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Anarchist/Animist Primate
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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to compile a list of symbols that would be useful for communicating information to other survivalists. I am basing them on the old "hobo signs" seen here:



Obviously, survivors of a modern SHTF event would require many symbols that were not needed in the day of the hobo. I'm talking about symbols to warning people about radiation, disease, and other threats, as well as tips on where one might find help, fresh water and so on.

So, with the hobo signs in mind, what other information might we want to pass on to other survivors? If you were on the road after an event, what information would YOU want to know?
 

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Not To Reason Why...
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all the dead people on the ground is an excellent symbol for a majoity of issues...lol,

In all seriousness, I agree. Maybe not symbols but everyone should memorize international morse code. The world wide symbol of the red "X" is obviously a no go area but used by .gov's and what not means clear, either way, I wouldn't go where that symbol is. You could also use ... _ _ _ ... say for SOS or "help", not nessecarily transmit it. However being that I manage the HICS/ICS system for a local hospital, they tell us all the same thing. Don't complicate it, just plain english to get your message across.
 

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Anarchist/Animist Primate
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5,771 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
all the dead people on the ground is an excellent symbol for a majoity of issues...lol,

In all seriousness, I agree. Maybe not symbols but I think everyone should memorize international morse code. I think the world wide symbol of the red "X" is obviously a no go area but used by .gov's and what not means clear, either way, I wouldn't go where that symbol is. You could also use ... _ _ _ ... say for SOS or "help", not nessecarily transmit it.
Actually the information I'm compiling would include existing symbols (such as the Katrina "x-code") and morse code.

I'm looking for something more specific.
 

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I have thought of this, too. I was even thinking that it would be good to have a little sign out on the mailbox that indicates we are willing to barter...but something that only other barter-ers would understand. This could be helpful if the economy tanked worse, and we could put a sign out that has a symbol for what we have to barter, also, maybe....
 

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Interesting topic that bring back memories of my childhood.

We had railroad hobo's in our neighborhood that sure did use symbols at or near houses to let others know if it was a 'good' place to get help. Mostly the symbol I remember was a smiley face. My Mom almost always gave out left over food to them. That is until their began to be too many and she had to stop.

Hadn't thought about that in years.
 

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Anarchist/Animist Primate
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5,771 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I have thought of this, too. I was even thinking that it would be good to have a little sign out on the mailbox that indicates we are willing to barter...but something that only other barter-ers would understand. This could be helpful if the economy tanked worse, and we could put a sign out that has a symbol for what we have to barter, also, maybe....
Exactly. It's a way to communicate without risking exposure. So what barter goods would need symbols, and how specific should we get?

Maybe a symbol that lets people know that precious metals would be accepted as money would be a good one. That you're willing to barter food or water. There could even be warnings to say basically "don't even THINK about stopping here." :)
 

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Your move Sparky...
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This one was done for both my dad and grandfather....

(_x_)

They earned it....
 
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Anarchist/Animist Primate
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5,771 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Here is what I have so far. I'm still working on the symbols to represent each of these, but that's the easy part.

First, a couple disclaimers:

Keep in mind that the symbols are intended to be used either alone or together, so although a particular sign may seem unnecessary, it could be useful when combined with another. For example, using the sign for "go this way" followed by the "boat" sign.

Also, I may end up consolidating some that are needlessly complicated, like the ones for acceptable currency. Rather than have separate ones for each kind of currency accepted, you would simply use the sign for the thing itself (gold for example) and add a small sign next to it.

Finally, remember that this is a very rough list and is a work in progress.

Look these over and let me know if you think anything should be added, modified or omitted.
__________________

Hazard Warnings
- Danger, general
- Dangerous area
- Dangerous house or building (structurally)
- Radiation
- Poison
- Bio-hazard
- Disease / plague

General
- Alcohol
- All is well
- Anger
- Authority (Corrupt)
- Authority (Helpful)
- Authority figure or official lives here
- Avoid this place
- Avoid this place - risk of arrest or capture
- Bad people
- Bad tempered people
- Barking dogs
- Beware of dog
- Be prepared to defend yourself
- Beginning of summer
- Best
- Boat
- Boundary line
- Bridge
- Buried
- Burned
- Camp Site, Safe
- Canceled
- Cannibalism in the area
- Cave (Occupied)
- Cave (Unoccupied)
- Church
- City
- Community
- Communication Center or Hub
- Closed and Locked
- Copper
- Cult, Dangerous
- Currency accepted, copper
- Currency accepted, gold
- Currency accepted, silver
- Currency accepted, lead
- Currency accepted, iron
- Currency accepted, any precious metals
- Currency accepted, any trade goods
- Dead bodies here
- Diesel Fuel
- Defended
- Dishonest person
- Distance (number signifies miles)
- Don't take this road - dangerous
- Don't give up
- Don't go this way
- Don't talk to anyone
- Drink (other than water)
- Drugs (recreational/narcotic/illegal)
- Earth, Planet
- Earth, Ground or Dirt
- Eclipse, Lunar
- Eclipse, Solar
- Edibles, Wild plants
- Edibles, Mushrooms
- Edibles, Roots
- Electricity on
- Electricity off
- Electricity, Batteries
- Electrical Hazard
- Element of Air (gas)
- Element of Earth (solid)
- Element of Fire (energy)
- Element of Water (liquid)
- Emergency
- Emergency Exit or Route
- Empty
- End
- End (dead end, no escape)
- Evening
- Evil person that deserves no kindness or respect
- False
- Family
- Farm, Large
- Farm, Small
- Female
- Fire
- Forbidden
- Fortified house, stronghold or bunker
- Friendly people
- Frightened people
- Fruit trees in the area
- Gasoline / petrol
- Generous people, but very cautious. Show respect.
- Get off this road immediately
- Gift
- Glass
- Glue
- Go this way
- Goats
- Gold
- Good
- Good luck
- Great danger
- Greedy people
- Guerilla Fighters
- Half
- Healer (alternative)
- Help/distress
- Here is being watched
- Here lives only women, children and/or elderly
- Here nobody lives
- Here there is nothing of interest
- Here are recreational/illegal drugs
- Here you can work for food
- Here you will be allowed to sleep and nothing more
- High voltage
- Hit the road fast
- Homosexual (gay and/or lesbian)
- Honey
- Hope
- Horses
- Hourglass (left number is hours, right number is minutes)
- House
- House is well guarded
- Hunting is good
- Hunting is not good
- Ice
- Iron
- Information
- Justice
- Keep quiet
- Kerosene
- Kind people
- Law enforcement
- Lead
- Life / Alive
- Look out / authorities are searching the area
- Male
- Male who is easily manipulated by pretty women
- People here are heavily armed
- People here shoot first and ask questions later
- Marijuana grown in the area
- Married couple
- Married couple with child(ren)
- Meeting place
- Medicine
- Medical building (hospital, first aid station, clinic, etc.)
- Medical person (doctor, nurse, EMT, etc.)
- Medical treatment at no charge
- Mercury Poisoning
- Microwave radiation
- Military in the area
- Moon (first quarter, full, third quarter, new)
- Mortal danger
- Mother with child
- Mountains
- Music
- Mystery / Unknown
- Night
- North
- Not a safe place
- Nuclear facility
- Oil
- Organized
- Ounce
- Paranoid people - use caution
- Path (walking only)
- People around here don't like travelers or strangers
- People around here are racist
- People with guns
- Pregnant woman
- Private soldiers / mercenaries
- Pure water
- Question
- Radio communication
- Rapist lives here - very dangerous
- Rapist(s) in vicinity
- Religion, Asatru
- Religion, Bahai
- Religion, Buddhist
- Religion, Catholic
- Religion, Christian
- Religion, Hindu
- Religion, Islam
- Religion, Jewish
- Religion, Mormon
- Religion, Pagan
- Religion, Satanist
- Religion, Taoist
- Resistance fighters / organization
- Rising sun / dawn
- River
- Road obstructed
- Road clear
- Safe place
- Salt
- Sea / ocean
- Sea shore
- Season, Autumn
- Season, Spring
- Season, Summer
- Season, Winter
- See / watch / pat attention
- Seed bank (for sale or trade)
- Silver
- Slavery in the area
- Solar power
- South
- Stay put
- Stay off the roads
- Start
- Steel
- Stone
- Stop / Halt
- Stream
- Success
- Sun
- Sunrise
- Sunset
- Take this road, it's better
- Teacher
- Telephone is working
- Telephone is not working
- Tent camp
- Terrorist activity
- Thieves in the area
- Thieves live here
- Threat
- Town
- Trading center
- Traps set in the area
- True
- Twenty-four hours
- Uncertain
- Unknown
- Unknown number
- Unknown people
- Unpredictable
- Village / Settlement
- Wait here
- Wait, not ready
- Warning
- Water is good for drinking
- Water is poisonous
- Wax
- Weak
- Week
- Whistle
- Wise person here
- Wood
- Work
- Wrong / Incorrect
- Year
- Yule / Winter Solstice
- Zero
 

