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Space Blankets For Survival

An important part of any first aid kit, a space blanket provides you with more benefits than just keeping warm. However, keeping warm should always be your first priority in any type of survival or adventure situation.

 

Some of the most useful things about space blankets are that they're lightweight, take up very little space and don't cost very much. A typical space blanket costs less than $4 and weighs about 3 ounces (85 grams). Folded up, it's about the size of a deck of cards, and unfolded it's about 56 by 84 inches (142 by 213 centimeters)

 

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Here are just a few ways you can utilize a space blanket in a survival situation:

 

Emergency blanket -- Of course, the space blanket's main purpose is helping you or someone else stay warm. It's especially useful in a first-aid kit if someone is going into shock. Wrap the blanket around the person, tucking it in on the sides and under the feet in order to keep body heat in and cold out. Cover the person's head with a hat or scarf to prevent further heat loss.

 

Emergency shelter -- In a pinch, you can use your space blanket as a tent, tarp or lean-to. The material is waterproof so it will protect you from rain or wet snow. If you are in a cold weather situation, take advantage of the shiny side of the blanket to reflect heat from a campfire back to you. The metallic surface will bounce the heat of the fire toward you and help keep you warm.

 

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Keep warm -- Besides using a space blanket as a blanket, you can also use it to insulate your space. For example, let's say you become trapped in your car during a freak winter blizzard. Cover the windows of the car with the space blanket -- shiny side in. It will help reflect your body heat back inside the car.

 

Keep cool -- In the same way that the space blanket reflects heat back toward you, it can also reflect heat away from you. If you're in a tent, and the sun is bearing down on you, put the blanket shiny-side-up on top of the tent. Have you ever seen shiny sun shields on the windows of cars during the summer? Same idea -- the metallic surface of the sun shield reflects the heat of the sun out of the car.

 

Signal for help -- Because the surface of the blanket is so shiny, it makes a good distress signal. The reflective surface makes it more easily visible from the sky. Some space blankets even come with the letters "SOS" printed right on the blanket itself.

 

With a little creativity, you can probably find even more ways to use your space blanket.

 

Space blankets come in different brands, sizes and shapes. Keep reading to find out more.

 

 

 

Types of Space Blankets

You can find several different types and brands of space blankets for sale. Find out what kind will best suit your needs.

 

The traditional space blanket is just a metallic sheet. It folds up into a very small package. It's usually shiny on one side and colored on the other. Some space blankets are bright orange on the colored side for easy visibility in the woods.

 

The space blankets you see at marathons usually come in a roll or are shipped flat in boxes. Marathon sponsors realized almost immediately that they could advertise their brands right on the sheets -- an inexpensive way to create walking billboards.

 

Sporting goods stores offer a wide range of space blankets. You can buy a cheap emergency blanket for less than $4 -- making them virtually disposable. You can buy more heavy weight, reusable blankets for around $14. You can buy a survival blanket big enough for two people.

 

Or, if you know you'll be in extreme conditions, you could purchase a bivy sack. A bivy sack (sometimes spelled "bivvy") is short for "bivouac sack." The word "bivouac" means a temporary encampment or casual shelter. Experts recommend bivy sacks for people who need to carry the least amount of weight possible -- campers, mountain bikers, climbers and the like. Bivy sacks are waterproof and shaped like a sleeping bag. You put them over your sleeping bag or -- in warmer conditions or survival emergencies -- use the bivy sack as the sleeping bag itself.

 

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Many bivy sack manufacturers use space blanket technology to make the bivy sack even more valuable. The metallic reflective coating blends with a heavier, stronger material. That makes it waterproof, more durable and less prone to rips and tears. It is a bit heavier than a regular Mylar-style space blanket, but has its own advantages as well.

 

Here's an example of using a bivy sack in an extreme survival situation: If someone's clothes are soaked and they are in danger of hypothermia, you can remove the person's wet clothes and place him or her in the bivy sack. This way the victim's body won't waste energy trying to warm up cold, wet clothing.

 

An emergency bivy sack comes folded in a pouch no bigger than the size of a large can of soup and weighs about 6.5 ounces (184 grams). A bivy sack will run anywhere from around $16 all the way up to around $40 or more. It all depends on the quality of the particular item.

 

To find out more about space blankets and survival gear, check out the links on the next page



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