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Fox 40 Classic Whistle

The Fox 40 Safety Whistle weighs just 0.1 oz, but it is one of the most important pieces of safety gear that I own.

Fox 40 Classic Pealess Plastic Emergency Whistle
Fox 40 Classic Pealess Plastic Emergency Whistle

Every one of my backpacks has a whistle attached to it. If you need to be found or alert someone, a blast on a whistle can far out power your ability to get their attention by shouting or overcome other noise like the wind or the sound of flowing water. Plus blowing on your whistle is also a lot less tiring.

I bushwack on trailess peaks with other people and it is remarkably easy to lose sight of them or get lost. But a blast on my whistle always gets my friends’ attention and repeated blasts help us find each other again.

If you think there are bears around. You can blow your whistle to frighten them off. It’s a lot easier than making up songs all day and shouting them every time you approach a berry patch.

Plastic whistles are definitely preferred over metal ones because they are more weatherproof and resist corrosion.  Pealess whistles won’t freeze up, drain quickly, and are more reliable in mountains or winter. Finally, loud standalone whistles are preferred over the cheap ones you sometimes find built into backpacking sternum straps.

For a MSRP of $5.75, the Fox 40 is one piece of backpacking gear you can’t afford to be without.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

Updated 2018.

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  1. The Fox 40 is a nice little bit of kit. I've bought several supposedly very loud whistles and this was very near the top of the league.

    Definitely worth having :)

  2. The other whistles i've got are the Fox Micro, as well as ACME's Tornado 2000. Decently priced, and made in Canada and UK respectively.

  3. I got one with a nice flat profile.

    Definitely a good idea to plug your ears before blasting on one.

  4. I carry a Storm whistle. It is much heavier (30g, 0.8 ounces) and $1 more expensive. It is bulkier. It is also heard at longer distances.

    A New Zealand SAR group did a whistle test in thick bush. The Storm was heard at 400m and the Fox 40 at 238m. Yelling was heard at 410m, but their yeller had to quit after three blasts.

    I’ve used the Storm to call back some Scouts walking along Waddell Beach (Pacific Ocean). They were at least 200 yards away and there is no way they could have heard me yelling. It took a few blasts, but they heard it over the loud surf and wind.

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