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Safety whistle: an essential tool for a unique experience

We’ve found that a safety whistle is a valuable, life-saving tool across a wide range of industries, but being an essential tool for a mycologist is a new one for us. Being based in the Pacific Northwest, we are familiar with the fact that mushroom hunting becomes a common adventure for mycologists and mushroom enthusiasts from late Spring into Fall. This is due to the mild, moist climate of the Pacific Northwest. Seattle is actually “home to the Puget Sound Mycological Society (PSMS), the country’s biggest organization for mushroom enthusiasts,” according to an article in the Seattle Times written by Tantri Wija.

Kim Traverse, former PSMS president, claims that while hunting for mushrooms in the wilderness, whistles are “an essential safety tool.” This is because many mycologists have their heads down as they remain focused on their mushroom hunting, easily allowing them to get lost or separated. We truly believe there are endless scenarios where a whistle could save your life, and now we can confidently add mushroom hunting to that list! So, if you are planning your own mushroom hunting adventure, make sure you pickup a safety whistle before you venture out.

Want to get into mushroom foraging without accidentally poisoning yourself? These Northwest experts can help.

Caring about safety in your community

Most communities throughout the world have people with commonalities in both interests and behaviors. Whether it’s all cheering for the same sports team, shopping at the local grocery store, or even something as simple as greeting the same mailman each day. Why not throw in caring about the safety of the community?

Last month, some of our team attended the Construction Safety Day Expo in Puyallup, Washington. This was an event right in our backyard that focused on safety within the construction industry. There were hundreds of people there from all over the state of Washington; taking safety classes, learning about the latest safety gear, and collaborating with fellow community members about the best practices in construction safety. It was pretty amazing to see so many people caring about the safety of their teams, as well as the safety of their community as a whole.

We were honored to be a part of such a positively influential event, and inspired by the sense of true camaraderie when it came to safety. Although the focus was primarily specific to construction safety, the overall message and attitude went beyond that. We need to look out for each other as humans, and ensure we do everything in our power to make sure sure those around us are empowered when it comes to their personal safety and the safety of those they love.

One big takeaway from the Construction Safety Day Expo was that many safety tools and equipment are not necessarily needed unless there is an actual accident or emergency that requires them; however, you better hope you have one when you need one. That couldn’t be more true when it comes to safety whistles. A safety whistle is one of the cheapest insurance policies you can buy, and could truly save your life someday. It’s even an insurance policy that doesn’t limit you to just being able to protect your family. Give one to your neighbor, your coworker, the local butcher, your plumber….the list goes on.

Caring about safety in your community isn’t a requirement, yet it’s important and should not be overlooked. As a safety whistle company, we truly care about safety and we plan to continue to be involved with events in our community that promote safety like the Construction Safety Day Expo. We hope to see YOU there as well!

 

Improving workplace safety with emergency alert systems

Everyone deserves to work in a safe and protected atmosphere. No matter where you work or what you do, safety in the workplace is a critical issue that undeniably needs to be addressed.

When an emergency arises in the workplace, an instant response is warranted. Defining what a workplace emergency includes can span everything from an injured worker, to a medical crisis, to a weather-related disaster. Regardless of the predicament, every workplace needs a system in place to identify and quickly alert others that a crisis is occurring.

There is an endless list of workplaces that involve situations where employees need to be alerted, including construction sites, mines, logging forests, warehouse operations, loading docks, airports, medical centers, manufacturing plants, chemical plants, universities, and many more. On these types of work sites, employees can be spread out and sometimes even isolated from others, which can make it difficult to call attention to yourself and alert others that you need help in the event of an unforeseen incident or accident. In addition, workers can be extremely focused on their duties which may cause them to not pay attention to the occurrences around them. These working conditions evoke circumstances in which workers can easily become injured, require immediate assistance, be exposed to harmful chemicals, or become faced with a dangerous or life-threatening situation.

Creating a safe work environment

Despite having the appropriate safety guidelines and policies in place, these systems are worth nothing without employees who are educated and invested in adhering to the safety standards and precautions. To create a safe working environment, employees from all levels of the organization need to communicate and follow the safety systems in place.

To successfully create a safe working environment, companies need to foster a positive culture of safety in which employees not only receive proper training and equipment for their assigned tasks but are encouraged to identify unsafe behaviors and opportunities for improvement, prevent potential hazards, and are able to make informed safety decisions while performing daily tasks. When it comes to workplace safety, preventative measures are just as important as emergency response plans.

