Survival Skills: How to Build a Signal Tree

It sure would be nice to have someone who could stand there all day to signal that you are in distress--especially if you are alone in the wild.

Well, that's just what a signal tree can do for us in a time of need.

Like some hideous Christmas tree gone wrong, this ugly signaling method won't seem so homely if it happens to get you rescued. Like my mother once told me when I was just a lad, "Pretty is, as pretty does."
Of course, that conversation was in reference to girls, not garbage-covered trees in a prominent location, but I think the message of that proverb still applies.

To make this festive freak show to signal for help, you'll need reflective materials and items with contrasting colors. Don't hang up camouflage ribbons. You'll want to hang up strips of material that don't match any of your surroundings, like signal tape, bird scare flash tape, strips of colorful cloth, or anything else that you can spare. Go big, and go for overkill. Things like this only work when they can be spotted over great distances.

Select reflective stuff and hang it by string or cord so that it can twist in the wind. Cut open soda cans to reveal the shiny interior. Hang a few strips from the edge of a space blanket, if you can spare the material. In short, decorate this thing like a Christmas tree for Halloween.

Just make sure you don't hang your one and only signal mirror on the treetop like a yuletide star. Keep the mirror on your person so that you can signal for help with no delay.