It's become an important part of our EDC
(Every Day Carry) over recent years: the whistle.
The classic use of the safety whistle is, of
course, signaling you're in distress and need
help: three sharp blasts in succession, followed
by a pause of at least one minute, and repeated
until a response is received. The shrill sound
of a whistle is likely to carry much farther
than the human voice and require much less energy.
Remember, the number three is key in distress
situations: a distress signal can be three fires
or piles of rocks in a triangle, three blasts
on a whistle, or three flashes of a light.
Worldwide travel expert Jodi Ettenberg has a great
post on safety whistles. You might be surprised to
read about the situations in which her whistle
came in handy — read all about it
(her whistle is different than ours, but you get the idea).
Have a dog (or two or four) that hike with you?
Train them to come to the sound of your whistle.
It'll likely take repeated practice, patience, and
lots of high value treats to train your dog to come
to the sound of a whistle, but it can be very useful
in situations when your dogs are off leash and you
need them to return immediately. (If you're whistling
for your dog, or just testing out your new whistle,
try one sharp blast or two, and make sure to give
enough time between blasts so that no one thinks
you're really in trouble.)
Our Whistle Sternum Strap Half features a nearly
impossible-to-lose whistle integrated into the male
(usually the left) half of the sternum strap buckle
used on our Brain Bag, Smart Alec, and Synapse
backpacks, as well as all three of our convertible
travel bags — the Tri-Star, the Aeronaut, and the
Western Flyer with backpack straps. The Whistle
Sternum Strap Half is available as an optional
upgrade on all these bags: select one at the time
you buy one of those backpacks and you'll receive
it along with the standard sternum strap, allowing
you to swap or carry a strap. The Whistle
Sternum Strap Half replaces just one-half of the standard
sternum strap and is also available on this page for
purchase on its own for anyone with any of the above
bags — but note that the Strap Half won't work
on TOM BIHN packs made before about 2005 — those
have a 1" wide sternum strap and this new whistle
strap won't work with that. To
install the Whistle Sternum Strap Half:
simply remove the standard male half of the sternum
strap half you've been using all these years and
replace it with the Whistle Sternum Strap Half.
Available in Steel Grey if you want your whistle to
be obvious and easy to see, or Bright Orange if you
want it to be really obvious and really easy to see.
P.S. We're working on a whistle that can be
added to just about any TOM BIHN bag. Stay tuned.