The use of safety signaling devices

Especially for occupations that are industrial, laborious, or involve working alone, workplace safety is a serious and ever-present concern. A safety practice that is highly effective and recommended within these work sites is the employment of safety signaling devices. Safety signaling devices help to reduce accidents and increase safety by allowing for instantaneous alerting to impending problems or danger. Devices such as safety whistles can be very effective for this application since they create a loud, piercing sound that can be heard above ambient noises, quickly communicate that someone needs help, and allow others to identify the exact location of need. They are also small and easy to carry which allows for the device to be carried on the person always, making the device easily accessible during an emergency. This is beneficial because each worker on the job site could be equipped with a life-saving emergency device.

There are a multitude of sounds present within any workplace, so it’s important to assign a noticeable sound as the emergency signal. Make sure that the sound is not similar or the same as other common sounds that are heard in that workplace. That could cause employees to overlook or ignore the sound when it goes off during an emergency, which could lead to the person in need not receiving any assistance or the employees potentially walking into a dangerous situation.

It is also crucial that all employees are trained repeatedly and are aware of the which sounds indicate warnings or emergencies. This allows for employees to know how to properly react when hearing specific sounds.

Occupations with the largest risk of workplace injuries

Workplace injuries can occur in almost any work environment, but there are some occupations that have higher risk of injuries occurring. Below are the occupations with the largest number of workplace injuries:

  • Service Industry (firefighters, police, etc.)
  • Transportation & Shipping
  • Manufacturing & Production
  • Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
  • Construction

Most of these occupations have departments within their organization that purely focus on the safety and wellness of their employees. The safety training provided within these organizations is usually extensive and can take multiple days if not weeks. It is important for employees to pay attention absorb the information they are given during their safety training to ensure they are well prepared for any situation that may occur.

Within these high-risk occupations, they are numerous emergency alert systems depending on the situation. As mentioned earlier, these safety systems are worth nothing unless the employees are fully invested and understand the importance of knowing the procedures and ensuring they are always equipped with the necessary safety gear while on the job. Most of the safety equipment provided in these high-risk occupations are for emergencies, but as our founder, Bob Cameron says, “you’d better hope you have the right equipment when you need it.”

For more information on workplace safety and how to successfully implement emergency alert systems within your organization, please visit The National Safety Council website.

Implementing a whistle defense program

As a company founded by a safety professional with experience in the fields of military, law enforcement, and search and rescue, we at Whistles for Life™ understand the importance of personal safety and the need to protect it.

Our product is a tool that is regularly used for crime prevention and self-defense, and numerous universities, police departments, hospitals, local communities, and others around the country utilize Whistles for Life™ in their campus or community safety programs.

One of the ways that our whistles are used to support safety programs or to enhance the personal safety of any community, is through the implementation of a whistle defense program. Whistle defense programs work towards creating an atmosphere for campuses and communities where people do not fear personal harm or property theft.

Therefore, we wanted to provide an outline with some key advantages and guidelines to consider when looking to start a whistle defense program within your campus, organization, or community. Access our guide by clicking the link below.

Whistle defense program guide

Additionally, if you would like to learning some important personal safety tips for walking alone at night, check out this video.

Video: 4 campus safety tips you need to know

Campus safety is something that has become increasingly important over the years.

Most college students are in a new environment where they are on their own for the first time and are now fully responsible for their own safety. Building off our previous blog on staying safe while walking alone at night, the team at Whistles for Life decided to make a video on campus safety and how to stay safe from crime. Filmed on the campus of the University of Washington, this video demonstrates four crucial tips that are recommended for every person on campus to keep out of harm’s way and to consciously place themselves in situations that are less susceptible to crime.

Many college and universities now offer more options to ensure the protection of their students, and being aware of these resources and utilizing them has great benefits. Find out if your school offers any safety escort services. For example, the University of Washington has the “Husky NightWalk” program, a service where a uniformed security guard will provide a walking escort for students and staff to nearby locations. Many campuses also now offer emergency alert notification services delivered directly to your mobile device. Make sure you sign up with your cell phone and email and get notified about emergencies on your campus. Finally, know if your campus has outdoor alert systems or outdoor emergency phones, and map out where they are located. These are incredibly useful because they will immediately draw attention to your situation and call the authorities to your location in a matter of minutes.

