Emergency Signaling Devices: What To Put in Your Kit

Emergency Signaling Devices are essential for anyone going on a mission but they are also extremely useful to have on hand for everyday life.

From car crashes to being lost in the woods, signal kits can be a lifesaver.  If you want to set up a signal kit here are a few items that are great additions.  Our recommendation for a solid signaling kit is redundancy.

One form of signaling can often go unseen which is why you should have multiple backups.

What To Put in an Emergency Signaling Kit

Handheld GPS Unit or GPS Watch

One huge part of signaling is being able to identify where you are at physically.  We recommend either using the Garmin Foretrex 701 or the Garmin Fenix 6.

Both of these offer a quick reference to where you are which is crucial for relaying to help.  This is a vital addition to any signal kit.

Garmin fenix 6 Pro Black w/Black Band

at EuroOptic
Prices accurate at time of writing

VS-17 Panel

VS-17 Panel/High Vis Panel- High Vis panels can be purpose-built or simply a high vis piece of cloth.  The bottom line is these are essential to any signaling kit as they help you be seen from the air or ground.

This is especially important if you are out in the woods and find yourself lost.  It may not seem important but aircraft will be able to see them from higher altitudes when doing search patterns.

Military GI US Army VS17/GVX Signal Panel Marker

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

RELATED – How to use a VS-17 Panel

Smoke Grenades

The next time the 4th of July comes around stalk up on some smoke grenades.  These can be small ones but they are great for signaling kits and can be seen from really far away.  It’s always better to choose a color like red, purple, or yellow that can easily be seen from the air.


at Shutter Bombs
Prices accurate at time of writing

Strobe Light

Strobe lights are essential for being seen at night.  We recommend using the Nitecore Tactical Identification Signal Safety Light because they have different colors, SOS patterns, and high output.  They also come with a good clip that can be attached to your belt or kit so you can turn on your light while moving.

Nitecore Tactical Identification Signal Safety Light

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing


Chemlights are great because they are inexpensive, last 6-8 hours, and can be seen from far away at night.  They also don’t take up much room.

Emergency Glow Sticks with 12 Hours Duration – 12 Pack

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

If you want to make the chemlight more effective you can tie it to the end of a 3-4′ length of paracord and swing it in a circular pattern.  This creates a very large, bright circle for overhead aircraft to see you.

Emergency Signal Mirror

Signal mirrors are probably the least expensive addition to a good signal kit and are extremely useful.  A good signal mirror can signal an aircraft thousands of feet up.

UST StarFlash Floating Signal Mirror

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

 Air To Ground Radio

This may seem like overkill but a good air-ground radio is an excellent addition to a signaling kit if you have the room.

Basically, these are used to talk to any overhead aircraft.  While you may not know the frequency used by aircraft in your area you can always put the radio on scan until it picks up a signal.

Yaesu FTA-450L Airband VHF Comm

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing


Last but not least is a good lighter.  Honestly, if you can bring one thing, bring this.

A light can start a fire that can be seen for miles.  If you plan to get a lighter you should always consider getting one that is extremely windproof and ensure it has plenty of fuel.

Bic lighters are simple and proven. Buy a multi-pack and throw them in your emergency kit. Couple those with the ExoTac fireSLEEVE and you’ve got a very robust system for starting fires.

BIC Classic Lighter, 10-Pack

at Amazon
Prices accurate at time of writing

Wrapping It Up!

Emergency signaling devices play a crucial role in ensuring your safety and survival during critical situations.

By including these devices in your emergency kit, you significantly enhance your chances of being rescued and receiving the necessary help in a timely manner.

Whether you find yourself lost in the wilderness, trapped in a disaster-stricken area, or facing any other emergency, having the right signaling tools can make all the difference.

So, take action today. Review your emergency kit, assess your signaling device needs, and make the necessary additions.

READ NEXT – Manly Must-Haves: Survival Gear for Every Guy

Stay Tuned to the RE Factor Tactical Blog and be part of this all VETERAN-run website. Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn for exclusive content and deals.

Check out our DAILY DEALS page for industry deals and discounts.

Visit our Amazon Influencer Page for more products we recommend: https://www.amazon.com/shop/refactortactical

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *