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How to Signal for Help Using an Emergency Whistle

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How to Signal for Help Using an Emergency Whistle

One of the most important pieces of survival gear you can bring on the trail is an emergency whistle. Of course, having a survival whistle won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use it. Discover how to signal for help using a emergency whistle so you can get assistance if you have a problem on your hike.

What Is an Emergency Whistle?

Even though you try to prepare for everything that might happen on a hike, sometimes the unexpected can occur. You might get lost. You might injure an ankle or knee and be unable to walk. Even worse, you might be injured AND lost at the same time.

While you can certainly use your voice to try to call for help, it’s only a matter of time before you strain yourself and get too tired to yell. Plus, your voice doesn’t always carry as long or as far as you think.

Related: Wildlife Safety Tips Every Hiker Needs to Know

That’s why you should always have an emergency whistle on you when you’re hiking.

Most survival whistles are bright orange so they’re easily visible. They’re also typically made of plastic so they can stand up to some wear and tear. That being said, you may also find metal emergency whistles or survival whistles in different colors.

Pea Whistle vs. Pealess Whistle

At one time, almost all whistles had a small ball inside, called a pea, that was used to create the whistling sound. However, if the pea became dirty, jammed, full of water, or frozen, the whistle wouldn’t work.

This is why almost all of the survival whistles you see today are pealess. If you know there’s a good chance your whistle could get dirty or wet, it’s important to ensure it’s a pealess whistle so it will still work if you need it.

Related: How to Stay Dry When You’re Hiking in the Rain

Where to Get an Emergency Whistle

Many hiking backpacks and other pieces of hiking gear come with a built-in emergency whistle. If your backpack doesn’t have an emergency whistle, or you want to have a backup (which is always a good idea), it’s very easy to purchase one separately.

Related: The Best Hiking Backpack for Every Type of Hiker

If you need to get a survival whistle, here are a few good options you should consider:

How to Use a Survival Whistle

Having a whistle is great. However, it’s even more important to know how to use a survival whistle. If you’re ever in trouble on a hike, here are the three important whistles you need to know:

One blast: “Where are you?”

Two blasts: “Come to me.”

Three blasts: “Emergency. I need help.”

After each whistle sequence, pause to listen for a response. Once you do hear a response, you might need to keep repeating the signal so rescuers can pinpoint your location.

Also, keep in mind that three blasts of any sound is an internationally recognized distress signal. If you find yourself in trouble and you don’t have a survival whistle or it’s not working, you can bang rocks together, hit a tree with a stick, or do anything else three times in a row to signal for help.

Related: Hiking for Beginners- All of Your Questions Answered

Signaling for Help Using a Survival Whistle

Sometimes, the unexpected can happen when you’re on a hike. That’s why you should always carry a survival whistle with you. More importantly, take time to make sure you know how to use an emergency whistle so you can signal for help if you need to.

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