To learn more, watch the video below.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KcC02XQ5Hw&w=560&h=315%5D

How to choose the best safety whistle

There are many different kinds of safety whistles on the market, but how do you decide which one is best for you or your organization?

Here are some things that you should consider when buying a safety whistle:

Sound

The most important factor when selecting a whistle is sound. Whistles vary both in volume and frequency produced. It’s very important for your whistle to be able to be heard from a distance, over surrounding sounds, and be easy to blow. High quality safety whistles can produce loud, distinct sounds so that you can be heard over any loud ambient sounds in your surrounding environment including sirens of emergency vehicles and or large rushing rivers.

Consistent durability & reliability

You never know when or where an emergency situation is going to occur. Therefore, a safety whistle needs to be able to function in all conditions. You need a whistle that has been proven to consistently function and be audible in various scenarios, such as after being submerged in water or when facing high winds. Whether you’re trapped in a building due to a fire or earthquake, or fall into harsh waters while hiking, you need a whistle that won’t freeze or break and will help you effectively call for help.

The two most common materials that whistles are most often made of are plastic and metal. Here are some pros and cons for each material:

Metal whistles:

Pros:

  • Stronger and more durable than most plastic whistles (non-ABS)
  • Will not become brittle in extreme temperatures
  • Can produce a high decibel sound

Cons:

  • Will not float
  • Very conductive; will heat up in hot weather and get cold in cold weather
  • Corrode easily when exposed to salt and chlorine (i.e. pool or ocean water)
  • Hard to grip with are wet or cold hands

Plastic whistles:

Pros:

  • Will not freeze in cold conditions
  • Not as conductive as metal; doesn’t heat up/cool down in hot/cold weather
  • Will float in liquids
  • Corrosion resistant: can withstand prolonged exposure to salt and chlorine
  • Can produce a high decibel sound

Cons:

  • Can be weaker and less durable than metal
  • Plastic can become brittle in extreme conditions

 

Accessibility

The ability to quickly and easily access to your safety whistle is imperative. Not all safety whistles are equipped with a mechanism that makes them easy to carry. Bug, bulky whistles are difficult to carry, and rounded whistles do not always fit comfortably in your pockets. Ideally, you should have a whistle that can be easily attached to your clothing, keys, or backpack, or that can fit flat and comfortably in your pocket so it’s always within reach. In addition, once you have the whistle in your hands, it needs to be easy to hold whether your hands are cold, dry, wet, or gloved.

While there are many safety whistles to choose from, not all of them have the right qualities to be an effective safety tool. At Whistles for Life, our whistles produce a loud and attention-grabbing 120-decibel sound. They are consistently reliable, made of durable ABS plastic which can withstand harsh use and extreme temperatures, and are very accessible with a clip for easy fastening. Our whistles are also equipped with waffle-textured sides, making it easier to grip in any situation.

To learn more about Whistles for Life, and why our safety whistle is one of the best on the market, check out more information here.

Sound “Affects”

Have you ever shouted “Echo!” from the top of a mountain, an outlook point, or in a canyon? If you have, then you know that after a few seconds you will hear the sound you made bouncing back at you. Interestingly, there are several key factors that go into being able to hear this echo. There are many elements that influence sound, but the most common environmental factors that affect sound are the surrounding terrain and objects, wind, and temperature. At Whistles for Life, we know the importance of understanding what impacts sound because it could affect your ability to be heard in case of an emergency.

Sound is an energy that is transmitted through vibrations, and travels through longitudinal pressure waves in a material medium, such as air. The strength of sound, is measured by its intensity, denoted in decibels (dBs). For every 10dB increase, the loudness of the sound is doubled. For example, Whistles for Life’s safety whistle can reach 120dB, which by comparison means the whistle’s sound is twice as loud as the sound of a chainsaw from 3 feet away (running at 110dB). However, sound isn’t limitless like light is. Sound can only travel so far, and can be influenced by many factors, which can either help or hinder noise transmission. Whether you’re lost in the woods, walking in an unsafe part of town, or trapped in a building, knowing which factors influence sound can help you strategize your next course of action in those dire situations.

