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Setting Up A Survival Signal

First rule is to put your signal fire out in the open for visibility. That means hilltops or clearings in a forest where nothing, like a cliff face or trees, will disperse the smoke.

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Create a platform to raise the base of the fire off the ground so moisture does not saturate the wood. Save your absolute best combustible material for your signal fire to guarantee a quick light. When the fire is properly lit you may pile on green branches to produce thick smoke. The idea is to create 20 seconds of thick billowing smoke. An aircraft flying overhead will not stay in the area much longer.

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The second is a mirror signal. A flash from signal mirror even at night, by moonlight can be seen for miles, much farther than any flashlight. You do not need a store-bought signal mirror to be effective. Improvise with any reflective surface you have got, from rear view mirrors or headlights to a cell phone screen. Aiming the reflection is the key, and it is simple. Hold out a peace sign and place your target--be it plane or boat--between your fingers. Then flash the reflection back and forth across your fingers.

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