not legal in many areas of the Sierra.

A trip to the fireworks stand in early July would be roughly equivalent. A Piccolo Pete would attract attention. But it's just one shot per device, whereas you can keep on blowing a whistle as long as you can breath.
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