The largest impediment of sound is typically your surrounding environment. Objects will either absorb sound or reflect it in a different direction. When you find yourself in an emergency and need to signal for help, you will want to move away from objects that suppress and dampen sound, which are usually intervening objects with a large amount of surface area and acoustic absorption properties. Sound-absorbing objects typically have uneven surfaces that catch sound waves and bounce them within itself until the waves dissipate. For example, tall, thick trees and bushes will absorb sound well because branches and leaves are porous and they create a larger total surface area for the object. This is especially important to note in case you find yourself lost in a heavily wooded area, because the distance your sound will carry will be drastically shortened. On the other hand, flat, rigid surfaces such as concrete walls or sheet metal will tend to reflect sound rather than suppress it, because there are no uneven surfaces that can dissipate the sound. When you shout “Echo!” at the bottom of a canyon, your shout is echoed back because your sound waves travel unimpeded and bounce off the rock surfaces, returning the sound to you.

Imagine there was an earthquake and your building collapsed, trapping you and several people inside. You might be perfectly unharmed underneath a large oak desk, but it could take a long time for help to find you, let alone hear you, due to all of the objects and noises that separate you and the first responders. In addition to the debris trapping you inside, there could be a range of competing environmental noises such as emergency vehicle sirens and noise from generators and excavators, which can make it nearly impossible for people outside to hear you. Therefore, having an airhorn or whistle nearby can increase your chances of being heard and rescued. An easy way to implement this practice, in places such as your office, is to keep an airhorn by the fire extinguisher or tape a whistle to the bottom of your desk.

Sound can also be influenced by the wind. As mentioned earlier, air is a medium that sound can travel through. Wind, by definition, is the bulk movement of air, and it can move in different directions and speeds. Wind can carry noises farther away, prevent them from traveling as far, or even push them sideways, causing sounds to appear to come from a different location. For example, if you are at a distance from a friend on a windy beach, you might be able to hear everything he or she is saying clearly, but your friend isn’t able to hear you. Why is that? Wind travels at different velocities depending on the altitude. Wind that is lower to the ground moves at slower speeds, and this speed increases the higher it gets, which causes a “wind gradient.” This wind gradient means that sound traveling against the wind, or upwind, will be directed upwards and away from your intended target, transmitting the sound at a less effective level. While sound traveling in the same direction as the wind, or downwind, will be directed downwards and will maintain a higher level of sound. So, if you’re faced with a headwind, you might want to save your energy until the wind dies down or try shouting in a different direction. Contrarily, if you’re downwind, realize that the noise you make will be heard from a longer distance.

The last factor that affects sounds is temperature. The warmer the air temperature, the quicker sound waves will travel. The air molecules in warm air have more energy, meaning the molecules are vibrating quicker, which allows sound to travel through this medium much faster. In addition, sound that is traveling at a faster rate is less likely to be impeded or absorbed by obstacles. On the other hand, this means that sound won’t carry as far in colder temperatures. If you get lost snowshoeing, for example, be aware that your voice might not be heard as easily as it would if you were hiking in a canyon. As a result, you may want to consider bringing along additional safety tools that will help amplify your ability to call for help if necessary when partaking in activities in cooler temperatures.

If you need to grab someone’s attention and are only equipped with the sound of your own voice, you realistically would be able to reach a maximum volume of 110dB for about ten minutes. But at that level, you will quickly lose your voice. However, if you were equipped with some type of signaling device, such as a safety whistle, you could easily increase your sound level and reduce the amount of energy you exert.

At 120dB, Whistle’s for Life’s safety whistle will make your calls for attention twice as loud, for a much longer period. It is small and compact enough to carry with you at any time, and is extremely easy to use. If you can breathe, you can blow this whistle. In addition to the main chamber’s loud 120dB sound, our three-chambered whistle produces omnidirectional sounds at different frequencies through the two side chambers, giving you an even better chance of breaking through the ambient noises of your environment.

Therefore, consider bringing a signaling device with you on your next outdoor adventure, clipping one on your key-chain, or placing one in your desk at work. You never know when a situation will arise, but being prepared can increase your chances of being rescued when it does.

The founder of Whistles For Life

At the very root of Whistles for Life is a passion for rescuing people in times of crisis. This passion all started with Whistles for Life’s founder, Bob Cameron, who is the creator of the Whistles for Life safety whistle and has devoted his life to search and rescue efforts.

Bob Cameron was born and raised in western Oakland, CA. His dedication to Search and Rescue (SAR) was inspired by two big events early on in his life. When he was 14, he heard that two girls went horse riding in the mountains outside of Oakland, but when they returned, there were two horses and only one girl. Bob and his friend knew the mountains very well, as they had spent a lot of time exploring that area, so they decided to help in the search effort. After hours of searching, Bob located the missing girl. As he watched the girl being reunited with her family alongside the deputies on horseback, his excitement for SAR was sparked.