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The horned one is making this way to complicated. You don't want to make people learn an entire language. remember K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid.

_^_ = barter
w^w = water
m^m = food
*^* = ammo
oOo = gold or silver
XXX = danger
-v- = safe
ALK = alcohol
GAS = gas
NWS = news

I wouldn't advertise gold and silver trading, nor ammo either. Let them ask. This is an easy three character device that could be put near the road for those who are looking.
As for why those symbols, the carat acts as a balance beam or scale. w for water, m is for meal (food), the two bangs for ammo, the three balls (pawn) for gold and silver.

Any other suggestions?
 

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Indefatigable
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20,132 Posts
I lived next to a railroad growing up we had gypsys and hobos along it. My grandpa worked for the railroad and use to point out some of the signs to me, wish I had been old enough to pay more attention then.
 
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Anarchist/Animist Primate
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5,771 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
The horned one is making this way to complicated. You don't want to make people learn an entire language. remember K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid.

_^_ = barter
w^w = water
m^m = food
*^* = ammo
oOo = gold or silver
XXX = danger
-v- = safe
ALK = alcohol
GAS = gas
NWS = news

I wouldn't advertise gold and silver trading, nor ammo either. Let them ask. This is an easy three character device that could be put near the road for those who are looking.
As for why those symbols, the carat acts as a balance beam or scale. w for water, m is for meal (food), the two bangs for ammo, the three balls (pawn) for gold and silver.

Any other suggestions?
Great ideas. I like some of the ideas for the symbols.

As I said, it's not a final list, and one goal is simplify it, though perhaps not as much as yours, since everyone's needs will be different. I understand that not everyone will use ALL the symbols ALL the time, but I figure it's better to have them and not need them rather than the other way around.

Another thing that I'm trying to take into account is that these can be used in all manner of SHTF situations, and not just EOTWAWKI, so I want to allow for all sorts of communication needs. In fact, they could even be used in every day life to maintain OPSEC when communicating with family, friends or other survivalists. These could become part of your bug-out plan.
 

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Anarchist/Animist Primate
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Discussion Starter #18
I came across a site that is an online encyclopedia of western signs and ideograms. There are symbols available for just about everything! This might be a good starting point.

I think you're right on with the hobo code, Horned One. That's widely accepted and easy to understand.

http://www.symbols.com/index/wordindex-a.html
Thank you. Yes, I've been "mining" that site for symbols and ideas. :)
 

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Sky Soldier
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338 Posts
Ground to Air Signals

SOS Need help
K Tell me which direction to go
I Serious injuries, need a doctor
II Need medical supplies
X Unable to proceed
F Need food and water
→ Traveling in this direction
◊ Require map and compass
L Need fuel
LL All is well
N No
Y Yes
┘└ Not understood

If your message has been seen and understood a pilot will rock the plane's wings from side to side or flash a green light.
If a pilot makes a right-hand circle or flashes a red light your message has been seen but not understood.

http://www.cap-es.net/zips/gnd2airsignals.PDF
 
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