Muni Safety - do you carry a whistle?

I was reading in a different type of forum, namely trailer camping, about using a whistle for calling attention to yourself. It was focused on children, but it made me think of MUNi.

I don’t know about you, but most of the time when I MUNi, I ride alone. My wife knows where the trail head is and when I will be back. I have a cell phone, but sometimes in canyons, there is no cell reception.

I might suggest carrying a whistle. They are light weight, take up no space in your back pack. Should an emergency occur, you can use it for people to find you, should you “dump off” the side of a trail into dense brush.

I used to carry them for when I bike toured over 30 years ago. I had read somewhere, that the high pitched shrill of the whistle would bother a dog’s ears - enough to slow them down. That’s the farm dog that’s coming at you at over 20 mph across some farmer’s field ready to take a bite out of your leg. I always barely outran them, but I did use the whistle up in the Sierras, one day, on a slow climb over some long high pass, though.


I carry a small B-flat trombone for safety. The glissando gives a wider range of signalling options.

I do have a whistle. It’s always in one of the hydration packs that I use for muni. But I’m not reliable about making sure it’s actually in the pack that I’m using. I should remember to get whistles for each of my hydration packs and always keep them with the packs. I should. I’ve thought about it before. I’ll forget about it all by the time I’m next at a store.


if you forget or don’t bother with a whistle and you do get into trouble,
you could use a acorn, bottle top, beer bottle cap, or empty bottle as a substitute, high pitch whistle…
heres how…

I love

If riding trails alone, I do carry a whistle. That is a carryover from my hiking and backpacking experience.

I always carry a whistle and a compass.

The compass is really useful in wooded areas with loads of trails, when you get lost. In nice weather and daytime the sun is okay, but if it’s English weather, or you’re night riding, it’s handy to know you can always get out by riding on a bearing. I’ve used it a few times on night rides.

I’ve not used the whistle yet, I did have a falling down a cliff moment recently that made me happy to have it though, if I’d been a bit less lucky, I’d have quite likely needed to use it.


I carry a whistle in my saddle bag. I should keep it directly on me though. If I am immobile from a broken leg (for example), it doesn’t help if my whistle is in my bag on my muni, a few meters away:o

It’s not uncommon for me to carry a whistle and flute when I ride in the mornings!


So, you carry a whistle while riding down the frog?

Ride down any apples, then, mate?

Whatever happened to screaming for help?
If I heard a whistle I’d think that Dickson of Dock Green was chasing after me and promptly scarper.

It’s much louder so can be heard from further away, and more obviously something out of the ordinary.

If you’re somewhere where people mountain bike, climb, kids play or whatever, you often hear people shouting, and you can’t go looking for everyone you hear shouting in case they’re hurt.

If you’re really in the middle of nowhere, like in the Scottish Highlands or somewhere, where the trails aren’t very well defined and someone passing by is unlikely to be on exactly the same trail you’re on, then a whistle is great because people can hear it from a long way away, and because most outdoorsy people know that it means you’re signalling for help.


So far I’ve not gone too far off the beaten path, but yeah, sounds like a good idea.

I have a marine safety whistle that I got to put in the pack I carried on the front rack of my quad. One day I wrecked, flipped it down a steep hill. I was pinned under it and all the screaming for help I could do wasn’t going to work because anyone out there was wearing a helmet and riding a quad or dirt bike. I finally got unpinned but I was too hurt and the hill was too steep for me to climb out. The whistle was loud enough that even with a helmet riding a dirt bike, some guy heard it and stopped to help.

So yeah, whistles are good.

hand whistle!!
:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

with enough practice you can make it reallyhigh pitched…

I like to have the whistle readily available. If you go down bad you may not be able to get into your pockets or pack to find it.

I attached my whistle to the front of the shoulder strap of my hydration pack. That way if I go down the ravine I don’t have to look for it, just find it and start blowing. I also have a marine whistle on my ski pass lanyard.

For MUni and skiing I often also have my cell phone, compass, gps, frs/gmrs radio, and signal mirror.

A whistle is always a good idea, I always have at least one Fox40 when I am camping, hunting, canoeing or boating but not always when riding MUni.

When I was sixteen having a whistle saved me from an unplanned winter night in the bush. I went around two lakes thinking I was only going around the first one and then I was about 4km away from where I was supposed to be. I knew I was within 20 km from the bushline so I set my compass to 160? walked blowing my whistle every few minutes till it got dark then lit a fire in the snow still blowing my whistle about one a minute. My dad showed up around 11:00 then we walked home. I was only one km from the bushline where I stopped.

Two years ago when boating on Deschamboult lake I heard a whistle and we went to investigate. there was a guy stranded on an Island because his motor died and he could not paddle back to the resort. We gave him a ride back.

I suppose I have a few good reasons to carry a whistle when riding MUni so I will try to make a habit of bringing one whenever I go for a ride outside of traveled areas.

on a side note, do cops actually blow whistles at you in other countries? I see it in cartoons but never in real life. If I hear a whistle when on a trail I assume someone needs help.

…well, a whistle should work for most common injuries…

I just smile at the thought of a problem I’ve had a couple of times (not since 2004, thank God): one of my lungs just deflates as a flat balloon! in that case it would be a grotesque thing to have in my bag, a whistle!

But, for other things, I think I’ll get one!

My whistle’s in my hydration pack, along with a snake-bite kit (I came within 4 inches of a 40-inch rattlesnake the other day on the muni!) and first-aid supplies. But because my camelbak’s been leaking up a storm lately, I’ve been carrying water bottles in a different pack lately–so no whistle, etc. Gotta get me a new bladder! :roll_eyes:

Another thing I had made a couple years ago was several dogtags with my ID info on them, and I attached them to my hydration pack, seatbag (on my bike), running shoes, etc., since I just go straight from my house a lot of time and don’t carry a wallet or cell phone when I do that.

It’s a good idea. I bought two…one for me, one for my son one year when we went to Moab munifest. They’ve been in our respective camelbaks ever since. Other elements of my “permanent collection” of stuff in my pack is a RoadWarrior first aid pouch, two tire levers, a patch kit, lip balm and visene, and a bike size can of fix a flat.

Who needs a whistle when I can honk!:stuck_out_tongue: This is really what I want though!


almost all my unis are equipped with an Oïnk
here on my 29" on the left (not easy to see)
or here on the Coker (“Ollie Metal” riding) -not easy to spot either but “mickey mouse” head makes a lot of noise-
those are more useful to warn pesky pedestrians than calling for help in a remote forest.