Aside from designing a compact, easy-to-use signal mirror, we knew we had to make it to a military-grade standard and make it fit in our Cache Belt Buckle™. Through that process, we didn’t compromise on durability and usability in any environment, so it’s also waterproof (fresh/salt water), freeze-proof, and shatter-proof.
To make the Flare™ Mini Signal Mirror, we spent years collecting samples of other signal mirrors on the market, including (but not limited to) the 50-year-old rare vintage ones while also picking the brain of Mr. Richard A. Fowell, arguably the world's top expert on signal mirrors. Through this, we edited many designs and sent back lots of rejections to factories until we were very happy to (finally) release our ultimate Mini Signal Mirror, the Flare™.
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
The name the Flare™ comes from the optical phenomenon of being able to project a glowing orb or "flare" inside the aimer eye-piece that accurately reflects where the mirror’s flash is being cast.
The aimer is especially important to a signal mirror and was developed for 2 main reasons:
- Previous designs required various aiming styles including reflecting onto one’s face, using an additional pen to aim, or using an outstretched hand as a front site.
- All of these designs were complicated and lent themselves to misuse, misunderstanding, or inability to judge accuracy at distances. Furthermore, they required two hands to operate.
- Single-Handed Operation
- Being able to use one hand to operate a signal mirror might not seem like a high priority, however, when considering that most cases in which one needs to rely on a signal mirror typically have compounded “challenges” like injury or environment, it makes one-handed use a game-changer
- For instance, the common “lost hiker” scenario, is often a result of/or even leads to a fall, which in turn can easily result in a sprain, strain, or fracture of an extremity, like an arm.
- Furthermore, environment is a common factor in someone needing to use a signal mirror for rescue. If one is bobbing in the ocean, hanging on the side of a cliff, or needing to simultaneously use one hand for an additional signaling device, like a whistle, the extra hand, comes in, well…handy.
- Lastly, signaling, especially ground-to-air could be an arduous task requiring many attempts, so being able to alternate between arms can prevent fatigue.
Why Carry a Signal Mirror In an Emergency Kit?
Aside from carrying a signal mirror for a potential rescue scenario, a mirror can be a tool that provides several capabilities, that are otherwise, impossible to recreate in nature.
Self-Reflection In Nature
This has got to be the first time the phrase “self-reflection in nature” was referring to looking into your nether region for blood-sucking parasites, haha! Even in the chance that you are not alone, having a mirror to self-inspect not-directly-viewable parts of your body, could be a life-saver…and relationship saver. Somethings you can’t unsee, ammaright?
Self-Inspection In Nature
In addition to using a mirror to inspect for parasites like ticks, chiggers, or leaches in hard-to-see places on your body, having the ability to self-inspect bites, bruises, and wounds can help judge the severity and also treat the injury. My dad says, “Faces bleed like a stuck pig” which translates to facial wounds tend to bleed a lot, often giving the perception that they are worse than they are. I can personally attest after having stitches on 3 separate occasions on my face, and numerous other injuries to the face and skull that didn’t require stitches, that even though you feel and see a lot of warm dark red blood pouring from somewhere on your face, it’s usually not as bad as it seems, and being able to quash anxiety with a quick inspection, is a nice relief.
Ever tried to take a splinter out of your eye without being able to look in a mirror… Erg! Gets my eyes watering and teeth grinding just thinking about it! Ever had an annoying bug bite on your back or a cactus spine in your buttocks… just me? OK, but still, facial wounds and bug bites are a common occurrence in the wild, and being able to inspect and address them with a mirror can save the day/hike/trek!
And regardless of all these wild scenarios, if your face or another body part like your back needs to be addressed and there’s no one else to do it, a mirror allows that ability.