You’re Not Mowgli

And you’re lost in the jungles…deep forest where GPS doesn’t work and you are stupid enough to leave your satellite phone at home! Aren’t you glad that you packed the “Rescue Balloon Kit” in your backpack? The handy kit contains a helium gas cylinder and a long string balloon. Fill it, seal and send it skywards. When you’re missing and rescue mission is on, hopefully this red tube will get spotted, hovering above the dense foliage.

Designer: Jaeseok Han

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Rescue Balloon Kit by Jaeseok Han

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57 Comments

  • brazgotine says:

    I made something similar a few years ago. The big problems are the temperatures and air pressure. How long is the balloon in the air ? If you make the balloon with good material it will be heavy in other case it will fall down fast. Mathematically = air (1,2kg/m^3) and helium (0,17kg/m^3).

    Greetings from Slovenia.

  • That guy says:

    Gramma FAIL!

    also the proportions of the balloon change from image to image, in the first shot it looks huge but in the illustration at the end it seems to be only a meter tall.. WTF?!

  • Manish says:

    I like this idea… very simple and can be a life saver.

  • Allan says:

    i would like to be contacted by the designer.

  • olivier says:

    well this works over the jungle but can work as well over the sea or oceans.
    very cool and clean idea, but need wisely to be resized at the minimum volume. Bravo!

  • tudza says:

    Okay, I think you are thinking of losing cell phone coverage in the forest. That is certainly very likely. GPS I would expect to be much less likely.

    How about you do a search on the Internet for Personal Location Beacon, PLB, which seems to be the current solution for this problem.

    Next step down from that, in my opinion, would not be a fancy balloon. It would be the waterproof matches I damned well better have with me and a big pile of wet leaves to dump on the signal fire I would start with the matches.

    • trybudi says:

      i agree, if we could get connection in the middle of nowhere that would solve things won’t it

  • IAmThatStrange says:

    While I agree this isn’t perfect… hey guys, I’d rather have the balloon that might have problems, than having no option of getting help at all. It looks small enough to not pose a burden to carry…

    Not sure how much having a personal beacon is but hey options are nice.

    I’d rather be found AND have matches thank you.

  • Poornima Aggarwal says:

    More power to all you wonderful designers who create such amazing stuff.

  • Scott Kittredge says:

    Jaeseok, I would consider revising your instructions a little… 1) I would secure the balloon to the rope first or just design the balloon pre-attached to the rope already. 2) Secure the balloon on the ground to either oneself or a weighted object. 3) Then inflate when it is secure and will not float away. You might put that clip on the end of the string so it can wrap around an anchor back onto itself.

  • Scott Kittredge says:

    Also what do you do with the case it seems like it should serve a purpose too. Since you would always pack out of the woods what you take in.

  • David says:

    Great idea. With a little addditional design to make it reflective for radar this could be very helpful for scuba divers as well.

  • Ross says:

    How long is the rope? Do I need extra if the trees are too high, then how much weight will it hold. What is the total weight that will add to my pack? What are the specs? Will it hold a blinking red light for night time? I like the comment about the radar but I don’t think anyone is looking or could look that low. It might have to small of a radar profile anyway. Could the case be used to fill with water/dirt for an anchor? How much does it cost? I think it needs to be cheap to compete with SPOT.

    I like this idea but it seems it needs some improvements.

    • Buzz says:

      Designer needs to do some testing. The amount of helium required to fill that balloon is far greater than that little pen looking canister. A small 5 inch x 1 inch canister which is on the market right now only has 0.5 cubic feet of helium which is enough to fill an 11″ latex balloon thats it

  • William says:

    Of no use – since they don't seem to be selling them – seems like it is just an idea.

  • William says:

    Of no use – since they don't seem to be selling them – seems like it is just an idea.

  • Jeff says:

    I thought of the same idea as David after reading about the engineer that was awarded almost 2 million dollars for being left at sea by a dive company. At first I thought I had came up with a million dollar concept… oh well. Thumbs up for David though!

  • Jeff says:

    I thought of the same idea as David after reading about the engineer that was awarded almost 2 million dollars for being left at sea by a dive company. At first I thought I had came up with a million dollar concept… oh well. Thumbs up for David though!

