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Thread: "Flare" for backpack

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tortuga View Post
    The weight weenie in me caused me to dump the VS-17 and start carrying a section of orange parachute canopy.
    Most of the survival Mylar blankets have an orange signal coating on one side.

    So do you carry both? Or just shy away from the blankets? I know a lot of those blankets are not very durable at all.

    Thanks very much, it's always great to pick an instructor's brain.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeriousStudent View Post
    Most of the survival Mylar blankets have an orange signal coating on one side.

    So do you carry both? Or just shy away from the blankets? I know a lot of those blankets are not very durable at all.
    I carry both. I don't want to have to break down my hooch or sleeping system to put out a signal. I use a lot of MPI survival blankets. They aren't the lightest and most compact, but they are tough enough to use as a shelter, ground tarp, fire reflector, etc. I keep red ones in the vehicles, but I use the green ones (and sometimes rattle can them tan or gray) for the field.

    http://www.lawsupply.com/Medical_Sup.../Blankets/8113
    "It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission." -RADM Hopper

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tortuga View Post
    The weight weenie in me caused me to dump the VS-17 and start carrying a section of orange parachute canopy.
    I cut my VS-17 panel in half (which is why I referred to it as a "section") to shed some weight, but parachute canopy is a great idea. Thanks!

    Derek
    An evil soul wields an evil sword.

  4. #14
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    Years ago Practical Sailor magazine did a test of flares and found that the little pen flares nearly worthless. 1/3 of them didn't fire, fresh from the store. The light lasts only seconds and doesn't go very high. If you insist on humping flares the Paines Wessex SOLAS flares are the only way to go. Offshore sailboat races require them. But they're big and heavy and expensive. For SAR work I suppose they make sense. One needs to carry two kinds, the parachute ones for attracting attention and the handheld flares for point location. The handhelds make enough smoke that you don't need to carry smoke flares for helo extraction.

    My idea as a long distance backpacker is to use the strobe on my Petzel headlamp at night and the mirror on my Silva Ranger compass in daylight. I recently saw a military surplus strobe (ACR brand) at a gun show. I may do that next.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 91Bravo View Post
    For SAR work I suppose they make sense. One needs to carry two kinds, the parachute ones for attracting attention and the handheld flares for point location. The handhelds make enough smoke that you don't need to carry smoke flares for helo extraction.

    I recently saw a military surplus strobe (ACR brand) at a gun show. I may do that next.
    I like pencil flares to mark an exact location regardless of weather or light conditions through a canopy. Not very versatile, but effective nonetheless. parachute flares are a good option, as long is it's not in forest or other fire prone environments.

    I've only carried a smoke when tactically neccessary For survival use, making a smoke generator out of conifer boughs or burning a petroleum product has the same result and lasts longer.
    "It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission." -RADM Hopper

  6. #16
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    In light of the fires we had in CO last year, and the lack of rainfall so far this year, please think twice before launching any flares. Get a SPOT device (and register it), couple that with a dose of common sense, and hopefully we won't have a repeat of last year. I had to evacuate twice due to wildfires last year and the notion of someone touching off aerial flares in this state makes me cringe.

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