Heres something to start it off, Please post your thoughts
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You can never have too many ways to communicate. If you can do something to successfully send a message to someone, it may come in handy.
CB is most common, ham radio is the most reliable, cell phone is the quickest way to get help but bad for trail communications.
Citizens Band (CB)
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Citizens' Band radio (CB) is, in many countries, a system of short-distance, simplex radio communications between individuals on a selection of 40 channels within the 27 MHz (11 meter) band. The CB radio service should not be confused with FRS, GMRS, MURS, or amateur ("ham") radio. Similar personal radio services exist in other countries, with varying requirements for licensing and differing technical standards. In many countries, CB does not require a license and, unlike amateur radio, it may be used for business as well as personal communications.
Family Radio Service (FRS)
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The Family Radio Service (FRS) is an improved walkie talkie radio system authorized in the United States since 1996. This personal radio service uses channelized frequencies in the ultra high frequency (UHF) band. It does not suffer the interference effects found on citizens' band (CB) at 27 MHz, or the 49 MHz band also used by cordless phones, toys, and baby monitors. FRS uses frequency modulation (FM) instead of amplitude modulation (AM). Since the UHF band has different radio propagation characteristics, short range use of FRS may be more reliable than license-free radios operating in the HF CB band.
General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)
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The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is a licensed land-mobile FM UHF radio service in the United States available for short-distance two-way communication. It is intended for use by an adult individual who possesses a valid GMRS license, as well as his or her immediate family members. Immediate relatives of the GMRS system licensee are entitled to communicate among themselves for personal or business purposes, but employees of the licensee, who are not family members, may not use this service.
GMRS radios are typically handheld portable devices much like Family Radio Service (FRS) radios, and share some frequencies with FRS. Mobile and base station-style radios are available as well, but these are normally commercial UHF radios as often used in the public service and commercial land mobile bands. These are legal for use in this service as long as they are GMRS type-approved. They are more expensive than the walkie talkies typically found in discount electronics stores, but are higher quality.
Amateur Radio (Ham Radio)
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Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a hobby and a service in which participants, called "hams," use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public service, recreation and self-training.
Amateur radio operators enjoy personal (and often worldwide) wireless communications with each other and are able to support their communities with emergency and disaster communications if necessary, while increasing their personal knowledge of electronics and radio theory. An estimated six million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio.
The term "amateur" is not a reflection on the skills of the participants, which are often quite advanced; rather, "amateur" indicates that amateur radio communications are not allowed to be made for commercial or money-making purposes.
Radio amateurs use various modes of transmission to communicate. Voice transmissions are most common, with some such as frequency modulation (FM) offering high quality audio, and others such as single sideband (SSB) offering more reliable communications when signals are marginal and bandwidth is restricted.
Radiotelegraphy using Morse code is an activity dating to the earliest days of radio. Technology has moved past the use of telegraphy in nearly all other communications, and a code test is no longer part of most national licensing exams for amateur radio. Many amateur radio operators continue to make use of the mode, particularly on the shortwave bands and for experimental work such as earth-moon-earth communication, with its inherent signal-to-noise ratio advantages. Morse, using internationally agreed code groups, also allows communications between amateurs who speak different languages. It is also popular with homebrewers as CW-only transmitters are simpler to construct. A similar "legacy" mode popular with home constructors is amplitude modulation (AM), pursued by many vintage amateur radio enthusiasts and aficionados of vacuum tube technology.
For many years, demonstrating a proficiency in Morse code was a requirement to obtain amateur licenses for the high frequency bands (frequencies below 30 MHz), but following changes in international regulations in 2003, countries are no longer required to demand proficiency. As an example, the United States Federal Communications Commission phased out this requirement for all license classes on February 23, 2007.
Modern personal computers have encouraged the use of digital modes such as radioteletype (RTTY), which previously required cumbersome mechanical equipment. Hams led the development of packet radio, which has employed protocols such as TCP/IP since the 1970s. Specialized digital modes such as PSK31 allow real-time, low-power communications on the shortwave bands. Echolink using Voice over IP technology has enabled amateurs to communicate through local Internet-connected repeaters and radio nodes, while IRLP has allowed the linking of repeaters to provide greater coverage area. Automatic link establishment (ALE) has enabled continuous amateur radio networks to operate on the high frequency bands with global coverage. Other modes, such as FSK441 using software such as WSJT, are used for weak signal modes including meteor scatter and moonbounce communications.
Fast scan amateur television has gained popularity as hobbyists adapt inexpensive consumer video electronics like camcorders and video cards in home computers. Because of the wide bandwidth and stable signals required, amateur television is typically found in the 70 cm (420 MHz–450 MHz) frequency range, though there is also limited use on 33 cm (902 MHz–928 MHz), 23 cm (1240 MHz–1300 MHz) and higher. These requirements also effectively limit the signal range to between 20 and 60 miles (30 km–100 km), however, the use of linked repeater systems can allow transmissions across hundreds of miles.
