The relatively simple emergency blanket (also known as a space blanket or thermal blanket) is actually a sophisticated piece of engineering. These blankets were initially designed by NASA in 1964 for emergency use in the US space program. They are made from a thin plastic film that is coated with a metallic layer that can reflect back up to 97% of the radiated heat that hits it. And despite the high-tech origins, these reflective USA made Mylar blankets are very affordable, lightweight, and easy to carry.
They can keep us warm at night, and when used as an “umbrella” – they can ward off the evil desert sun. But these are far from being a one trick pony. The blanket can be staked out on the ground as a shiny ground-to-air signal panel, or you can cut a few strips off the edges and hang them up as sparkling trail markers. The water-proof plastic also makes it an ideal rain harvester. All you have to do is line a hole and wait for the skies to open up (but don’t hold your breath in the desert). They also have the ability to morph into many other different survival staples.
Survival shelter configurations abound when you are dealing with a strong flexible piece of rectangular material. Use large blankets as an “A” frame shelter, as a wedge shaped hut or a dome tent. These blankets are waterproof, windproof and warm.
If you cut a few strips off the sides of the blanket, these can be twisted or braided into pieces of cordage. Longer strips can be made by cutting a spiral pattern from round or oval blanket sections. They have an amazing tensile strength of 12,500 pounds per square inch.
Using the water-proof blanket as a piece of rain gear can make the space blanket your best friend in places where precipitation is abundant, and your supply of rain gear is low.
A busted arm can be cradled in a sling, improvised from the space blanket. Fold it into a large triangle shape and tie it around the patient’s neck to make a warm, effective arm sling.
Wound Make a sucking chest wound suck a little less with a small piece of space blanket. Cut off a piece of the blanket, and encircle it with duct tape around the wound.
These reflective Mylar blankets usually only cost a few dollars, which makes them a great investment considering that the lives they can save are priceless. Keep these blankets in your first aid kit, survival kit and vehicle, as a minimum. This eight-pack is a great deal, and it gives you plenty of blankets to spread through your vehicles and equipment. Don’t get caught without one!Purchase HQ ISSUE Emergency Blankets At Sportsman's Guide