Does Morse Code Continue To Be a Valuable Skill?


This might be news to you, but the newest crop of HAM radio operators no longer need to learn Morse Code. All of the organizations that certify HAM radio operators actually dropped that requirement in 2007. Even though the great majority of amateur radio operators still know the language, there are fewer people that bother to learn it. Is Morse Code still needed? Some might even wonder if it has become irrelevant. I know Yours Truly thought so for a while, but I recently decided to look for some answers on my own.

Is Morse Code useful? Yes, because Morse Code knowledge can be a useful tool for an extreme emergency. It still remains an effective form of non-verbal communication even though fewer people overall are using it.

In What Real Life Situations Would I Ever Need to Use Morse Code?

As a prepper and survivalist, there is no question you’re already busy enough. Learning to do Morse Code might seem like calculus or trigonometry; not necessary for you. However, even though it’s likely you won’t use it in your daily life, you should still learn how to use it. The paradox is this: for the very reason that this isn’t a daily skill is the same reason you and your whole family should learn this important skill.

Nightmares, Both Real and Imagined

Have you ever had a dream where you cannot scream? Dream experts will usually tell you that this means you feel ineffective or helpless. Of course, this issue might seem meaningless during the daytime, but it isn’t. The inability to communicate is still a tremendous burden in the real world. It can happen rather easily, too. All it takes is an accident or an illness such as strep throat and you may lose your voice. Moreover, if you ever have to manage a survival group, then heaven forbid that a member of your party falls and busts their jaw, mouth, or damages their vocal cords! Also, consider that if you were pushed you usually only can scream. No one will know what the danger is.

Quiet! Someone’s Listening…

Now, it’s highly likely that an injured face isn’t something that is high on your list of potential life issues. In fact, you are probably reading this and saying to yourself, “I’ll just write everything down and I’ll be fine and dandy.” While this is true, you will still need to allow for another unfortunate possibility: what if you get captured?

Naturally, I don’t have to tell you that there are all kinds of lunatics out there. Serial killers, kidnappers, cult leaders, crazy neighbors, terrorists, aliens, abominable snowmen, you name it, there are all kinds of people out there that want to do you harm. In this case, you definitely need to find a way to get help.

Yes, American Sign Language (ASL) can come in handy in a lot of different scenarios. However, it won’t help you if you’re stuck in the basement of a Hannibal Lecter-wannabe. What will help you, however, is Morse Code! You can tap out Morse Code on your crazy captor’s walls or even tap it on the dirt, and chances are he won’t be smart to understand what you are doing!

A Post-Apocalyptic World

If your catastrophe scenario doesn’t involve you pulling an “Owen Wilson” and going behind enemy lines, you’re definitely in good shape. You don’t need to know the skill of Morse Code. However, what about if the world has ended? What if you have survived after all the dust has cleared? What then?

It doesn’t matter if ISIS or North Korea got a hold of a nuclear weapon. It doesn’t matter if the zombies took over and are now dying off. It doesn’t matter what went wrong at all. Whatever the circumstances, you know you will have a strong desire to communicate with other survivors and start on the task of rebuilding society. How will you go about finding these people?

Setting Off a Warning Fire

Although this sounds good on the surface, it might create mixed results. First of all, most people realize that even fires in nature will happen from time to time. Moreover, if fires were a part of this apocalypse in the first place, it won’t anything to them anyway.

Venturing Out On Your Own

Going out of your shelter to find other survivors is definitely a noble idea. However, how well do you think it will work? How will you find food? Where will you sleep? Needless to say, this little brainstorm can be very dangerous, to say the least.


All of the above strategies are possibilities for finding other survivors, and you could absolutely try them. However, there is a strong possibility they may not work. On the other hand, if you had an amateur radio, you could stay in your shelter and simply tap out a help signal in Morse Code and see if someone picks it up. This is certainly a less risky strategy.

Of course, if you are part of a scouting party and you are about to go out and do some hunting or some other important task, you obviously don’t want all of your messages to be subject to prying eyes. This is another case where the Morse Code would make perfect sense.

Looking For a Companion For Armageddon

One of the best things about Morse Code would be simply having the ability to keep in touch. If you are reading this in an Armageddon scenario, then chances are you are part of a survival party. Realize that the best thing about Morse Code is that you can communicate with each other even if you far apart.

Of course, even the best two-way radios will have difficulty maintaining communication if there are obstacles such as buildings or mountains in the way. However, they will still get you at least a few miles, and they will get you to almost twenty miles with a clear line of sight.

Either way, just try to remember that if society falls apart on us, there will be survivors who will get desperate and dishonest. Communicating in Morse Code is one way to keep you safe in this scenario.

Look here, for the Deluxe Morse Code Practice Oscillator a dual-use device that can practice, and actually be hooked up to transmit when you are prepared.

Aviation Enthusiasts

If you know a pilot, then you will definitely agree they are useful. It’s pretty self-explanatory to note that they would be even more useful in the event of the total shutdown of society. Since many aviation enthusiasts are also people who understand Morse Code, knowing this code language also would have the added benefit of helping you keep in touch with many different aviation experts. Considering that there are a number of aviation languages that communicate in Morse Code, you are sure to find a few pilots in this manner.

More Than One Version

Even though Samuel Morse first patented the Telegraph Machine in 1837 and we still use his code today, there have been many other languages that evolved out of his system. These would include the following:

American Morse Code: the first type of Morse Code that is based on the dot-dash system.

Internation and Continental Morse Code: this is the most common form and this is the type most are referring to when they talk about Morse Code.

Wabun: The Japanese version of Morse Code.

SKATS: The Korean version of Morse Code.

What’s The Difference?

The good thing is that it isn’t necessary for you to learn all of the different types of Morse Code. Simply knowing the most popular version in your area will probably be sufficient. Of course, if you are in a life-and-death situation. Being able to tell them apart would be an extremely valuable skill, especially if your home country is in a war situation.

Final Thoughts

Morse Code is a language that has been in existence for a long time. Yes, you could develop your own language, but that would be too time-consuming and it wouldn’t be very convenient. ASL is good, but more and more people are learning it. Morse Code is probably the best language for your endeavors because it not only useful but secretive as well.

Considering that pilots, HAM radio operators, and those in the military are usually the only people that will speak this language, it is more likely you will find brethren for all of your personal needs.

If your hands are not functional and your mouth is gagged, guess what? You still can use More Code! It is truly one of the most useful code languages throughout the whole entire world.

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