The Lost Art of Smoke Signals

The Lost Art of Smoke Signals

( – Humans have used smoke signals to call for help throughout history, but the knowledge has been lost as the years have gone by. There are few people who even know how to use smoke signals, let alone understand what they mean. Let’s take a look at how to send signals. But first, we need a fire.

The video above demonstrates how to create a signal fire. In some cases, even just being able to produce a generous amount of smoke will draw attention to your location. Through the use of a wet blanket, you can control the smoke to send signals:

  • One puff of smoke means something is wrong but there is no need for panic.
  • Two puffs indicate that the camp is set up, safe and secure.
  • Continuous two puffs are used to indicate to other settlements that there is a permanent camp set up that’s safe.
  • Three puffs of smoke are used as an alarm signal.

One continuous column of smoke typically indicates that there is a serious problem and requests the need for help. As stated before, these signals are not as common as they once were, so even if you know how to relay the correct message, there’s no guarantee anyone will understand what it means. Still, you may get lucky, and the column or puffs of smoke may be enough to catch someone’s attention.

Of course, there may be times, like during a manhunt, when you want to keep your location hidden. You still need to stay warm at night — but with fire, there’s smoke, which will give you away. Check out how you can make a smokeless fire.

Did you know how to use a signal fire before reading this? Have you ever had to use one? Do you have other tips on how to signal for rescuers when lost in the woods? Reply to your email and let us know! We would love to hear from you!

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