Always include a very loud, durable whistle in your hiking kit or Bugout Bag. Most packs have corded zipper pulls. I replace one of the outside zipper pulls with a whistle to make it fast and easy to access.

The whistle is an essential device for signaling. Every hiking pack should include a very loud whistle and you should know the whistle code:

  • One blast → Stop
  • Two blasts → Come to me
  • Three blasts → Distress – come to me quickly

I prefer a simple, multiple frequency, loud, and durable whistle. A multiple frequency blast normally travels longer distances. Be sure everyone in your hiking group has a whistle that produces a very loud sound and requires minimal effort to blow.


Some multiple frequency whistles require a fair amount of air and others require much less effort. In an emergency situation you may be hurt, weak, and disoriented. If your whistle requires more effort for signaling then this could be a problem. Test the whistle occasionally to be sure that it is easy to blow. I found one by Emergency Essentials that was inexpensive and very loud.