Survival Skills: Don’t Get Caught Without Space Blankets

Sure, wrapping up in a space blanket can keep you warm, but this item is far from a one-trick pony.

Space blankets have the ability to morph into many different survival staples. These reflective Mylar blankets usually only cost a few dollars, which makes them a great investment for a lifesaving tool. At a minimum, keep these blankets in your first-aid kit, survival kit and vehicle.

The reflective or colored side of the space blanket can be staked out on the ground as a signal panel or hoisted onto a pole to create a highly visible, portable signal flag.

Tent and shelter configurations abound when you’re dealing with a strong, flexible piece of rectangular, waterproof material. Use a large blanket as an A-frame shelter, a wedge shaped hut or a dome tent.

Trail Marker
Cut the space blanket into short strips and tie them at eye level onto tree branches, bushes, or weeds to mark trails and create paths for your group, and for potential rescuers.

Space blankets are very useful in many emergency situations.
Space blankets are very useful in many emergency situations.

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.

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 and effective support.

Rain Catcher
The waterproof nature of this plastic blanket makes it an ideal rain harvester. All you have to do is dig a hole, line it with the blanket, and wait for the skies to open up.

Cut a few long, thin strips off the sides of the blanket and twist or braid them into pieces of cordage. You can also fashion longer ropes by cutting a spiral pattern from round or oval blanket sections.

Using the blanket as a piece of rain gear can be a game changer— especially in places where precipitation is abundant and your supply of rain gear is low.

Use the blanket for its intended purpose: Wrap up in it to stave off the cold, treat shock and manage hypothermia.

Water Carrier
Line a container with a space blanket to make a water transport. You can line baskets, backpacks, bags, and pretty much anything else.

Shop Sportsman’s Guide for a great value on Space-type, Emergency Blankets!

This tip, and 337 more survival tips, are in MacWelch’s new book Prepare For Anything. This latest Outdoor Life survival manual is available at Amazon.

Follow him on Twitter @timmacwelch  And check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles in Outdoor Life Magazine.

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