If you plan to go camping or hiking in a remote area, or you are not familiar with the area, signaling for help or SOS is a skill you should know or practice before you leave you home .
The best thing for you is to have a cellular phone or a whistle, because your sim card can be traced and with a whistle you can be heard easily by others, but if you don’t have this tools with you will have to use visual signals .
Using visual signals
For best results when signaling for help, select a signal site close to your shelter with good visibility such a mountain top .
For Alpine area you may signal with SIX light, whistle, calls, puffs or whatever sign or sound every 10 SECONDS for one minute . Wait one minute and then do it again. If your message was received you have to receive a THREE signal mode response . Continue signaling until you get help .
An easy way for signaling for help is your fire, because it is easily seen at night or day, the smoke from your fire can be seen for far away.
You can build three fires in a triangle or in a straight line, with about 30m or so between the fires. Three fires are an internationally recognized distress signal.
Also a mirror can be a good signaling device in sunny days or any shiny object like a canteen cup, glasses, your belt buckle or similar you may use it for making flashes that can be seen at a great distance. For signaling to an airplane don’t direct the beam in the aircraft’s cockpit for more than a few seconds because you may blind the pilot .
SOS (Save Our Souls) is a well known international distress signal. The SOS signal can be transmitted by any method, visual or audio. The code for SOS is 3 short, 3 long and 3 short signals. Pause. Repeat the signal again ! eg. “… — … ”
You can build an SOS sign as a ground to air signal with rocks and logs, or whatever material you have available.
In the night time you can use a flashlight or a strobe light to send an SOS to an aircraft. During the day time, you can use a signal mirror.
When leaving home in the wild don’t forget a mobile phone with full battery, a compass, a map, matches, water bottle and a first aid kit .
If you see any signaling help, but you are not able to give assistance, call for help .