Emergency Ground Signals


Ground Signals



© copyright 2002 - 2012, by Gary Benton

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Here are some signals that can be made using rocks, logs, snow, or any other natural or man-made items. The key is to make them very large and, if possible, make then from north to south…so the shadows are more obvious as the sun moves.

1. Require a doctor-serious injury.

2. Require medical supplies-injury.

3. Unable to proceed-most used signal.

4. Require food and water-a simple request.

5. Indicated direction to travel-direction request.

6. Going this way-direction you are going.

7. Aircraft badly damaged.

8. Probably safe to land here- communications/statement.

9. All well-condition statement.

10. Require fuel and oil-aircraft status.

11. No-answer.

12. Yes-answer.


13. Not understood-communications.

14. Require Engineer-request.

15. Require Map-request.

16. Will attempt a take-off-statement.

Remember, make your signals large, contrast with the background, and use other signals long with these on the ground. You should also have three fires burning (have dense smoke, this easily seen from the air), use three blasts from a whistle or gunshots, if there are searchers on the ground looking for you as well as in the air.



Ground Signals


Gary Benton has over 45 years of outdoor experience in camping, hiking, fishing, and other activities. He's no armchair survival man, he's walked the walk from the arctic to the desert and all the area in between. Gary has an associates degree in Search and Rescue, Survival Operations, a B.S. in Industrial Occupational safety, and all but his thesis completed for a M.S. in Counseling Psychology.
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