6 Best Survival Whistles For Attention and Rescue

By Will Brendza | Last Updated: March 3, 2017

Survival WhistlesEverything was going fine.

You were out hiking by yourself, the sun was shining, the scenery was gorgeous.

The trail wound through the hills before you and life was good!

But then you got lost.

The trail disappeared, and with it, your sense of direction.

Were you heading South? No…it was West; right?

You can’t remember.

You shout for help, but your voice is lost in the wind, carried off by an indifferent breeze.

No one will hear that.

If only you had a survival device, some specialized tool that could make a loud, piercing noise. One that would penetrate the wilderness around you, notifying someone you need help.

If only you had an emergency survival whistle!

Who knows how many people have died in such a situation. Who knows how many lives have been lost only because the victims had no way of signaling for help. One is too many.

According to statistics, on average there are 90,000 missing people in the USA at any given time. And there are approximately 750,000 missing person reports per year. Now, obviously, not all these missing person reports are hikers lost in the woods, but many of them are.

Fortunately, there’s a helpful solution to this problem. There’s a simple way to reduce the number of unnecessary missing persons. Invest in a survival whistle and put it on your keychain.

Hell, buy ten emergency whistles and put one inside each of your backpacks. Inside your car, all-around your house, in your bug out bag, and anywhere else you think where they might come in handy.

And these loud distress signals aren’t just useful for backpackers. They’re important for hunters, backcountry skiers, sailors, day hikers, campers, mountain bikers, climbers, etc. They are essential for anyone who ventures into the wilderness with regularity.

Even those who live in urban environments or in rough parts of town can benefit from having a loud whistle. Whistles help scare away thieves, pickpockets, kidnappers, and criminals.

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hanging whistle 1

The Many Uses For Survival Whistles

To illustrate how useful emergency whistles can be, here’s a shortlist of ways a survival whistle can come in handy:

  • Directing a hunting dog.
  • Getting the attention of a large crowd.
  • Signaling drill squads.
  • Lost in the woods when things are scary, cold, and lonely.
  • Stranded on a lifeboat at sea and you see a large boat in the distance.
  • Injured in the wilderness, cannot escape without help but no one is with you.
  • You shot your friend while out hunting. You need to stay and tend to him while signaling for help.
  • While out rock climbing, you get stuck in a storm and are unable to get off the cliff wall.
  • You’re cornered in a dark alleyway by a bunch of creeps.
  • Someone pulls a knife on you and demands your wallet.
  • Your dog is lost.
  • You’re a child being kidnapped.
  • Directing traffic in an emergency.
  • Refereeing a sporting event.

The applications are truly endless!

And the best part is they’re lightweight, inexpensive, small, and packable. You don’t have to break the bank buying a handful, and don’t have to break your back either. They only weigh a few ounces at most.

Overwhelming Number Of Choices

But there are a lot of survival whistles out there.

The free market has seized upon the need for survival whistles. Today you can find everything from ordinary whistles, to super-tech loud noisemakers.

Finding the right one can be an overwhelming task but that’s what this article is for.

I’ll be discussing the best, most useful emergency whistles on the market today. Then I’ll touch on how you can make your own emergency whistle in a pinch.

Investing In A Survival Whistle

Most of us have been playing with whistles since we were little kids. Strutting about and blasting away in high-pitched squeals that annoyed our parents to no end.

But when you stop to think about it, the whistle is an incredible invention. It’s a small handheld device that turns your exhale into a high-pitched, piercing screech.

It doesn’t scream words. It doesn’t emit flashing lights, it doesn’t send out radio signals. But if you’re hiking and you hear a loud whistle blasting off off-trail, you know exactly what’s going on. Someone’s in trouble and they need your help.

That’s why emergency whistles are a prime example of non-verbal communication.

Owning a good survival whistle is important. Many outdoor backpacks include a survival whistle built into the buckle clips. So even if you forget to pack your emergency whistle, you can still have one at all times. Whether you’re in the woods, the mountains, at sea, or in a city.

But these small built-in buckle whistles are cheap, not 100% reliable, and not the loudest option available. So even if your backpack has one built-in, I still recommend investing in a high-quality survival whistle. Then stash it inside your backpack or bug out bag or adding to your keychain.

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Here is a list of some of the best emergency whistles on the market, and what makes them worth a look:

1. The Emergency Zone 5 in 1 Survival Whistle

5 in 1 Survival WhistleThe Emergency Zone 5 in 1 is similar in form to most common survival whistles. It’s simple and effective.

Not only do you get a loud whistle, but you also get a waterproof container. A container for stashing your matches, fishing line, hooks, and other small survival tools. You also get a small and compass and a signal mirror.

The bright orange color of the tube makes this whistle easy to spot in a chaotic scene. The entire whistle floats in case you drop it in water.

It comes with a lanyard that can also be used in an emergency. And it includes both matches and flint inside.

2. The Scream Whistle

The scream whistle is designed to work in all conditions. Making it the ultimate survival whistle and ideal for distress signaling.

The unique flat design of this survival whistle prevents it from holding water. So you can completely submerge it, pull it out, and it still works.

It’s small, lightweight, cheap, reliable, and produces an extremely loud 100 dB whistle. It utilizes dual tone technology so it carries over greater distances (it’s easily heard a mile away).

