Orion Signal and Survival Products

Part 6 in an ongoing series highlighting Northeast-based gear companies. If you want to be seen or heard in the event of a backcountry emergency, consider the wilderness signal and survival products produced by Maryland-based Orion.

The world's largest manufacturer of emergency flares, Orion specializes in a range of signal products designed for commercial and recreational use, including an entire category dedicated to wilderness safety and rescue. (They also make emergency roadside flares, marine signal devices, "railway torpedos" for signaling other trains, and backfire torches for wildfire management, among other things.)

Any backcountry survival kit should always include some way to signal would-be rescuers. One of the best (and lightest) combinations is a whistle and signal mirror, which are widely available. (Orion offers a one-ounce whistle-and-mirror kit.) For serious visibility, Orion also offers a three-ounce orange smoke signal; a 3.6-ounce aerial flare; and a 1.8-ounce Fluorescein Dye Marker that turns snow or water into a bright fluorescent green signal (specs say it's environmentally friendly). Click here to check out all their wilderness signals.

Orion also sells a line of lightsticks, safety air horns, first aid kits, and emergency safety kits. All Orion products are made in the USA at manufacturing plants in three locations: Easton, Md.; Bristol, Pa.; and Peru, Ind.

For more information on what you should include in your survival kit, check out my recent articles on the topic: Survive or Die and The Spark of Life.

Support your Northeast gear companies! Check out the others I've profiled in recent months:

Delorme (Yarmouth, Maine)
Ibex Outdoor Clothing (White River Junction, Vermont)
Jetboil (Manchester, NH)
New England Ropes (Fall River, MA)
Nemo Equipment (Manchester, NH)

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.