Signal Panel – when visibility counts!
I once read about a pair of hikers that were in trouble, one had a foot injury and…
they could not move so they tried signal planes and helicopters and in the end was un-dramatically rescued, but there was some frutration.. they could have been found faster if they were easier spotted.
I had this in the back of my mind when I came across a VS 17 Panel, Signal Marker which is a great item but a bit big and the fabric is to sturdy, if you ask me (if you do not cut it up in smaller pieces) I think it is more suitable for vehicles etc. Yes, yes, there are also the mirrors and flares which are great to have in your “here I am – come and get me ASAP” kit!
The thought of having a Tac-Up Gear type of Signal Panel surfaced and I wanted it to be:
- Light in weight.
- Take little space when folded.
- Be bright in color that would stand out from the nature.
- Easy to attach. (To rucksacks, trees, etc).
- Not to catch wind easily as a sail.
- Not as big as the VS 17 type.
Usage of this product I wanted both for civilian and military use.
- To mark entry to a building.
- To signal helicopters and planes.
- Mark your place where you await rescue.
- Mark your camp.
- Fasten on rucksack when hiking.
- etc, etc
During this time I had a project regarding shorts and a reflective vest going and I fell for the net type fabric used as liner for the shorts and the main fabric for the vest. This was the kind of material I’ll use, so the wind could blow through but still make it flap in the wind as to create even more visibility! (the eye tends to search for movement)!
The fabric in itself needed a boarder for look and also to easy handling/snagging so I opted for this with extensions as to function as flat band fasteners in all corners. The manufacturer sent a green sample but I wanted it in bright orange so this was changed.
I have never heard of anyone actually having used the Signal Panel Orange in a real life situation..But, I have used it to wave down an ambulance while acting as a guidepost waiting for it to arrive in the country area and then lead them to the person needing help!
Not much and pretty non-dramatic (the guy recovered quickly from stomach cramps and returned the unit after being checked at hospital) but it could have been a lot worse and as a eye catcher the panel worked great.
Later we also introduced a Whistle in our product line (H.E.L.P whistle) as another way to signal, but that is another story!
Available in the webshop!