Most people are familiar with the Mylar 'space' blankets marketed for emergency and rescue purposes. They're called space blankets because the material was developed for insulation by NASA for the Apollo space program. But don't let the term blanket in the description mislead you to think that you could enjoy curling on the couch in one with a good book on a winter night. The crackly, noisy foil material is anything but soft and cuddly.
The Mylar film material is very thin and light weight so it folds to fit in your pocket, your pack, your purse, or just about anywhere.The main attraction to these foil blankets lies in their ability to reflect and retain body heat (up to 90% according to manufacturers). In extreme cold conditions or cases of trauma induced shock wrapping up in one of these blankets can help prevent hypothermia or worse. The blankets can also protect from the burning rays of the sun in hot weather. The material is both windproof and waterproof to offer even more protection from the elements.
Their usefulness in emergency and rescue situations alone is plenty of reason to keep several of these blankets tucked away and handy. But when you see how many other ways they can be used you'll rank them high on your list of must carry items. Here are a few suggested uses:
- Use as a tarp, table cover, ground cloth, drop cloth or shelter
- Use as a reflective backdrop to reflect campfire heat
- Cut into sections to create waterproof, heat retaining shoe or boot liners
- Use as a light reflecting rescue signal or cut into pieces to make trail markers
- Cut and hang strips to repel animals from camp or garden - a little breeze creates a reflective motion they don't like
- Wrap food to keep it hot or cold - line a box to make a makeshift cooler
- Lay it in a shallow spot on the ground to catch rainwater or to melt snow
- Cut strips and twist them to make makeshift rope
These are only a few of the many ways of using these handy Mylar blankets. If you Google 'Uses for Mylar Emergency Blankets' you will find many more lists and ideas (DISCLAIMER: I seriously recommend that you DO NOT try suggestion #23 at this site - ( 50 uses for an Emergency Blanket ) - and before anyone asks, no, I did not try it!
Lastly, the Mylar emergency blankets I have referred to above are of the single layer variety. They are inexpensive enough to be considered disposable, but if you do, PLEASE dispose of it properly as a courtesy to nature and to the next person that follows in your footsteps.
You can find these single layer emergency blankets in a 5 pack in our TravTac store here. We also offer a variety of reusable All Weather emergency blankets that you can check out here (more about them another time).
Get yourself some of these little life savers before your next road trip or excursion into the field. Do it now so that you don't forget.