A signal mirror should be an essential part of any survival kit. One of the five essentials for outdoor survival is a signalling device.
Survival experts worldwide agree that anyone who engages in any remote outdoor activity should carry a signal mirror and a whistle.
U.S. military survival training experts rate the signal mirror second only to the radio or telephone for seeking help. Every military survival kit is required to include a signal mirror, and all personnel are trained to use one.
Unfortunately, the majority of the general public possesses only limited understanding of the value of a signal mirror and its ability to save their life.
Three men stranded on a frozen pinnacle of ice were rescued after a passing ship noticed a flash on the distant horizon - a flash from a signal mirror hanging from an unconscious man's neck. This story demonstrates that you should never underestimate the value of a signalling device.
With a flash that can be seen for up to 100 miles, the signal mirror has been called the most underrated tool in a survival kit.
Making your own Signal Mirror
If you make up your own emergency survival kit and store it in a 2 oz tobacco tin, you can polish the inside of the lid of the tin to make it reflective. There are many Combat Survival Kits available that are contained in a similar type of tin, so you could use the lid of one of these.
Of course, this would not be good enough to use as a mirror for shaving, inserting contact lenses, or applying makeup or camouflage. The Web-tex Combat Survival Kit is in a plastic box with a mirror in the lid.
Long Distance Visibility
Signal flashes can and may be seen even when you cannot see the aircraft, boat, or other means of rescue. So when signalling and no specific targets are in sight, be sure to continually sweep the horizon to maximize your chances of being seen.
At night, flashlights, headlights, and moonlight can produce effective signals with a signal mirror.
You can also use a signal mirror as a silent communications tool to signal an outdoor companion, or for looking around corners or into tight spaces.
Use it for emergency signalling to send a pinpoint flash to a rescue plane, helicopter, vehicle, or distant search party.
Remember, one of the five essentials for outdoor survival is a signalling device, and U.S. military survival training experts rate the signal mirror second only to the radio or telephone for seeking help.
So whatever type of signal mirror you choose, make sure you have one with you.