What’s even better is you can get this whistle at a great price: FREE.

This survival whistle is damn useful and freaking cheap (only $3.95 s&h). I recommend buying a few of them and dispersing them throughout your survival gear.

Heck, get one for each of your friends as well.

3. The 7 in 1 Survival Whistle with LED Flashlight and Compass

7 in 1 Survival WhistleThe 7 in 1 Survival Whistle is a high-tech whistle that comes with a LED flashlight and a compass (as the name implies). It also includes the following:

  • signaling mirror
  • waterproof storage compartment
  • thermometer
  • magnifying glass
  • 16” lanyard

This device is helpful in any survival situation.

The main drawback to this whistle is its color. Instead of neon-orange (which makes it easy to spot), this one’s green. This color tends to blend into nature’s surroundings.

4. Whistle, Orange, Hornblast

Whistle, Orange, HornblastThis simple, elegant little survival whistle is flat and high-pitched. The Orange Hornblast Whistle comes attached to a key wire that fastens to life vests, lanyards, key chains, or equipment bags.

These are inexpensive as well, making it easy to pick up several.

5. Mini Survival Whistle with Key Chain

Mini Survival Keychain WhistleThis is a durable aluminum survival whistle that produces a very loud sound. The Mini Survival Whistle is made of brass and surface polished with an anti-oxidation coating.

This whistle doesn’t come with a lanyard, but it’s easy to attach via the keychain loop.

6. Paracord Bracelet Survival Whistle

Paracord Bracelet With Survival WhistleSome of the better paracord bracelets include a survival whistle. I honestly can’t think of a better way to carry a survival whistle than having it as a part of your paracord bracelet.

Why? Because paracord is so useful for survival and then to combine it with an emergency whistle is smart.

I don’t wear my survival bracelet to show off. I wear it because it has paracord, a firestarter, and an emergency whistle. If you wear it every day, you’ll never be without a whistle in an emergency.

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Bullet Survival Whistle

How To Make A Bullet Survival Whistle

Making your own whistle in an emergency is not ideal, but it can be done. Try not to count on your ability to do so in an emergency. It’s always better to prepare first and improvise second.

If you get a good survival whistle and add it to your pack, you won’t have to worry about improvisation. Scrounging for materials to try and make your own whistle.

Instead, you reach into your bag, grab your whistle and start blasting away.

Also, if you’re robbed at knifepoint, making an emergency whistle isn’t going to work either.

But you can’t always expect 100% preparation in every conceivable situation. So it’s always worth understanding how to manage when you find yourself caught off guard.

So, for this reason, here’s a quick guide to create your own improvised survival whistle:

1. Find a Bullet Casing

Bullet casings are the best material to use for this project. Long-range rifle calibers are the shape you’re looking for.

Remember the “aluminum alloy survival whistle” from the previous section? You want to find a casing shaped like that. Long and slender, like that of a .223.

Bullet casings are the best option because their shape is already similar to a whistle. Other items would take more machining to get the shape right.

So to complete this guide we’ll assume you have a .223 casing.

2. Shave Down the Casing

You need the casing to be one single diameter without a neck. So you’ll need to take the casing and shave the neck off with a rock or file.

This takes a bit of elbow grease and time but it’s definitely doable with persistence.

3. File a Notch

Next, you need to utilize a 90-degree rough edge (rock, concrete, or file) to create the desired cut-out shape.

If you need a reference on what it should look like, take another look at these aluminum alloy whistles or watch the video below.

4. Find a Stick That Fits Tight

In order to create the whistle sound from a bullet casing, you need to insert a stick into the open end. You need the stick to be snug enough to hold in place.

5. Shave The Top Of The Stick Down

Finally, remove the stick from the whistle, then shave a little bit off the top. This will allow high-velocity air to funnel through and hit the cut-out hole. This process creates the high-pitched whistle you desire.

Don’t Rely On Making A Survival Whistle In An Emergency

This option is NOT to be relied on in an emergency. It’s more of a fun project before you’re in dire straits.

If you can’t find a .223 and .22 casing laying around, try using a ballpoint pen cap or a small tube of scrap metal.

Anything that can create a sharp, shrill, piercing sound when blown into will work. The device matters less than the product: a loud shrill noise.

It doesn’t matter what you use to get rescued, as long as you do.

Improvisation is an important survival skill and one you should practice often. Because rarely do events work out according to your original plan.

No plan survives first contact so being able to think adaptively and react accordingly is essential.

Always (always) make the most out of the resources available to you.

The Final Word

Whistling has been an important survival skill for thousands of years. Of course, back in the day, people used their lips and their hands to do it. But today, whistles have been refined into a better survival tool.

They are the perfect way to signal for help when you’re stuck in an emergency. No doubt, whistles have saved countless lives over the years. They are cheap, effective, and reliable. They’re an essential survival tool. An essential piece to anyone’s bug out bag.

So if you take survival seriously (and if you’re reading this, then you do) you must own at least one survival whistle. Don’t get caught without one in a situation where attention could have saved your life. Because that’s the kind of situation that ends badly.

Save your future self and keep an emergency whistle on you at all times.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We're Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.
Will Brendza

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