By: Blonde Two

I fancy myself as a bit of a whistler and quite like the idea of joining a whistling choir. Whistling for fun is one thing (and very difficult to do when you are laughing) but did you know that carrying a whistle and knowing the right distress signal could one day save your life? If you find yourself with an outdoor emergency and need to summon help, there is an established international distress signal for whistles (this also applies to torches). Six blasts of a whistle, with a minute’s gap between each set, will let people know that you require assistance. The answering whistle will be three blasts but don’t stop whistling until your rescuers have reached you. You might know where they are but they might not yet have located you. The same instructions apply to a torch signal at night but, if you are being searched for by rescue helicopter, don’t be tempted to shine the torch at the helicopter itself as night vision equipment will be in use. Here are a few emergency signal suggestions that will help you to stay safer outdoors.

  • Carry a whistle, know exactly where it is and that you will be able to reach it in an emergency
  • Carry a torch, know exactly where it is and that you will be able to reach it in an emergency
  • Explore your rucksack and find out where the emergency buckle whistle is (most quality backpacks like my Lowe Alpine rucksacks have them)
  • Carry spare batteries for your torch (and preferably a spare torch)
  • Teach your family the international distress signals and how to use them

Have fun, stay safe, and give a little whistle!