Compasses & Weather Tools
Compasses & Weather Tools
Compasses, Signaling, & Weather Tools
The ability to navigate an unfamiliar area, an awareness of the climate, and the ability to attract help in a worst-case scenario are all very important to survival. Every good emergency kit, survival kit, and bug out bag should include the necessary tools to get safely from point A to point B as well as get help if needed.
A compass is a priceless navigation tool that anyone travelling into the wilderness should be familiar with. A compass allows you to travel in a productive manner and avoid accidentally going in circles (sounds silly, but it is so easy to do in the wilderness).
Compasses are available in a variety of sizes and formats, some stand-alone and some as part of a multi-function tool like a knife or beacon light. A compass can also be analog (traditional) or digital. An analog compass is generally preferred as it does not require batteries and can be relied on not to malfunction. It is usually wise to carry a stand-alone compass even if you also have a multi-tool such as knife with a compass in the handle as these compasses tend to be harder to use and more prone to damage.
While almost any light, brightly colored object, or audible noise can be used as an emergency beacon, products designed for this purpose tend to work best and be most easily recognized.
Emergency signaling lights, like strobe lights, have some advantages over the other types of signals. First of all, emergency lights are automatic, meaning they continue to run, signaling for help without any effort on your part. This is important especially if you are exhausted or injured, but can also help you to multitask – signaling for help while getting a fire started, for example. All good emergency signal lights are compact and easily portable and many people choose to carry more than one spread throughout their gear. Important qualities of emergency lights are water and weather resistance, portability, run time, and power source.
Multi-tools such as the Coghlan’s 6-Function Whistle offer multiple important survival tools all in one tiny handheld multi-tool. A whistle, LED light, and signaling mirror offer multiple ways of attracting attention while a compass and other small survival tools may come in handy in any emergency or survival situation. A lanyard and/or belt clip will ensure the emergency signals remain close at hand. Bear Bells are another great, multifunctional signaling tool. Bear bells have traditionally been used to warn potentially dangerous wildlife of the presence of a human so as not to frighten them into attack mode, but these handy tools can also be used to audibly signal your presence to a rescue crew or search party.
Light sticks are great single use light tools that can be helpful and useful in a variety of situations. Light sticks have the distinct advantage of not requiring any power source. They are self-contained, self-illuminating sticks available in low or high light intensities.
Light sticks are activated simply by bending the stick, which cracks open the internal components and initiates the chemical reaction. The distinct, glowing light is easily recognizable and can attract help or aid in finding members of your party in the dark.
Because they are single use, light sticks are often used to illuminate a dark passageway, cave, tunnel or well. By tossing the light stick into the well, for example, you’ll be able to determine what lies at the bottom or just how deep it is. Light sticks can also be used for general illumination in a tent or in a sudden loss of power.
Weather tools are handy digital information centers that can keep you abreast of temperature, weather patterns, and the date and time and may even include a digital compass or alarm clock. Assessing weather patterns can help you to stay one step ahead of mother nature, keeping yourself safe from the elements and prepared for the next storm.