What is an Emergency Blanket?
Are you an outdoor enthusiast and constantly in a state of preparedness? It’s probably because you’ve heard your fair share of incredible (sometimes hardly believable) survival stories from fellow adventurers. Emergency blankets come are vital when facing chaos and life-threatening situations. Also referred to as first aid blankets, thermal or weather blankets, Mylar blankets, or space blankets, these tiny bad boys are designed to drastically reduce your body’s heat loss. If you are caught up in an emergency situation – like an unexpected storm while backpacking or even a natural disaster – your body can easily lose heat from thermal radiation, convention, conduction, or water evaporation. An emergency blanket can help your body retain its own heat, which is a great survival tactic as you await a rescue team.
Most people tend to think that having an emergency blanket is a waste of space. After all, they will never need it. That could not be further from the truth. Emergency blankets are designed and suitable for numerous functions. Mountaineers, astronauts, marathon runners, and even rescue workers swear by them since they are intrinsic to their roles. Travelers and outdoor lovers will always find these blankets useful. Besides, since they are so versatile, they save a ton of weight and space.
Mylar Space Blankets
When you think of emergency blankets, you most likely think of Mylar bags also known as space blankets. Although there are many other emergency blankets, Mylar is the most common one. They are not the regular type of blanket because they are made from vaporized aluminum and a slim plastic sheet. The aluminum works by reflection to prevent your body from losing heat through radiation. If you have watched marathons, you have likely seen runners receiving these blankets at the end of their race. Once they stop running, their body heat drops rapidly, especially as they’re soaked in their own sweat. The Mylar emergency blanket helps reflect their body heat & warm them back up.
A mylar emergency blanket is not your typical blanket, so you can’t expect to use one as such. However, if you understand its characteristics, you can use it to enhance your survival. The combination of Mylar with an insulator such as a wool blanket, for example, will help you stay really warm, even in the coldest weather.
Listed below are some of the most useful features of the Mylar blanket
Reflective properties: The blanket’s aluminum material is reflective. As such, you can either use it to reflect your body’s heat back to you or reflect heat away from you. You can use it as a tent to create a space where you can enjoy cooler temperatures. There are a ton of other ways to use the blanket’s reflective feature, too, including starting a fire and signaling for help. Its versatility makes it a truly necessary survival blanket.
Water resistance: There is nothing quite like a waterproof blanket. They come with so many benefits including repelling rainwater, making survival shelters, and preventing heat loss from evaporation, among others. Line your tent with a Mylar outdoor blanket to trap heat inside. It is one of the most necessary cold weather survival items.
Wind resistance: Since it blocks the wind, it is a wonderful idea to line the inside of your tent with a Mylar blanket. You can also wrap them around yourself to prevent heat loss and repel the bitter sting of a chilling breeze.
Durability: Mylar blankets tend to be extremely durable. However, it’s crucial that you find the right emergency blanket set that is built with high-quality materials, to ensure that it’s protected before use.
What are some of the best uses for emergency blankets?
After reviewing the above features of Mylar emergency blankets, you must think, “Wow! This blanket is really versatile, I need one.” Well, there are even many more ways through which emergency blankets come in handy. Just remember that as long as you understand the features of this blanket, you can find them more useful even in your day-to-day activities. Their only limit is your creativity!
Fish find shiny objects attractive. As such, if you cut small pieces of your emergency blankets you can use them to lure the fish. This is a great way to feed yourself when camping or tragically trapped in the wilderness after a tragic encounter.
2. Drying clothes
It is clear that emergency blankets reflect heat. Therefore, you can spread your wet clothes on top of the reflective side to help them dry faster. Like a solar panel, they’ll reflect the sun’s rays right into your damp clothing!
3. Providing extra lighting
If you plan to have a romantic dinner or an evening in your backyard with candles as your source of light, emergency blankets provide a cheat sheet to attaining more light with every candle you light. Place a piece of the blanket behind the candle, and its reflective feature should help increase the lighting. You will be amazed.
4. Preventing dampness and retaining heat
When camping in the wild – especially in a cold and wet climate – spread your emergency blanket on the ground to prevent dampness and retain heat at the same time. You can be sure that your butt will remain dry while sitting on it. In fact, lay the blanket down before setting up your tent, so that it acts as your floor. You’ll be surprisingly happy with the results.
5. Sling services
Outdoor blankets are designed to be particularly strong and sturdy and can withstand the harsh outdoor conditions. Some people have reported using an emergency blankets to carry and transport their injured friends.
Yes, you understand the reflective properties of emergency blankets by now. You know how to use the blanket to retain heat. If you flip the blanket inside out, with the reflective side facing outward you should create a cool shade to hide from the scorching sun. The aluminum material reflects 97 percent of radiated heat.
7. Heat Reflection
If you want to make a campsite warmer, and the campfire is not doing enough, try positioning your emergency blanket behind the flames. The reflective side should face the fire so that it can reflect the heat produced to increase the temperature. You can even try this at home in your fireplace. It should make the room quite warm.
8. Water Collection
When it rains, tie the corners of the blanket to the end of a tree branch to collect rain water from the leaves. Another easy way to collect rainwater would be to place the blanket on hollow ground (or dig a little hole underneath) to trap the water. Besides rainwater, you can connect a few pieces of the blanket, and fold them appropriately to channel water from a nearby freshwater river. When it snows, collect the snow and place it on the blanket under the sun. Once melted, funnel the water into a container and use it to drink or cook. The ideas are endless; just be creative.
9. Growing Food
Many people love to grow food at home. It is economical, healthier, and even promotes preparedness. Light is an important part of plant growth, and emergency blankets help in light reflection. Place some emergency blankets strategically in your grow rooms to reflect light into the room and promote the growth of your plants. Winters are normally colder and darker, which makes this tactic most effective during those cold winter seasons. When you think of cold weather survival gear, don’t forget to include your emergency blanket.
10. Trade and barters
The demand for multipurpose items shoots through the roof during catastrophes. Most people don’t plan for disaster, which leaves them ill-equipped in the event of one. If you have a stock of emergency blankets, you can trade them for food and other supplies you may need. This seems unlikely, until the power is out, and people are freezing even in their own homes!
11. Flotation device
If you are caught up in a flood or a situation where you have to cross a river to get to your destination, an emergency blanket can act as a floater. Improvisation is always the key to survival. Never forget to pack up your emergency blanket when headed for the wild. Also, stock them up in your home in case of an emergency. They take up minimal space, so they won’t be an inconvenience to you.
12. Meal preparation
Solar cookers are a great life saver in many scenarios. Whether you are stuck at home during a blackout or exploring in the wild while on a camping trip, solar cookers are always convenient. To increase efficiency, line up the inside of your solar cooker box with an emergency blanket. It should reflect light onto the cooker making it much easier to ignite.
Outdoor blankets are made to increase your level of comfort even in the wildest parts of the wilderness and emergency blankets are particularly special. They are the perfect cold weather survival gear and – as we’ve seen – so much more. Never miss out on an opportunity to explore the outdoors because you failed to pack effectively.
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