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Concept Product: Rescue Me Balloon

Concept Product: Rescue Me Balloon

In a previous blog, Rescue Signaling, I wrote about the importance in case of an outdoors emergency of being prepared to signal for help.  Particularly, I wrote that it is your responsibility, not that of search and rescue crews, to be found.  That’s because even with hi-tech equipment, which, despite common belief, they don’t very often have or use (relying to a great deal on “ground pounders” and visual sightings), you still remain the proverbial needle in the haystack.  After all, the Great Outdoors is so very big while we are so very small.  Anything, then, that you can use or do to be seen will improve your chances of going home that much sooner.

Thanks to True North instructor, J.C. McGreehan, I just learned about a new product that might be coming to the market soon that could better help you accomplish this survival priority.  It’s called the Rescue Me Balloon.

This concept product is designed by Rescue Me Ballon, LLC of Los Angeles, California.  Basically, it’s sort of a combination flag and flare gun.

How does it work?  In case of an emergency, a survivor would open the canister which releases a self-inflating helium ballon 150′ into the air while remaining attached to a monofilament line.  The ballon is designed to float for a week while the bright LED flashes “SOS.”

Off hand I a few concerns.  My main one is it’s practical application in a heavily wooded environment — that is, is it long enough to reach above, or even through, a canopy without becoming ensnarled by branches.  Also, I wonder how well it would actually hold up in windy or foul weather.  Regardless, I remain intrigued.  Besides, the product is still in it’s prototype stage so I’ll bet that it’s engineers are already considering these, and other, issues.

Anyway, the tentative release date is in Spring 2015 and it’s target price is $75 so I’ll be interested to learn how it turns out.

In the meantime, check out this video about the Rescue Me Balloon for yourself.

Erik Kulick leaning aginst wall with True North badge on blue shirt

About the Author

Erik is the founder of True North Wilderness Survival School. He is a police officer, EMS provider, a Wilderness EMT, and a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. He has been featured in national and international media, including CNN, the Associated Press, and Backpacker. To learn more about Erik, visit him on LinkedIn and be sure to follow him on Facebook.

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