Why You Should Pack a Mirror

Man with a signal mirrorWe’ve written before about forgetting to pack gear. It happens to everyone. You’re in a rush and you forget to pack something, only to realize your mistake later at the campsite or on the trail. But forgetting to pack an item is a problem that is fairly easy to fix.

Planning and preparation is a remedy for forgetfulness. Not to mention that once you forget a can opener and go hungry for a weekend, you will always remember to bring one in the future.

However, it doesn’t matter how well you plan or prepare if you’re not even thinking about packing the right items. Plenty of people don’t pack a mirror, but that’s not just because they forget. Mirrors are left out of packing lists because people often don’t think they need one, or don’t think that they should carry one.

You may be thinking, “Why should I carry a mirror with me when I’m hiking or camping? I’m not trying to impress the flora or the fauna. I don’t care what I look like.” That’s a fair point if you assume that mirrors are only useful for checking reflections and narcissism. However that’s not why you need to pack a mirror when you head outdoors. Signal mirrors can be incredibly useful in an emergency situation, and can even help save your life.

It’s not hard to get turned around in the woods, especially when you’re in a new or unfamiliar area. Once you stray from the trail, trees start looking the same. If you lose your bearings, you can wind up walking in circles until you are truly and thoroughly lost.

That’s when a signal mirror comes in handy. If you are legitimately lost in the woods, you don’t want to roam around. You want to stay put and make it as easy as possible for search and rescue teams to find you. Signal mirrors greatly increase your visibility and the chance of being found by rescue teams. Light reflections from mirrors can be seen as far as 15 miles away.

Since signal mirrors can potential help save your life, they weigh practically nothing, and they’re super compact, there’s no reason not to pack a mirror.

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