Survival blankets are also known as emergency blankets, Mylar blankets, safety blankets, weather blankets, and other names. Whether you are camping in the woods or stuck in the wild, a survival blanket is an extremely useful tool and could be the difference between surviving or perishing.
One of the most common causes of death in the wild is hypothermia, which is a dangerous drop in body temperature resulting from prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.
You don’t have to be lost in the Rocky Mountains to get hypothermia. Prolonged exposure to mild cold conditions can also lead to hypothermia. If you happen to get wet, the chances of hypothermia increase substantially.
It’s not just the temperature you have to guard against. In the wild, a survival blanket can be used as a ground tarp, signaling for help, boost fire heat, make cordage, use as a makeshift poncho, keep away the bugs and insects while you get some sleep, and several other uses.
If you are thinking of keeping a regular blanket in your survival kit that will not be a good idea, as regular blankets are not designed for survival. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider getting a survival blanket.
5 ways survival blankets are different from regular blankets:
The reflective properties can be useful to signal for help, but that’s not the primary reason why survival blankets are made to be reflective. The reflective material of the survival blankets is meant for insulation purposes. The inside of the blanket is meant to radiate up to 90% of the heat back to you, while the outside material is made to insulate you from the cold temperature.
For most, you would see orange on the outside and silver on the inside. These colors allow for maximum thermal return from the blanket. Some use reflective silver color on the outside and inside for maximum insulation whether it is cold or hot.
The Primacare HB-10 Emergency Thermal Blankets are one of the best available on Amazon. It is an excellent choice. It’s meant for use in all weather conditions. The fabric used for construction is Mylar foil. This product comes in a pack of 10, so you will have plenty to keep in your car, first aid kit, backpack, and other places.
2. Windproof and Waterproof
The ability of a survival blanket to be windproof and waterproof is an important feature to protect you in the wild. Regular blankets are not designed to have these features as they are not expected to be used for a survivalist situation. As mentioned before, the chances of hypothermia increase if you get wet, so it critical to remain dry in the wild.
The reason why getting wet increases the chances of hypothermia is because of evaporation. As the moisture from clothes and the body evaporates, it will have a cooling effect. The importance of being windproof is vital as the wind can increase heat loss.
A survival blanket is different from a regular blanket in portability. Not only do they weigh less but they can be easily be packed or stowed away without taking too much space. In a survival situation such as being lost in the wild, it is important to conserve energy and that requires you to be as light as possible and only carry the essential items with you. If you were to use a regular blanket, it would be impossible to carry it on you for an extended time.
For ultimate portability, you should have a look at the Bearhard Emergency Lite Blanket on Amazon. This lightweight and compact survival blanket weighs only 2 oz and comes in a pack of 4. The lightweight material does not compromise the strength of the blanket and offers windproof and waterproof properties.
Durability is one of the key differences. You should only consider buying high-quality blankets that offer superior durability allowing the blankets to be reusable and offer the required protection expected from a proper survival blanket.
The weatherproof and portability features of the survival blanket should not compromise durability. A survival blanket will not be of much use if it gets torn resulting in holes. The design of a survival blanket is to provide an ‘envelope’ of air, which is an excellent insulator of heat. If air is allowed to escape, the blanket will lose its primary function.
If you have to sleep in the survival blanket or use it for shelter, the wild will present several obstacles that can puncture or tear the blanket, so the material used for the blanket has to be tough. The most popular materials used are Mylar, which is aluminum-infused material, and polypropylene plastic, which provides slightly better durability than most types of Mylar blankets. For extra warmth, there are some wool-based survival blankets available in the market.
When you are lost in the wild, you are looking to make use of whatever materials and items you have with you. With a survival blanket, you have a versatile tool with you. Apart from the primary use of the survival blanket of keeping your safe from the cold and rain, a survival blanket can also be used for other purposes, making it more versatile than any regular blanket.
The blanket can be used as a shelter, given you get a large-sized one. It can also be used as a solar cooker, cordage, pieces of clothing, or even a part of a makeshift boat. The Arcturus Extra Large Survival Blanket on Amazon offers a larger than average size for an emergency blanket. Made from Mylar, this product is 12 feet by 8 feet, and weighs 3 lbs. It is one of the heavy-duty types available in the market.
There are several choices depending on your needs, but given the importance of a survival blanket, you should have one with you. You might want to consider the warmth to weight ratio of the blanket, and other features such as being fire-resistant or having a whistle attached to the blanket.
Buying from a reputable and reliable retailer is also important as you don’t want to take any chances with the quality. You might also want to keep some heavy-duty tape with you so you can quickly patch up any holes or tears.