The main goal of survival....is to stay alive until you get home. Some people like to think that they could take anything that nature could throw their way, for an unlimited amount of time. They are in topmost physical and mental condition and have the training and know how to survive anywhere in the world. For the rest of us, the sooner we get home, the better. We need to be rescued. Either self rescue, by finding civilization, or having rescuers find you. True survival in wilderness takes extensive knowledge and practiced skill. Even professionals that work in the wilderness often find themselves in trouble and needing to be rescued. Survival is not just one bit of knowledge or skill, but many. Just as you should not rely on one bit of knowledge for survival, you should not rely on one method of rescue. I will touch briefly on a few methods before moving on to the Deck of cards method of rescue.
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Step 1: What You Need
A good small survival kit. You could make one yourself, or buy one. Make sure it has a reliable means of starting fire. Practice using your kit's method to start fire in different weather using different materials. Make sure it has a signal mirror. Practice using it, just not on real planes or boats. A loud whistle is another must. Three loud blasts on a whistle will carry much further than your voice. A good compass. You guessed it practice using the compass. If you have a map of the area you will be in, good, but if you find yourself lost, without a map, knowing how to use a compass will keep you from wandering around in circles. Lastly you will need to have a deck of cards. Keep these items with you at all times. They will not do you any good if you leave them behind.
Step 2: Signal With Fire
Fire is one of the best ways to be seen. A bright fire is best at night. During the day, a smokey fire is the most visible. Distress fires should be made in threes, but if you only have limited means, one will do. Don't burn yourself, or your surroundings.
Step 3: Does a Signal Mirror Work?
Yes a signal mirror works, if you know how to use it. Purpose built signal mirrors have a hole in the middle to aim their reflected light. By using this hole to aim the light, you can be seen from as far as one hundred miles away. Of course, this method requires a sunny day, so it is limited. Practice is needed, but you should not practice on airplanes, boats, or cars. Set up a camera or have a friend some distance away to give you feedback on the effectiveness of your signaling. The accompanying photos are of a signal mirror the size of a business card. There is no manipulation of the photos. The first is with the mirror aimed directly at the camera, the second is aimed just to the left of the camera.
Step 4: Location, Location, Location
Now on to the method of using a deck of cards for rescue. Location is important. A good location will get you rescued in minutes. A bad location might take years for rescue to come. Good places for the deck of card rescue method would be, open fields, and intersection of roads or trails, a fork in a river, or a crowded restaurant. Bad places would be caves, secluded cabins, deserts, swamps, the middle of a large body of water, frozen wastelands, pretty much places where people don't usually hang out. Once you have your location, set your cards up for a game of solitaire. There are many ways to set up a game of solitaire. My favorite is seven stacks across, one card in the first stack, two in the second, three in the third, and so on, to seven.
Step 5: Start Playing
Start playing solitaire. You could look up how to play on instructables, just do not cheat. You may want to even act like you are having trouble playing.
Step 6: Keep Playing
Keep playing solitaire. If you win or get stuck, start a new game. Remember if you don't have the best location, it may take a while to work.
Step 7: RESCUE!
The moment we have been waiting for. Eventually someone will come along and announce something like, "Hey you can play that black eight on the red nine!" Remember what I said about looking like you are having trouble playing. People can't resist butting into a game of solitaire, especially if you look like you don't see the move that they do. This method can be practiced. You will be amazed at how fast some people will add their input into a game of solitaire.
Step 8: Thank Your Rescuer
Introduce yourself to your rescuer and let them know that you are thankful for the rescue. In some instances, the person will not even realize that they have rescued you. All that is needed now is to follow your rescuer to what you call civilization, a place much easier to survive.
Thanks for reading and remember, don't rely on just one method of survival or rescue.
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