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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Survival Signals - Cold Smoke

One of the most important things you will need to be able to do in a survival situation is to signal for help. Chances are you will only have a few minutes to respond to rescuers when you are lost. You will need to react quickly so that you will have a better chance of being seen and ultimately rescued. A simple way to do this is by using cold smoke!

First of all you will need a good first aid kit. Having a first aid kit handy can help in more ways than you might think. One of the items usually found in a good first aid kit is an instant cold pack. You simply squeeze it and break the inner container of water and this creates a chemical reaction that turns it cold. This makes it easy to apply a cold compress to a sprain even when you don’t have ice available. That instant cold pack also has another use in an emergency.

When the coldness decreases or stops you can still use that instant cold pack to make cold smoke for use as an emergency signal. Nothing gets someone’s attention like a little smoke. The water and chemical (ammonium nitrate crystals) inside the majority of instant cold packs can be used to make an excellent signaling device. It’s simple and easy to do!
Since neither RW, Jr. or myself had a sprained ankle, we opened a perfectly good instant cold pack from one of our first aid kits for use in this demonstration. Simply soak several sheets of newspaper, paper towels, coffee filters or any type of paper you can find in the solution of water and chemical. No water? No problem! There is sufficient water in the instant cold pack to make the solution. You can even use the bag it came in as a container. After soaking it, allow the paper to dry completely and then roll it into a tube sort of like a roman candle. Then when you hear that rescue chopper or airplane getting close, light the end and you’ve got instant smoke signal. Depending upon how much paper you had available for use, your smoke signal tube should last 3 to 5 minutes.

Got cold smoke?

Staying above the water line!


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