When you head out, you never know when things are going to go wrong. Your usual means of communication such as your phone may not be an option so you need to look to your surroundings for a different means of communication. Many sites fail to show signal fires as something to learn but I believe that the more methods of communication that you learn, the better your chances of survival will be.
In order to create smoke signals, you need a fire. This should be made as high up as possible and in an open area for the best chance of your smoke signals being seen from greater distances.
Build your fire and add grass and green sticks and branches to create thick, white smoke. You are not trying to get the biggest roaring fire possible, you are trying to get the best smoke.
Use a wet blanket to fan over the fire but don’t allow the blanket to rest too long. Simply fan over or lay it on top of the fire for a moment if needed. You will need to adjust your technique depending on the amount of smoke you’re generating, the wind and the intensity of your fire.
Common universal smoke signals are:
- One puff – attention
- Two puffs – all is well
- Three puffs – danger/help
When in need of help, three of anything is usually regarded as somebody needing help. This could be three shouts, three blows of a whistle, three gun shots, etc.
The above may seem easy when you read it but trying to put it in to practice and get everything right will take a lot of work.