Survival Whistle: Loud, Obnoxious, And Absolutely Necessary


A lot of times we get hung up on what's the biggest, newest, “sexiest” gear that we can get our hands on it.

But when it comes down to it you need something that is going to work and do the job it was intended for without fail.

I wanted to take a moment and talk to you a little about a piece of equipment that is so small and inexpensive that it is forgotten about more often than not.

With school being out and summer camping season hitting full swing, it is more important now than ever to have a good whistle in your gear.

When you're stuck in the sticks and the cell phone doesn't work, the batteries on your walkie-talkie run out, and you're otherwise SOL, the only communication you have goes about as far as you can throw your voice.

With all the technology that we have available to us, a good whistle has become a relic to many a hikers gear.

But I have to tell you, in my opinion, not having a whistle in your kit is about one of the dumbest things you can do…

They are cheap, take minimal (read as no) energy to use, and massively increase the range at which you can be heard when you need to be found.

These are an absolute imperative to string around your kids necks when you take them out for a family camping trip or even just a day hike.

So many people grab those little 5 in one or 7 in one  “survival whistles” and think that they are set…

You know the ones.

They are orange, have a “fire starter” that falls off the first time you strike it.

They have a “signal mirror” not much bigger than a dime.

Maybe a compass on one end and a waterproof storage compartment inside them.

Now I'm not knocking them, because they will work if need be.

But I think something a little more dedicated is in order…


I told you they were cheap…

A lot of times this style of whistle is even given away as a freebie when you buy something, or as a hand out at trade shows.

I have found that if you take away all the bells and whistles ( no pun intended) that some of the other, more expensive options have, This flat piece of plastic blows them out of the water.

They fit just about anywhere and are extremely loud.

Do yourself a favor, get one of these, either from the link I posted above or anywhere else, and keep them on you at all times when you're out in the sticks.

One downfall with these is that many of them don't float, I would recommend hooking them to something that isn't going to sink if it falls off of you while you happen to be in the water.

And remember the universal audible for SOS is three short bursts, 3 long bursts, and 3 short bursts again.

Using a whistle will save your voice from going hoarse and could just save your life.

Read more with these related articles from our site:

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12 Responses to :
Survival Whistle: Loud, Obnoxious, And Absolutely Necessary

  1. Allan Peterson says:

    You can buy the Attwood Flat Safety Whistle at Walmart for under $2.00 – I just bought six of them…

  2. gena says:

    Ordering a couple of these as soon as I get some money on my account.

    1. gena says:

      Which should be sometime today.

  3. left Coast Chuck says:

    Not only a signaling device if you are lost or injured, it can also serve as a signaling device for a fighting situation. A whistle can be heard in a firefight a lot better than shouting. In WWI before radio/telephones, whistles were used for company level signals.

  4. Frank Zimmerman says:

    Adding foam tape to the whistle will fix the float issue. Tape made for HVAC insulation is tough and permanent. Other foam tapes are available, be sure the adhesive is permanent and water proof.

  5. joe says:

    I have on of the best whistles ever. It was on the case of a neck knife I bought for my bag. It is super loud, plus comes with a great little knife made by smith and Wesson. The big thing that sold me above all other it does float.

  6. Great Grey says:

    There are some things that could keep you from using a whistle.
    1 – a broken jaw, might keep you from getting an airtight seal
    2 – smashed lips and/or teeth, same as above.
    3 – injures to both arms that prevent you from getting the whistle to your lips.
    4 – either falling into something or having something fall on you that keeps you from being able reach the whistle and/or your lips. (Earthquake, tree, hole, etc.)
    5 – frostbite
    True these causes while rare are possible but, should not be an excuse, for not getting a whistle.

  7. Eddie says:

    They give away and sell excellent whistles at boat shops. Loud and float, some even have a string.

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