In recent months, I have been adding a number of small, inexpensive items to my existing cache of survival gear. I have added flashlights (Blocklite’s in particular), paracord, mini-tools, and pocket knives as well as other handy items to my stash of portable survival kits.
One item that I have purchased in bulk and stowed everywhere I can think of is a whistle. As with everything, I have my favorites including the WindStorm (nicely made in the USA) and the dirt-cheap SE 5 in 1 whistle.
My personal preference notwithstanding, today my friend Above Average Joe shares his thoughts on survival whistles. You will probably be surprised at this recommendation; I know that I was.
Incredibly Loud, Obnoxious, And Absolutely Necessary
A lot of times we get hung up on what’s the biggest, newest, “sexiest” gear that we can get our hands on it.
But when it comes down to it you need something that is going to work and do the job it was intended for without fail.
I wanted to take a moment and talk to you a little about a piece of equipment that is so small and inexpensive that it is forgotten about more often than not.
With school being out and summer camping season hitting full swing, it is more important now than ever to have a good whistle in your gear.
When you’re stuck in the sticks and the cell phone doesn’t work, the batteries on your walkie-talkie run out, and you’re otherwise SOL, the only communication you have goes about as far as you can throw your voice.
With all the technology that we have available to us, a good whistle has become a relic to many a hikers gear. But I have to tell you, in my opinion, not having a whistle in your kit is about one of the dumbest things you can do…
They are cheap, take minimal (read as no) energy to use, and massively increase the range at which you can be heard when you need to be found. These are an absolute imperative to string around your kids necks when you take them out for a family camping trip or even just a day hike.
So many people grab those little 5 in one or 7 in one “survival whistles” and think that they are set. You know the ones. They are orange, have a “fire starter” that falls off the first time you strike it. They have a “signal mirror” not much bigger than a dime. Maybe a compass on one end and a waterproof storage compartment inside them.
Now I’m not knocking them, because they will work if need be. But I think something a little more dedicated is in order.
Flat whistle – about $2.00 with free shipping!
I told you they were cheap!
A lot of times this style of whistle is even given away as a freebie when you buy something, or as a hand out at trade shows.
I have found that if you take away all the bells and whistles ( no pun intended) that some of the other, more expensive options have, this flat piece of plastic blows them out of the water.
They fit just about anywhere and are extremely loud.
Do yourself a favor, get one of these, either from the link I posted above or anywhere else, and keep them on you at all times when you’re out in the sticks.
One downfall with these is that many of them don’t float, I would recommend hooking them to something that isn’t going to sink if it falls off of you while you happen to be in the water.
And remember the universal audible for SOS is three short bursts, 3 long bursts, and 3 short bursts again.
Using a whistle will save your voice from going hoarse and could just save your life
About ‘Above Average’ Joe: I am just an average guy with a passion for learning. I am excited to share the things I learn with you but I am most interested in learning from you. Thank you, Gaye, for inviting me to share the Survival Life with your readers!
THE FINAL WORD
I have not tried one of those flat-style whistles yet but thing it might be a good idea to put one to the test. Rothco is a good brand so it will be interesting to see how it stands up against my favorite WindStorm whistle which I keep on a paracord lanyard. (I actually have two).
There are other options as well and personal preference plays a huge role in which whistle will be right for you. And so I ask, do you have a favorite?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, Gaye speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us.