P. Edronkin

Steps to follow during a wilderness emergency (IX).

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If you just suffered an accident and you had advised someone about your itinerary, it is very likely that you will be found by search and rescue teams after your undue absence has been reported. However, even under such circumstances, rescue teams may have a hard time finding you.

To avoid such a situation, after you have initially settled on your emergency camp you should prepare emergency signals to be used in the event that youdetect the near presence of a helicopter, vessel, etc.

Some of these measures, such as mirrors, may be kept at use at all times, but others, such as fires, audible signals, etc. should be kept in reserve until the adequate moment. Don't gamble on your life just for being lazy!

You can, for example, prepare the wood, combustible and ignition devices for a couple of fires. These should be kept at the place where you intend to lit the fire, and should not be used for anything else. If you need wood for cooking, pick it elsewhere. Consider that you may have a window of a few seconds to react and lit on your signal when the moment comes.

Some signals are conventional; that is, when they are observed by others they will immediately recognize them as such. Take for example, a big inscription made with stones over a snowy field. If you write 'Help!' or 'S.O.S' any passing pilot would not only notice them, but understand your message as well.

An explorer with a revolver.
Guns make excellent survival tools. They are very
useful - among other things - for signalling.

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