  • George says:

    You’ll save more lives if you keep it simple! I field tested this idea with regular and Mylar balloons years ago using fishing line and a dollar store LED inserted in the balloon to act as a flashing beacon. The balloons managed to clear even the densest canopies under rainy and windy conditions here in the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver, Canada). A wallet sized kit can contain a sufficient number of balloons in a variety of colours from which you can select depending on the season (for visibility in snow, night, summer, autumn, etc). These cheap balloons will stay up 24 hours, and that’s long enough for rescue crews to scan the local mountains and locate a lost hiker / snow boarder before the elements get to them. The balloons were to be inflated using a bike repair CO2 cartridge gun (about the size and shape of a small sprinkler gun) but I never found a company that could distribute helium or hydrogen in the small 12 gram cartridges.

  • George says:

    You’ll save more lives if you keep it simple! I field tested this idea with regular and Mylar balloons years ago using fishing line and a dollar store LED inserted in the balloon to act as a flashing beacon. The balloons managed to clear even the densest canopies under rainy and windy conditions here in the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver, Canada). A wallet sized kit can contain a sufficient number of balloons in a variety of colours from which you can select depending on the season (for visibility in snow, night, summer, autumn, etc). These cheap balloons will stay up 24 hours, and that’s long enough for rescue crews to scan the local mountains and locate a lost hiker / snow boarder before the elements get to them. The balloons were to be inflated using a bike repair CO2 cartridge gun (about the size and shape of a small sprinkler gun) but I never found a company that could distribute helium or hydrogen in the small 12 gram cartridges.

  • John says:

    Good idea. Simple, cost effective. Should be manufactured. strobe light attached would be great if battery could be light enough.

  • Craig K. says:

    Sorry guys but I have had the patent on this since 2003 US Patent 6,523,778. My patent includes the LED light so you can see it from a mile away. My balloon and light will stay up and lit for 7 days.

    I had licensed it out to a company that had financial problems so they never brought it to market. I just got it back and another company and were getting ready to produce. If you have any comments or questions or would like me to put you on a list email me

  • Anthony H. says:

    Where and when might these be available?

  • Michael R. says:

    Craig; Congrats on the patent. I invented this in 1981 but at the time didn’t have the time or money for a patent. I did run into problems with the helium cylinder having to be so large but finally overcame it with a self closing valve in order to discard the cylinder.
    My design used the form of a blimp, kite string and was day-glo orange. I went on to bigger and better things but I hope it will someday come to market.

  • Andy macdougall says:

    When will this be available, almost lost a couple of friends lost skiing

  • gofore says:

    I am interested in purchasing or in a franchise of this product.
    thank you

  • Akko. T says:

    I am interested in purchasing of this product.
    However, I am also wondering how much aare there?
    Where and when might these be available?
    How long is the balloon in the air ?

    When will this be available, it will be saving many people’s life!

  • Gerard Smedicus says:

    Hi Craig,
    I’ve been tinkering with this idea for a while,(here in New Zealand there are always trampers missing) but it might be easier to import the complete kit. Do you have a distributor for NZ and Australia?
    Thanks and best wishes,
    Gerard

  • alan says:

    Very interesting idea, with much merit!

  • Vaughn says:

    Great idea! You should patent the product. Is the helium canister of sufficient volume to inflate the balloon?

  • Debbie says:

    Hi Craig,

    I’m interested in this. Can you please send me a website link to your product? Or let me know where I can find one?

    Thanks,

    Debbie

  • Tap Tap says:

    Hey Craig,
    I see you have several requests for where to buy your balloon. I too would like to know, but also to license/partner with you on this 🙂
    We can review options and ideas.

    Tap Tap.

  • Jeff says:

    Greetings from Philadelphia, PA,

    Is your product being manufactured? If so, where can we purchase one? If not, we are interested in discussing a license/partnership agreement to produce, market and sell.

    Best regards,

    Jeff

  • Ted says:

    I was thinking of a rocket assist kite with a 10′ Mylar tail….but this balloon looks pretty good as well. Too many hikers are getting lost and too many days of fruitless searching. Get to market already.

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  • Is your rescue balloon available on the market? If so, please advise where. TYVM.

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