No matter how much of a professional you are, the wilderness is unpredictable and it can turn your simple hiking trip into a fight to survive.
Injuries, weather changes, wild animals or simply getting lost can end in you needing to summon help immediately.
A flashlight could mean the difference between life and death, so you need to learn how to use your torch to signal for help when times get tough.
When you are trying to signal for help, it is vital that your torch is powerful enough to be seen from a distance away, on the ground and in the air. This is why it is better to purchase a powerful LED tactical torch than a regular cheap torch that will only provide a weak beam of light. LED flashlight’s can be seen from far distances – visit the Klarus website and take a look at the range of LED tactical torches. The Klarus G20 and the Klarus XT12 GT are recommended choices.
If your backpack is spacious, it is also a great idea to bring along a LED lantern. Why? Because they are bright and offer longer battery life as well as emergency strobe settings that’ll help rescuers find you easily.
Yes, it is important not to wander off as you may get more lost, however it is a smart idea to try and find a high point or a large clearing where you can send out your signal to heighten your chances of being spotted. BUT only do this if you are not injured and you can see the location from where you are standing – never wander off without knowing where you are going!
It is tempting to leave your flashlight on in case someone happens to see it, however it is important to make sure your batteries last a long time – you don’t know how long you’re going to be searching for help! Use your torch as sparingly as you can to preserve battery life, even if your torch has long-lasting LED technology.
Signal for help in brief blasts of light by turning your flashlight on and off instead. Here’s how:
n Three flashes in a row signal that you are in need of help.
n The Morse code signal for help is: three short flashes, three long flashes and three more short flashes.
If there is a helicopter in the distance your torch can be used to signal it for help, so always keep your eyes and ears open for any lights, sounds and other signs that people might be nearby. This is why it is so important to preserve your batteries, so you can signal over help when necessary.
If you manage to signal help you may be tempted to move from your position and head towards your rescuers, however this is the worst mistake you can make! You can signal for help at your current position, so the last thing you want to do is move from that position and not be there when people arrive to help you.
Rather keep calm and wait for them to come to you instead, while signalling to help them find where you are located.
Planning on taking a hiking trip? Always remember your trusty flashlight is not just for lighting up the dark, but it can also save your life in times of need!