I’m speaking to the converted, you know the drill when it comes to survival and your emergency blanket (aka Space Blanket, Mylar Blanket, or Solar Blanket).
For those who don’t know, let me answer two FAQs regarding the emergency blanket. For those who do know, skip this part and keep scrolling down, or share it with your friends who are not as prepared as you!
Question 1: What are emergency blankets made of?
Answer: Manufacturers creating the thin sheeting by filling thin plastic film with vaporized aluminum. The result is a thin, flexible, warming system.
Question 2: How do emergency blankets work?
Answer: Our bodies lose heat either through evaporation (sweat), convection (wind), or radiation (it radiates off us).
Evaporation: It humidifies and warms our sweat (the reason top athletes are covered with a space blanket once they stop running).
Convection: A cold wind causes our bodies to lose heat, the faster it’s traveling, the colder we get. The space blanket forms a barrier between us and the wind.
Radiation: The reflective side (gold or silver) of the emergency blanket reflects 80% of our body back to us.
Depending on the side you use, your emergency blanket can not only reflect warmth to you, but it can also cool you by reflecting it away from you.
1. Emergency blanket first aid:
Shock and Hypothermia
For those who are unconverted and unfamiliar with this, this blog will explain it all in more detail:
Emergency Arm Sling/Tourniquet/Compression Bandage/Splint stabilizer
If all else fails, someone is injured, and all you have on you is an emergency blanket - have no fear, it is enough to help. Cut or tear your emergency blanket as needed to provide support for injured limbs.
2. Emergency shelter
Your emergency thermal blanket makes a brilliant overnight shelter in a survival situation. It would be even better if you had some paracord with you but also good just to find a tree, sling it over a low hanging branch, and “batten down the hatches” with rocks, stones, and logs.
3. Blanket (obviously!)
If you’re stranded in freezing temperatures and snow just wrap yourself up from top to bottom and allow the emergency heat blanket to do its job.
4. Signaling device
When lost, hold the blanket towards the sun and use the international distress signal by reflecting the blanket off the sun three times, then wait, another three times, then wait, etc. Rescuers will be attracted to systematic signals from afar.
5. Melt Snow
Your survival depends on drinking enough water. You would think eating snow would do the trick, but it can, in fact, cause dehydration. This is because there is very little water in a handful of snow. Using your emergency blanket to melt snow will give you an indication of how much water you’re consuming. Melt snow, then drink.
6. Collect water
Being waterproof, you’ll have the ability to collect quite a cache of rainwater should you need it.
If you’re struggling to make a fire in a survival situation - use your emergency space blanket to create a windbreak.
8. Trail Markers
Cut or tear your emergency Mylar blanket into strips and tie the strips onto trees leaving a trail for rescuers.
9. A lifesaver in your car
It’s no fun when your car lets you down or you drive into an area where the snow is just too deep. While you’re waiting for help to arrive you don’t want to freeze to death! We don’t want that either, so please won’t you always, especially in winter, keep an emergency survival blanket with you at all times. It could save your life.
10. Cold spell sleep relief
You’ve been taken by surprise while out camping or hiking. The weather has suddenly turned and you are miles from anywhere. Use your emergency blanket to line your sleeping bag to help regulate your body temperature throughout the night. Wait out the dark and walk in the light.
You don’t want to get frostbite while you’re looking for your way home. Tear off pieces of blanket that are big enough to wrap around your feet, then put your shoes on. Not only will this keep your feet warm and dry but it will save your extremities from frostbite.
12. Makeshift poncho
The rain is coming down in sheets and you have nothing in your kit to keep you dry, except your trusty emergency blanket. Nip a hole in the middle of the blanket and slip it over your head to wear like a poncho.
13. Fishing lure and sinkers
There are two reasons you’d need a fishing lure … you’ve either run out of lures on a fishing weekend or you’re lost and fishing to stay alive. Fish are attracted to shiny things. Tear or cut your blanket into tiny pieces and hook them.
Pop a stone into a small square that you’ve cut. Wrap the stone and tie it off - perfect sinker.
14. Keep your camp food safe from bears
If you’re in bear country and you have no other way to keep your food safe and out of bear reach - put all your food in the emergency blanket, tie it off with rope and hoist it up into a tree.
15. Improvised rope
Another good survival use of your blanket is to create a makeshift rope. It’ll need to be strong, so tear it or cut into three strands, plait it, and voila! Rope.
16. Tent rain fly
It’s been raining for the last 5 days and your tent has begun to leak. Before it gets too drenched, use your emergency blanket as a rain fly.
A few bonus uses for your emergency blanket
17. Sport spectator warmer
Whether it’s soccer, baseball, or football, sometimes those fields can act like winter wind tunnels and your jacket is just not doing the trick. Clever you, you’ve got your emergency blanket in your car, so you just rip it out, not caring what anyone else thinks, and you wrap yourself in warmth. You may have others asking to join you.
18. The picnic saver
You can save the day by laying your emergency blanket under your picnic blanket in chilly weather to keep you from freezing your butt off.
It could also serve as the picnic blanket for those times you forget to pack it.
19. Tent privacy
You’re sharing a tent and you’re a little shy. Hoist your emergency blanket up and peg it to create a privacy curtain. Unfortunately, it won’t shut out snoring - choose your tent partner wisely.
20. For when your picnic table is covered in bird poop
Don’t let a dirty picnic table spoil your picnic, whip out your emergency blanket and throw it over the table for a perfect makeshift tablecloth.
21. Paint tarp
Redecorating? Use your emergency blanket as a paint tarp and keep your floor and furniture safe from paint drips and specks.
22. Belt Buckle
Your belt just gave up the ghost, wherever you are, you’re about to be caught with your pants down. Then you remember reading this blog about all the things you can do with your emergency blanket. Like a pro, you get your first aid kit, take out your emergency blanket, twist it, fold it, whatever blows your hair back, and create a new shiny fashion accessory.
23. Clothes dryer
For a quick dry method, pop your wet clothes onto your emergency blanket while camping or hiking.
24. Food warmer
While you’re waiting for your other food to cook, wrap what you’ve already cooked in your emergency blanket and place it near the fire to keep warm.
25. Support your favorite sports team (Yeeeehaaaaa)
Write a message on your blanket to your sporting crush and show them some love. Who knows, maybe the reflective side will attract the camera crew.
Need some emergency, space, mylar, foil, blankets? I think you do.