Heliographs and other minimalist important survival equipment

Submitted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 22:40
ThreadID: 108013 Views:2010 Replies:9 FollowUps:7
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Hey there,

There's been a lot of talk lately of what is needed as precautionary measures to minimise stress on yourself and rescue workers.

A lot has been said about Sat phones, HF's, Epirbs - all the rest of it.

How many people carry a heliograph?




This one here I picked up recently after having losing one exactly the same about 10 years ago. It has a special aiming indicator to directly connect with your target.

Here's another tool which I have never used out in the bush but may come in handy. It was marketed as a solar cigarette lighter but can just as easily be used to ignite dry material like leaves etc...



Has anyone else got anything like these things? Simple small items that can make it easier to survive.

Cheers
Alan

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In whatever comes our way.
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 23:15

Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 23:15
Yes Allan,
I carry a small pack that contains a heliograph (not as good as yours), a modern equivalent of flint and steel and tinder, a magnifying glass, fishing hooks and line (useless for me, but it's there), emergency signal chart and a few other bits and pieces. Also a space blanket each for me and the missus, water and some high energy food. These, together with a GPS enabled EPIRP and a pocket GPS so we can backtrack if we need to after wandering are in my backpack which goes with us at all times.

FrankP

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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 00:05

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 00:05
Hi Frank,

The fishing hooks and line is a good one. I carry a signal chart as well, a very easy way to let pilots know your intentions or status.

I also have one of those emergency Bob Cooper kits bought from EO. Doesn't take up much space yet has a few handy bits and pieces.

Cheers
Alan

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 07:39

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 07:39
Hi Alan

Good post. I hope David Martin reads this post and took a GoPro clip from last years trip. We were a number of kilometre in front of them on the Cook Road and around a kilometre off the track.

I used a small mirror to signal our position and was told that even though they could not see our vehicles, they sure could see the mirror flash and our position.

If you filmed it David, could you put up a clip please.



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Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 07:51

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 07:51
Hi Al

I should have also asked, where were you able to buy you Heliograph.


Cheers



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Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 08:30

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 08:30
Any good marine chandlery will have them, most yachts carry them.

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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 09:22

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 09:22
Hi Stephen,

I'd love to see the video - I've been in an aircraft and have seen a signal from the ground they sure are visible.

I got mine from ebay - made in Japan but from USA. Choose carefully though, as there are lots of cheapies available.

Cheers
Alan

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Reply By: Robin Miller - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 10:24

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 10:24
Thats a good one Alan and I don't carry one , but to answer your question there is one simple device not mentioned above
so far and I propose a test to see who really has survival instincts in their blood.


Test ->

Check you car keys - some have 20 keys in a bunch and some have little dangling things but real mens keys look like this.






Yes its just a little compass , which one day made a great difference to us.


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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 18:03

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 18:03
Very handy device there Robin - I keep mine, a bit bigger than yours in my drivers door slot.

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Reply By: Hoyks - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 13:53

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 13:53
The cheapest heliograph is a CD/DVD.

To use it,
hold your arm out at full stretch with your thumb up so that it obscures the target

sight through the hole in the middle of the CD and aim the reflected light at your thumb.

very easy to do and you know the reflected light is going in the right direction.

As for other survival gear? Matches, a sharp knife and an imagination. Many things that you carry in a vehicle or find can have multiple uses.
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 14:04

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 14:04
Excellent, Hoyks. One CD added to the pack as of now.

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 15:43

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 15:43
We have a backpack that contains numerous bits and pieces - compass, matches wrapped in plastic, sharp knife, small first aid kit, whistle, large plastic bags (for putting over bushes/branches to get water), full water bottle. Adding a space blanket and heliograph (or CD) is a good idea.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, May 30, 2014 at 18:06

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 18:06
Hi Val,
I guess that would be a kind of grab bag. The large plastic bags are a great way to extract water. I have to get a decent knife some time.

Cheers
Alan

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Reply By: Member - Ian F (WA) - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 08:29

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 08:29
Hi Alan,
I do have one of these, also one of the earlier double sided polished stainless steel one with a central hole. I find the latter easier to use even though it may not be quite as effective. It was military issue 1966 Malaysia.
Ian
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Reply By: gbc - Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 09:46

Saturday, May 31, 2014 at 09:46
I seem to always find a use for a length of parachute cord.
My kayaking life vest is all about emergencies. It has a whistle, sea dye, heliograph, hydration pouch, cut out knife, parachute cord, 5w submersible VHF with strobe light, and generally a fist full of muesli bars and a gps. The kayak has an epirb but it doesn't fit in my vest as a plb is illegal when offshore paddling.
It goes on most holidays with me.
AnswerID: 533497

Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2014 at 08:41

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2014 at 08:41
Whistle's a good idea; saves you from getting hoarse when folk are getting close.

Strobe has a role too.

For years I used to carry 20m of cord to get between snow poles if necessary in whiteouts on the high plains - then learned that some lines have 30m spacing!
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Reply By: equinox - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2014 at 21:48

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2014 at 21:48
Cheers for all your thoughts and ideas.

I guess it great to have all these items that are all useful when the time may be required.
When the time is required though is another matter as no one expects to ever be in trouble.

Sometimes complacency sets in, and when you need this equipment - you may not have it with you. Something else to think about.

Cheers
Alan

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
"Outback Yonder"


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