Getting found: reflectivity & lights

Posted by: TeacherRO

Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/05/17 07:36 PM

If you want to be seen or found, I like some reflective tape or stickers on your gear. I've also added a tiny strobe to my wilderness kit ( actually just a flasher from a dog collar.)
Posted by: Doug_Ritter

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/05/17 08:12 PM

Originally Posted By: TeacherRO
If you want to be seen or found, I like some reflective tape or stickers on your gear. I've also added a tiny strobe to my wilderness kit ( actually just a flasher from a dog collar.)


Just to be clear, what you want is **retro-reflective** tape.
Posted by: Tjin

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/05/17 08:26 PM

I have it on most of my gear, not only to find it back, but also to identify it's mine. Some gear are just too common...
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/06/17 02:11 AM

I'm a big fan of strobes for when one needs to be found, both dedicated and strobe modes on EDC flashlights.
Posted by: Tirec

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/07/17 09:13 PM

I used to be in the Civil Air Patrol. A large piece of blaze (hunter) orange fabric that can be tied up in a tree or worn on a pack is GREAT for being spotted. Having a blaze orange poncho or reversible jacket/hat is also great. A signal mirror (glass based, not metal) can really get the attention of an aircrew looking for you.

I now carry an orange hunting vest and handkerchief in my survival kit at all times. I also include an 18x18" flag that has been hemmed so I can run parachute cord thru it to tie on me, my shelter, car, rifle barrel, etc.

When you're searching for someone or something, things that stand out from the surrounding foliage are what we're looking for. If there's sparkling snow, rocks, etc the strobe would be easily overlooked. Most air crews are pulled back to their airport as dusk approaches, so the strobe would be of little use for them. If you had it on a pole, so it could be seen from all directions, ground crews might be able to see it.

If you've been hunting at dawn & dusk, you know that blaze orange really stands out.
Posted by: KenK

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/07/17 11:02 PM

The first time I became interested in this whole surviving in the outdoors thing was when I talked with a search & rescue crew that was running a booth at the local county fair. His recommendations were almost dead nuts what Doug Ritter's Survival for Kids link describes.

Ever since then I've been a proponent for small lightweight essentials kits like Doug's PSP supplemented with shelter, a knife (for all but small children), a first aid kit (sized for the person), and a small light of some kind. I'm just not into big heavy kits or big heavy knives.

My choice for a cheap lightweight multipurpose shelter is a pair of bright orange 55 gallon trash bags for adults (I'm big, so I need a big bag), and smaller 30-something gallon trash bags for kids. In addition to providing shelter the second trash bag can be cut open for a larger signal and can be used as a ground sheet. In an emergency it can even be used to pack out trash!!
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/08/17 12:19 AM

I have spent a lot of time searching for victims wearing faded blue jeans, tan T shirts, and brown ball caps. They are practically invisible in brush and timber, especially if immobile.

One of the clothing items I ever had was a down jacket that was loden green on one side, and blaze orange on the other - perfect!!
Posted by: AKSAR

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/08/17 12:23 AM

Tirec is spot on!
Posted by: Treeseeker

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/08/17 06:56 PM

Or get a space blanket, orange on one side, silver on the other. Good for a signal, blanket, or tent. They come in heavy-duty with grommets, or super light that will fit in a pocket.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/08/17 08:57 PM

A signal mirror is fantastic during the day. A fire is great at night - if conditions are right. A fire a good bit smaller than the current Thomas fire is preferable.

The strobe function on many current flashlights should work pretty well, although I have no direct personal experience.
Posted by: Herman30

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/09/17 09:38 AM

A bright yellow reflective vest should do just fine as I see it. I happen to have one and have used it when bicycling on rural roads.

Posted by: hikermor

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/09/17 07:18 PM

Quite agree about bright colors when cycling. For me, a yellow or orange jersey is de rigeur when on the road. The same goes for pedestrians, especially at night.
Posted by: Herman30

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 12/10/17 08:02 AM

I was thinking about the yellow vest in the context of being seen in a emergency situation in the wild. Usually I wear dark or camo clothing in the bushes. The yellow reflective vest I have folds down to a small package that fits in a pocket. Meaning it is easy to take along and having available when needed to be seen. And bright yellow should be even more effective than orange.
Posted by: TeacherRO

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 01/09/18 09:12 PM

and strobes are now very small - 1" by 1/2"
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Getting found: reflectivity & lights - 01/09/18 10:08 PM

For that matter, a good many contemporary flashlights have a strobe function (not always that accessible).