EDC

Survival Whistle: The One Piece of Survival Gear You Need to Carry

survival whistle

The Titanic?!?  For some reason, the scene at the end when Rose is floating on the wooden board and hears the rescuers but can’t yell, reminds me of whistles.  Probably because that was the only way she got the rescuers attention!  It was a smart move and one that saved her life.  Yeah, I know it is a movie, but it’s a good illustration of how important it is to have a simple piece of gear like a whistle!

Like many of us know, emergencies can happen at any time and in any place, and it is important to be prepared for them. Whether it is a natural disaster, a medical emergency, or a dangerous situation, having the right tools on hand can make all the difference. The one piece of “inexpensive” gear that is often overlooked is a whistle.

History of Whistles

Whistles have been used for thousands of years for various purposes. The ancient Greeks used them during their Olympic games to signal the start and end of events. In the Middle Ages, whistles were used by shepherds to communicate with their dogs. Whistles were also used on ships as a means of communication between crew members.

In more recent times, whistles have been used in emergency situations. During World War I, soldiers used whistles to signal for help when they were trapped in trenches or injured on the battlefield. Whistles were also used by air raid wardens during World War II to alert people to take cover during bombing raids.

Today, whistles are still used by hikers, campers, and anyone else who is smart enough to carry a whistle and finds themselves in an emergency situation.

Benefits of Carrying a Whistle

Carrying a whistle can provide several benefits for personal safety. One of the main benefits is that it can attract attention in an emergency situation. If you are lost or injured in the wilderness or trapped in a building after a disaster, blowing a whistle can help rescuers locate you more quickly than if you were shouting for help.  It also takes less energy to blow into a whistle than to keep shouting for help over and over again.

Another benefit of carrying a whistle is that it can potentially save lives. In situations where time is of the essence, such as when someone is drowning or having a heart attack, blowing a whistle can alert others to the situation and prompt them to take action.

Different Types of Whistles

There are several different types of whistles available, each with its own pros and cons. Pealess whistles are popular because they do not have a pea inside that can get stuck or clogged with dirt or debris. Electronic whistles are also available, which produce a loud, high-pitched sound without the need for blowing.

However, some people prefer traditional whistles with peas because they produce a distinct sound that can be heard from farther away. It is important to consider the environment in which you will be using the whistle when choosing which type to purchase.

But if you find yourself without a whistle, and you can find yourself a soda can and a pair of scissors or even your knife, you can make this survival whistle.

But you also need to watch the video below on how you can make a traditional willow whistle, just with your bushcraft knife.  This would be a great project to do and it wouldn’t take too long.

How to Use a Whistle in an Emergency

Using a whistle in an emergency situation is simple, just blow.  But there are some ways that you can use a whistle that many recognize as emergency signals.

For example, blowing three short blasts is a universally recognized signal for distress. Someone in an emergency situation could blow three short blasts in succession to indicate that they need help.

Blowing one long blast can help to pinpoint your location and signal your location to rescuers.

Going back to the reference from the Titanic, blowing short bursts can be used to attract attention, particularly in noisy or windy conditions.  This is what Rose did in the end scene. “Jack, I’ll never let go…but I have to blow a whistle now in short bursts.”

Lastly, you can use a whistle to blow a distress signal. This would include blowing the universal signal for SOS, three short, three long, three short blasts.

When you use a whistle in an emergency situation where you are hoping someone comes to your rescue, you should blow and then wait to hear if there is any response.  This will help conserve your energy and listen for any communication from rescuers if they are near.  

Tips for Choosing the Right Whistle

When choosing a whistle, there are several factors to consider. The volume of the whistle is important, as you want it to be loud enough to attract attention but not so loud that it hurts your ears. The durability of the whistle is also important, as you want it to be able to withstand rough handling and exposure to the elements.

It is also important to consider personal preferences when choosing a whistle. Some people prefer pealess whistles because they are easier to clean and maintain, while others prefer traditional whistles with peas because they produce a distinct sound.

You can find some whistles on Amazon that claim that they are super loud like the Hyperwhistle and the Storm Safety Whistle.  Some are sold as survival whistles like the Tacray Survival Whistle.  My personal favorite is the traditional whistle your gym teacher might have used.

Preparedness Application

Incorporating a survival whistle into your preps is a simple thing that would pay-off big time in an emergency. What should you do about it?

  1. Decide what type of whistle would be better for you and your loved ones to carry.
  2. Purchase several whistles to place in strategic areas, your vehicle, key ring, bugout bag, purse or EDC kit.
  3. Practice using your whistle so you can gauge how much to blow into it to get the loudness you are looking for.

Conclusion: Don’t Leave Home Without It

Carrying a whistle is a simple but effective way to increase your chances of survival in an emergency situation. Whether you are hiking in the wilderness or living in an area prone to natural disasters, having a whistle on hand can help rescuers locate you more quickly and potentially save your life. It is a commonsense preparedness move that everyone should make!

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