Smoke Signaling Survival

Fire in daylight. It wouldn’t be so effective right since everything else would be pretty much lit by the sun? Well, not really. Now while visually, the light of a fire wouldn’t be near as half as good if it were used at night, as it wouldn’t stand out as well, the smoke a fire creates can step up to the plate and be a real eye-catcher.

This is why we’re going to teach you smoke signaling for survival situations.

Smoke signals have been around for how long – mainly used as a means of communication across long distances. For example, it useful for sending messages across, giving warnings or rallying.

For formality’s sake, we’ll have to use the international distress signal system and create three columns of smoke when of course signaling.

You can use the color of the smoke to your advantage. Dark smoke goes great against lighter backgrounds then vice-versa. Black smoke you can create when adding rubber or rags soaked in oil to your fire. You can also produce whiter smoke by smothering your fire with green leaves, moss or a bit of water.

You have to take note that smoke signals are especially effective when you make them on calmer and clearer days. Environmental elements such as high winds, snow, or rain can dissipate that smoke away. They can lessen much the visibility of your signal.

Do not worry if your smoke hangs closer to the ground when you’re in a desert-type environment. People flying overhead can still spot them on the open desert.

Smoke Signaling Survival: Smoke Grenades

While we have our more traditional way for smoke signaling – fire made and built on ground – we can also use smoke grenades for signaling. These of which are canister-type grenades with purposes for signaling, marking and or screening.

You should use smoke grenades the same way as you do so for signal fires.

It is imperative to keep them dry so that they’ll work. You might want to also take into consideration the vegetation it could light apart.

Red is the international color for distress; recognized as so. However, when you do it right, any color of smoke will do and can get the attention you want.


You might want to read our general overview for signaling survival basics.

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