The second incident occurred when Bob was 18 while he was visiting his grandpa in Avola, BC, Canada, a heavily wooded area. One day, he was out exploring the woods and ended up getting lost for three days. Bob made his way back home by following a frozen creek until it met a larger river, and then followed the railroad tracks near the river bank until he came to his grandpa’s ranch. After spending three days and nights in the wilderness becoming frostbitten and hungry, Bob knew that he didn’t want anyone else to have to experience the same thing.

Bob enlisted in the Air Force with the Aircraft Rescue and Air Police division, where he went on countless search and body retrieval operations. He spent three years in the Air Force, and then moved to Idaho. After growing up in Oakland, he longed to live in the mountains and was inspired by a friend who had recently moved to Coeur d’Alene. This is where he decided to begin his career in SAR. He became active with SAR at his local sheriff’s office, and then spent a lot of time near the border of Idaho and Montana as a Special Deputy Sheriff. During this time, he went on hundreds of SAR operations where he reunited families, caught escaping criminals, and sometimes performed more difficult tasks such as body recoveries.

During these rescue operations, Bob and his team often had to split up. As a result, they needed a way to quickly communicate with each other from a distance. Originally, they used an industry standard whistle, but ran into a major problem: there was a bird in that area that made the same shrill sound. At times, they would hear the whistle thinking it was just a bird, while at other times, they would hear the bird thinking it was the whistle. Additionally, the whistle didn’t have a pea to break up its sound, so the high pitch frequency easily got lost in the wind.

Bob’s initial idea to solve this dilemma was to communicate by shooting a gun in the air. Two shots let others know where they were, and three shots meant the message was received. However, ammunition was expensive and depleted quickly. Therefore, Bob decided to design his own whistle that could be used by his team and other SAR professionals, and as a result, Whistles for Life was born.

The first whistle Bob designed was a two-chambered whistle, each with a pea to break up the shrill sound it made so it could be heard over wind, roaring waters, or shaking trees deep in the woods. Bob improved upon this design with his second and current whistle, which combines the benefits of his original design and competitor’s whistles. This whistle has one large chamber with a waterproof pea, and two small pea-less chambers, one on each side of the main chamber. The main chamber creates a loud staccato sound at 120 decibels (dBs), while the two secondary chambers create separate, omnidirectional high-pitched sounds.

Once he had perfected his final design, Bob and his team immediately began using the whistle. Then other SAR teams saw the whistle’s capabilities and effectiveness and began using the whistle as well. Bob’s whistle is now used by safety professionals all over the United States.

The whistle is not the only successful SAR-related product that Bob has invented. While living in Montana, Bob designed a para-foil balloon that could rise above the tree lines to identify lost victims. Following his time in Idaho and Montana, Bob moved briefly to Kirkland, WA, to help the FBI and Boeing engineers design torpedoes used in undersea warfare. His Silver Mylar balloons were implemented within the torpedoes to help identify their location when they surfaced. After this project, Bob moved to Bellingham, WA, where he worked for SAR in Whatcom County for 15 years.

Bob believes so strongly in Whistles for Life because he knows from first-hand experience that sound is the #1 factor in being found. For example, in the 1980s, he went on a rescue mission in Idaho to find a nine-year-old boy and his dog who were lost in the woods. After five days of searching through treacherous terrain, his team was ready to give up. But before they packed up to go home, Bob went to an outlook point over the river bank and shouted the boy’s name one last time. He then happened to hear the quiet reply of the boy, “I’m down here,” and they were able to save him. If that boy had been equipped with a whistle, he could’ve quickly and easily alerted the SAR team that he was in need of help and communicated his location. Aside from survival, this whistle can also be used to improve safety in a variety of situations including during natural disasters, at the workplace, or even when walking home alone at night.

With over 55 years of experience in search and rescue, Bob Cameron’s livelihood continues to revolve around his passion. Bob now lives in Bend, OR with his wife, where he is still surrounded by mountains and water, but slightly warmer temperatures. He continues to volunteer for SAR and the sheriff’s office in that area as well. With a lifetime spent finding lost victims, Bob now works on projects like Whistles for Life to give victims the best chance of being found. He knows that something as small as a whistle could be the difference between death and survival.

4 tips to stay safe while walking at night

Nearly three out of ten Americans report that they or someone in their household have fallen victim to crime according to Gallup Poll, a reputable polling agency. Although criminal activity happens during all times of the day, it tends to increase at night. As a result, here are a few things you can do to make yourself more aware of your surroundings and keep you safe while traveling at night.

