Mountain SOS Signals

Updated: Dec 26, 2020


SOS The United Kingdom and European Alps


Principle of SIX - SOS signals

Six signals within 1 minute, pause for 1 minute and repeat the six signals within 1 minute. Repeat the sequence until respond.


Sound signals e.g.:

  • Whistle

  • Shouting


Visual signals e.g.:

  • Flashes (Torch/headlamp)

  • Mirror / reflective metal

  • Waving clothes


Respond signal

3 signals within 1 minute, pause for 1 minute and repeat 3 signals within a minute.


SOS North America


Principle of THREE - SOS signals

3 signals within 1 minute, pause for 1 minute, repeat 3 signals within a minute, and repeated until respond.


Sound signals e.g.:

  • Whistle

  • Gunshots

Visual signals e.g.:

  • Flashes (Torch/headlamp)

  • Mirror/ reflective metal

  • Waving clothes

Mountain SOS signals in Europe and North America

The distress signals and answers need not be identical. A periodic signal in an unusual place for an extended period should attract attention.


Stationary SOS signals

3 objects in a triangle shape that can draw attention e.g.:

  • Build 3 fires in a triangle shape with 100 paces apart on open high ground. Beware not to start a wildfire.

  • Build 3 rock piles in triangle shape 100 paces apart on open high ground.


Stationary SOS signal in North America

Signals to helicopter or aircraft:

YES - raise two hands up to form a letter “Y” to indicate positive.

NO - one hand up and one hand down to form a letter “N” to indicate negative.



Signals to helicopter or aircraft

Tips for safe hiking trip

Hiking injuries related to cold

Hiking injuries related to heat

Most common hiking injuries

Information from:

Wikipedia

Ortovox.com

The Art of Manliness


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