How To Use A Survival Blanket?
In a survival situation
Getting warm should always be the first priority in any type of situation, survival or adventure. This is why the survival blanket is essential equipment .
The most useful benefits with a survival blanket are:
- Takes up very little space
- Doesn't cost very much
Here are some ways to use a survival blanket in an emergency:
The main purpose of an emergency blanket is to help you or someone else stay warm . It's especially useful in a survival kit if someone is in shock.
Wrap the blanket around the person , tucking it in at the sides and under the feet to keep body heat in and the cold out. Cover the person's head with a hat or scarf to prevent further heat loss.
In the blink of an eye, you can use your survival blanket as a tent , tarp or lean-to. The material is waterproof to protect you from rain or snow.
If you're in a cold climate, take advantage of the shiny side of the blanket to reflect the heat of a campfire back to you. The metal surface will bounce the heat from the fire back to you and keep you warm.
In addition to using a survival blanket as a blanket, you can also use it to insulate your space . For example, let's say you are trapped in your car during a winter blizzard. Cover the car windows with the survival blanket (shiny side inside). This will help reflect your body heat back into the car to keep it cool .
Just as the survival blanket reflects heat back to you, it can also reflect heat outward . If you are in a tent and the sun is beating down, simply place the shiny blanket upside down on top of the tent to reflect the heat.
Have you ever seen shiny sun visors on car windows during summer? It's the same system: the metal surface of the sun visor reflects the sun's heat out of the car.
The surface of the blanket is so shiny that it makes a good distress signal. The reflective surface makes it more easily visible from the sky . Some survival blankets even come with the letters "SOS" printed directly on the blanket itself.
With a little creativity, you can probably find even more ways to use your survival blanket.
Which way should you put your survival blanket?
A survival blanket often has two meanings. Indeed, there is a silver side and a golden side.
The shiny silver face
The silver side makes it possible to reflect infrared rays (heat).
Turned towards yourself , it will allow the conservation of heat . While turning outwards , it allows heat to be reflected and, for example , protection from sunstroke .
The golden side (or matte silver or orange)
This is the insulating face, made of Mylar , it makes the cover effective. As for its meaning, it just depends on the shiny silver face.
How it works?
Have you ever seen the finish line of a marathon? Have you wondered why, when runners cross the line, they wrap themselves in what look like thin tinfoil blankets? In fact, these blankets help athletes regulate their body temperature . This indeed tends to drop considerably once they stop running.
These sheets are not made of a standard aluminum foil found in a supermarket. Derived from NASA technology , the original name for these aluminum foils is "space blanket". Also known as sun blankets, mylar blankets, or emergency blankets, they help a person stay warm. Mountaineers, astronauts and surgeons often use it.
The creation and history of space blankets
Even though space blankets are mass-produced and inexpensively available today, they originated as part of the space program in the 1970s. In 1973, the Skylab space station began to overheat in orbit . Due to a broken heat shield, the temperature inside the station approached 54 degrees Celsius. As temperatures continued to rise, NASA personnel became concerned about the deterioration of equipment and food inside the station.
Engineers contacted a New Jersey company called "National Metallizing" to help them create an emergency sunshade for Skylab . Until then, manufacturers used the metallization process mainly for the toy industry and the manufacture of garlands for Christmas trees. But NASA realized the potential of these thin, shiny metallic sheets to deflect heat. Working together, the two organizations created a reflective parasol . A space team therefore placed it on Skylab. It finally worked. This is because the sunshade deflects heat and allows the spacecraft to remain at a normal temperature.
Blankets are effective at keeping heat out but also keeping it in. They are indeed able to reflect the body heat of an individual towards himself in order to minimize the losses. These covers can therefore be used for a multitude of purposes . They have become essential for marathon runners to help regulate their temperature at the end of a race. Hospitals use them to keep patients warm during surgery. Anesthesia tends to make people shiver. Campers , climbers, and mountaineers—anyone who can get stuck in cold weather—find that space blankets are an extremely lightweight and inexpensive addition to their first aid kit .
For example, in 2005, after an earthquake devastated parts of Pakistan , charities distributed survival blankets to victims .
How can something so thin keep you warm?
Engineers created the material by depositing vaporized aluminum on a very thin plastic film . The resulting material is thin, flexible and reflects heat. Aluminum helps redirect infrared energy , which is just a fancy word for heat.
Let's focus on how survival blankets work to keep a person warm.
First, we need to understand how a body loses heat.
Excessive heat loss leads to hypothermia , which is very dangerous. Survival blankets stop heat loss through evaporation and convection.
Evaporation is the process by which water changes from a liquid state to a gaseous state.
In the case of a person, the fluid may be sweat or wet clothing. Evaporation consumes a lot of energy and lowers body temperature . That's why you have to be careful not to sweat too much in cold weather. Your body temperature will drop rapidly when you stop tiring - and sweat evaporation will make you even colder. To avoid evaporative heat loss, you should try to stay as dry as possible. An emergency blanket helps slow the process of evaporative heat loss by increasing the humidity in the air near the skin.
Convection is very similar to conduction. Conduction is the transfer of heat or cold between two objects.
For example, if you sit on a pile of snow, your butt will cool down and the snow will start to melt. However, the wind removes heat from everything it touches. So you can logically help reduce convective heat loss by wearing layers of clothing as insulation . A survival blanket forms a barrier between the wearer and the wind, providing insulation .
Finally, we also lose body heat by radiation (it simply radiates from our body).
The reflective material embedded in survival blankets (usually silver or gold) reflects about 90% of our body heat back to us .
10 Uses of Survival Blanket
1. Use the emergency blanket to reflect body heat and keep you warm in an emergency.
The survival blanket reflects 90% of body heat , is waterproof and windproof. It is therefore perfect for outdoor use and is also suitable for any emergency situation.
Wrap the blanket around your body , the temperature will be much less likely to drop below safe levels.
2. Use the emergency blanket as a signal mirror for rescues.
You can cut a corner of the blanket and use it as a mirror. This way you still have most of the surface area of the cover and you have a signaling tool that can save your life.
3. The emergency blanket is an excellent insulator against cold and damp.
Cut it into small pieces and put them in your shoes and gloves to keep them warm.
This will allow the heat to retain longer.
4. You will get more heat if you place the blanket around the wood and the fire.
5. Mylar blanket can be used as a makeshift stretcher.
You can transfer your pets in an emergency situation and carry wood to start a fire when you are in the wild.
6. Use it as a ground cover.
You can lay the emergency blanket on the ground to prevent moisture from seeping in and getting wet or dirty.
7. Use it after a marathon.
After crossing the finish line, marathon runners stop running, but they don't stop sweating. So wet running clothes get even wetter. And wet clothes translate to runners shivering and risk of hypothermia.
8. Use it to collect water.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where access to water is both critical and limited, an emergency cover can be used to collect rainwater or to trap condensation in the morning.
9. Use it to catch fish.
The mylar cover can be cut into small pieces and used as a reflective lure to attract certain species of fish. The mylar cover is food safe, it can be used as aluminum foil for cooking .
10. Use it to waterproof your stuff.
An emergency blanket is completely waterproof , making it ideal for wrapping up or protecting your belongings from water ingress . Survivalists, for example, used to wear backpacks wrapped in a mylar blanket to keep them dry when crossing rivers .