  1. Walk in groups or pairs

There is safety in numbers. Walking alone at night is a common fear; according to Gallup Poll’s study, nearly 40% of Americans share this fear. It is always suggested that you walk in a group or pairs if possible, especially during nighttime. However, if you do find yourself walking alone at night, try walking close to others who are nearby so that it appears that you are walking with a group.

  1. Carry a safety device

When strolling through your college campus, having a night out on the town, or walking to your car after work, you should be equipped with a safety tool or signaling device. Potential safety devices you could carry are nonlethal defensive tools, such as pepper spray or stun guns. These weapons are intended to disarm an attacker; however, they don’t do a good job of drawing attention to the situation for help. In addition, be cautious when using a self-defense tool, as these can be taken during an assault and used against you.

Common signaling devices include safety whistles or air horns. Both items are loud which can help to startle your attacker while simultaneously allowing you to draw attention to your situation and signal for help as quickly and easily as possible. These tools should be kept in an easily accessible location so that you can get to it quickly if a situation arises.

  1. Don’t limit your sight or hearing

Ditch the ear buds and don’t have your sweatshirt hood up, as these items limit your directional awareness. Listening to music not only limits your ability to hear if someone is around you, but also limits your cognizance of oncoming traffic and wild drivers that may pose a threat to you as a pedestrian. Hooded sweatshirts can give you tunnel vision by eliminating your peripheral vision, which puts you at the disadvantage of not being able to see the potential dangers around you.

  1. Communicate with your peers

Tell others where you are going, when you are leaving, and when you plan to be back. Choose a friend or family member who is accountable and will check in with you if they do not hear from you. With today’s technology, there are various apps you can download from which people can monitor you or you can even share your location with them from your phone.

To find out more about safety devices, such as safety whistles, and how they can keep you safe and deter crime, check out our crime deterrence page.

11 essential items to include in your survival pack

Whether you’re going on an outdoor adventure or just commuting to work, every person should be equipped with a grab-and-go survival kit. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of 11 items that are essential to include when putting together your portable survival pack. These are things that can be packed into a small backpack or handbag, and will help to keep you alive in emergency situations until someone comes to your aid.

  1. Water – This is at the top of the list because it is the most essential item on the list. On average, humans can only go 72 hours without water. Pack several water bottles to ration, and then once they’re empty, you can use them to gather more water.
  2. Nonperishable food items – Bring along nutritional, no-cook foods like granola/energy bars, nuts, MRE’s (meals ready to eat), and snack foods. These are easy to pack and store, will keep you from starving, and will provide you with much-needed energy.
  3. Lighter/matches – Fire is a must to stay warm at night. It can also be used to make a signaling device with smoke. Both lighters and matches are small and lightweight items, making them easy to pack in any survival kit.
  4. Thermal blanket – The key to surviving at night is staying warm. Emergency thermal blankets or space blankets help to prevent heat loss from the body. Make sure you get a thermal blanket that is small, compact, and easy to pack. It is also extremely helpful if you get one that is reflective, as they can make for a great makeshift signaling device during the daytime.
  5. Knife/multipurpose tool – These tools are great for food preparation, gear repair, making a camp or shelter, and first aid and emergency situations.
  6. Safety whistle – Safety whistles can be used to signal to others around you that you are in need of help, and will assist search and rescue teams in locating you if you are lost. Safety whistles can be used endlessly because they are powered by your lungs and not by a battery or compressed air canister, which have finite lifespans. However, because of this fact, it’s important to use a whistle that does not take a lot of effort to blow.
  7. Flashlight (with extra batteries) – Flashlights will give you reassurance by providing you with the ability to see when you are faced with one of human’s most common fears: the dark. They also offer yet another signaling option. Pack extra batteries as well to prolong the lifespan of your flashlight.
  8. Small medical kit – Bring along a small pre-assembled first aid kit with the basics. At the very least, you should have splints and bandages for any accidents that may occur, and any personal medical essentials, such as an epinephrine pen.
  9. Compass – This may seem old school, but when your phone or GPS batteries die, a compass is the best way to determine your direction.
  10. Bath tissue – This item pretty much speaks for itself.
  11. Extra clothing – Pack extra clothing items that may come in handy such as a sweatshirt/coat (preferably water resistant) and an extra pair of socks.