I fly a small airplane over the Rocky Mountains and carry a handheld 2M band transceiver with the idea that it might help me get rescued in an emergency landing situation. We have pretty comprehensive repeater coverage around the area, which is monitored for such purposes pretty much continuously. However, I'm very aware that the rubber duck antenna is not going to provide the best performance. Of course, an antenna intended for a potential emergency situation must compromise considerations other than mere ERP, not least it mustn't poke me in the eye while I'm flying (and the conventional wisdom is that if you make a forced landing in an airplane, anything that you're not wearing / carrying on your person at the time must be considered non-essential to survival).
At this point, I'm considering the "signal stick" on the belief that I could carry it coiled into a circle Signal stick antenna. I'm also pondering whether I might make something with a modest length of co-ax attached such that I could somehow throw it up into a suitable tree to get more altitude.
In pursuit of this improvement, I'm looking for a) considerations that I might have overlooked, b) any experiences that folks can offer regarding how effective any such options might be in practice, and c) recommended references where I can do some study regarding this topic. Preferably such references might be prioritized, I'm painfully aware that one could (and probably some do) spend a lifetime (or at least a PhD-time) researching antenna topics.