These repeaters, or automated relay stations, are used on VHF and higher frequencies to increase signal range. Repeaters are usually located on top of a mountain, hill or tall building, and allow operators to communicate over hundreds of square miles using a low power hand-held transceiver. Repeaters can also be linked together by use of other amateur radio bands, landline or the Internet.
Communication satellites called OSCARs (Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio) can be accessed, some using a hand-held transceiver (HT) with a stock "rubber duck" antenna. Hams also use the moon, the aurora borealis, and the ionized trails of meteors as reflectors of radio waves. Hams are also often able to make contact with the International Space Station (ISS), as many astronauts and cosmonauts are licensed as Amateur Radio Operators.
Amateur radio operators use their amateur radio station to make contacts with individual hams as well as participating in round table discussion groups or "rag chew sessions" on the air. Some join in regularly scheduled on-air meetings with other amateur radio operators, called "Nets" (as in "networks") which are moderated by a station referred to as "Net Control". Nets can allow operators to learn procedures for emergencies, be an informal round table or be topical, covering specific interests shared by a group.
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A mobile phone (also known as a wireless phone, cell phone, or cellular telephone) is a short-range, electronic device used for mobile voice or data communication over a network of specialised base stations known as cell sites. In addition to the standard voice function of a mobile phone, telephone, current mobile phones may support many additional services, and accessories, such as SMS for text messaging, email, packet switching for access to the Internet, gaming, Bluetooth, infrared, camera with video recorder and MMS for sending and receiving photos and video. Most current mobile phones connect to a cellular network of base stations (cell sites), which is in turn interconnected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) (the exception is satellite phones).
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Two Tin Cans and a String
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Communication does not necessarily mean using an electronic device to send messages. When you or others are in a life threatening situation, anything is fair game in obtaining help. Like many wilderness survival techniques, signaling for help is a skill you should practice before you actually have to use it. Shiny objects reflecting light at passing by aircraft, writing large messages on the ground using natural resources such as stones, trees, brush, drawing in the dirt or sand, whistles, flashlights, strobe lights, etc... Are some methods you can use to send a message for help. With that being said, you still must use common sense. You cannot start a forest fire as a signal that you need help; I'll refrain from other examples as they should be obvious. For best results when signaling for help, select a signal site close to your shelter with good visibility such as a clearing, hilltop, or a lakeshore. Will there be a search for you? Put yourself in the searchers place. Will they be looking for you from air or ground? A search will probably start from your last known location and sweep over your proposed route.
The following are some methods that are internationally approved when signaling for help:
SOS (Save Our Souls) - "... --- ..." is the best known international distress signal. Everyone who ventures into the wilderness, should be at the least familiar with SOS. The SOS signal can be transmitted by any method, visual or audio. The code for SOS is 3 short, 3 long and 3 short signals. Pause. Repeat the signal. The SOS signal can, for example, be constructed as a ground to air signal with rocks and logs, or whatever material you have available. At night you can use a flashlight or a strobe light to send an SOS to, for example, an aircraft. At day you can use a signal mirror. If it is difficult to produce long and short signals you should know that almost any signal repeated three times will serve as a distress signal. Use your imagination.
Signal Fires - When signaling for help, the most noticeable signal is your fire. It is easily seen at night, and during the daytime the smoke from your fire can be seen for many miles. Build three fires in a triangle, or in a straight line, with about 30 meters (100 feet) between the fires. Three fires are an international recognized distress signal.
Signal Mirror - On a sunny day, a mirror is your best signaling device. Any shiny object will serve - polish your canteen cup, glasses, your belt buckle, or a similar object that will reflect the sun's rays. Check your survival kit. A flash can be seen at a great distance. Sweep the horizon during the day. If a plane approaches, don't direct the beam in the aircraft's cockpit for more than a few seconds as it may blind the pilot. Use the code for SOS. Use your signal mirror properly when signaling for help. Determine where your signal is going, use your free hand as a sight line, in order for it to be effective and readjust as you or the sun move around the sky. As with any wilderness survival skill this one also requires some practice to master, long before you really have to rely on it.
Aerial signal flares - Small hand-held aerial signal flares are part of your survival kit and useful when signaling for help. Practice using them before finding yourself in an outdoor survival situation. Be careful, do not start a wildfire.
Awesome, I'll research and through that stuff in. One thing I wanted to accomplish here is that the equipment you may be using could possibly be coming from someone else’s rig. Maybe they are unconscious and all you have is a CB but their rig is loaded (like mine ;D ) Well, grab your field guide, turn to communications and you'll find some basic instructions on how to use the devices. For this reason, I'd like to hear from everyone if they think we are missing something. Understanding that operating instructions are coming for those items already listed, they're just not there yet.
I am a big fan of using light because i used to spend a lot of time wotking graveyards. A good bright rechargable flashight can be invaluable when it comes to sigaling and also in self defense with light distraction. In addition, it is good to carry a battery powered light too and extra batteries, especially LED lights that draw little power. I generally have three flashlights along.