It’s hard for me to understand why signaling is such an under-emphasized and little practiced survival skill. Signaling is the best way to help a search party get you out of a survival scrape. In the world of survival priorities, signaling is right up there with shelter, first aid, and water.

With that in mind, here are five important pieces of signal gear that you should have on your person or in your vehicle.

Cell Phone
This everyday carry necessity can call for help in a way that no other piece of gear can. It’s amazing how far some service providers can reach, and an emergency text message could save your day. Other features like a flashlight and a digital compass are icing on the cake.

The signal whistle is an item that works day or night, and it will keep working as long as you have breath to blow it. My favorite is a Fox 40. This is a referee whistle, which comes in bright colors and generates an ear splitting 40 decibels. The Fox 40 can be found as cheap as $4 each.

Signal Flare
A signal flare is a great piece of rescue equipment, which can help out if you needed a fire while you’re out there, too. To activate it, pop the cap and strike it like a match at the flare’s end, just like a standard road flare. The Orion SAR Signal Flare/ Fire Starters will cost you about $10 for a pack of two flares. Each flare burns approximately five minutes at temperatures well over 2000 Fahrenheit.
Signal Mirror**
Ultimate Survival Technologies Starflash signal mirror is tough, compact and best of all, it features a sighting lens to help you get a bead on a distant target. These targetable and unbreakable mirrors retail for around $10. They can even help out in the medical department, with one-man tick removal and first aid on your eyes, face, and backside.
An ultra-bright flashlight such as a Surefire or one of SOG’s tactical flashlights can give you abundant light, melt the fur off a nighttime prowler, and be seen as a signal in the darkness over a mile away.

Do you have a favorite piece of signaling gear? Tell us all about it in the comment section below.