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Leaving your mark

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Submitted by Eric Daniel

The VS-17 aircraft panel is a reversible, 2-color strip of fabric which, when used with other panels, can be arrayed out on the ground in various patterns to communicate with aircraft.  While primarily still used for this purpose (and I still carry one with me when I go hiking above the treeline as they are rather brilliant visually) one other interesting use I've found for them is marking my luggage when traveling.  By cutting the panel into strips and putting a grommet in one end, you have an easily recognizable tag to your checked bags.  This is especially true if you're flying mil air (i.e. deploying) where your duffle bag seems to look a lot like the other 300 duffle bags sitting there at the terminal.  The fabric is fairly sturdy and resists fraying, but to increase its strength you can fold it over and stitch the folds together before you insert the grommet.VS-17 marker panel

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