Have you ever used a blanket as a floor mat to get hotter? And you still got cold? If you read through, you will know why.
The survival blankets or thermal blankets are metallic polyester films with a slightly larger surface than a double bed. There are different sizes, thicknesses, and qualities. Some are disposable and others reusable. They usually have two distinct faces – one gold and one silver, one matte silver and one silver. The matt silver face corresponds to the golden face.
They are made of the same material that is used in some pizza boxes to keep them warm or in combinations of firefighters to protect from heat. The matte gold or silver side absorbs some of the infrared rays – radiation associated with heat – and the silver or shiny silver side reflects some of these rays.
As the name suggests, survival blankets are made primarily for emergencies such as in the event of an accident or survival. All hikers should have one – even for short walks. You never know how long the rescue can get to get to the scene of an accident, or how long you’re going to get stuck in a storm.
I’m sure some of you still carry survival blanket. But do you know all you can do with it? I describe several possible uses subsequently, in addition to 10 reasons why one should always take a survival cover in hiking :
- A survival blanket keeps part of the body heat of a person if it coils in, silver face inward. The silver face reflects the heat emitted by the person and returns part of it. By day, the golden face can also absorb the heat emitted by the sun.
In the event of an accident, the people involved are often cold. Use a survival blanket to reduce heat loss and avoid hypothermia. In the case of a colder night than expected, you can wrap yourself in or wrap it in your sleeping bag. Pay attention to condensation by using it this way – do not breathe in it for example. If you are wet, you will get colder.
- The survival blankets insulate from moisture because they are impermeable. This may be a barrier to moisture from the ground (wet soil, snow, condensation …) or from the sky (snow, rain, etc.).
They can be used as floor mats, as shelters or both – if you wind up in it for example.
- A survival blanket cup wind and limit heat loss in this way. Be careful because the fragility of some survival blankets limits their use as a windbreak.
- The survival blankets protect from heat by reflecting the infrared rays on the silvered side. You can protect yourself from heat to avoid sunstroke by sheltering you with the silver (or shiny silver) side on the outside. It is also possible to protect your tent, water or food in this way.
- Survival blankets are a convenient way to make a makeshift shelter – whether it’s to isolate moisture, wind, cold, or heat . Even if the disposable models are too fragile to make a shelter directly, it is possible to “wallpaper” the roof, the floor or the walls of a shelter with.
- Survival blankets are extremely reflective . They can be used to attract the attention of rescue or other people if you need help. Walleye is often more visible than silver.
- A survival blanket can be used to recover water . Either by condensation by extending it above a hole dug in the ground in which a container is placed, and then putting a pebble above the cover directly above the container. In this way, the condensation forms on the survival cover, flows to the pebble and drips into the container. Either by recovering the rainwater , using all its surface.
- Relatively strong survival blankets can be used as a stretcher to rescue and move wounded.
- A survival blanket is lightweight and space-saving . Generally its weight does not exceed 100 grams for a disposable survival cover and 200 or 300 grams for a reusable. It is really small compared to all the uses you can have – especially if you consider it can save your life or prevent a critical situation from getting worse.
- Similarly, the price of a survival cover is derisory compared to any emergency situations in which it can be useful.
Be careful though, it’s not because you have survival coverage that nothing can happen to you. You have to know how to use it correctly and know its limitations:
- A survival blanket does not heat up , it limits the heat losses. Indeed it does not isolate from the cold like a polar or a sleeping bag. Used as a floor mat, for example, you will not be protected from the cold. Similarly, a survival blanket does not cool , it limits the increase in temperature.
- Do not use survival blankets in the event of a thunderstorm or near automatic defibrillatorsbecause they are metallic and conduct electrical current.
- Disposable coverlets are very fragile , use them with caution and away from incandescent sources, because once torn, punctured or damaged coatings, they do not do their job as well. It is also very difficult to replicate this type of survival blankets.
- As with the rest of your equipment, check the condition of your survival cover while preparing your hike . Even if you have never unwrapped it, it can be stuck because of old age and be unusable.
- Do not use your survival cover regularly. If you use it under normal conditions, what will you use during emergencies? It is an emergency item that will never replace clothing, a tent, a mattress , a sleeping bag or anything else. Anyway, the horrible noise of alu paper they make you will surely decide otherwise.
Always read the instructions for your survival cover before using it. Although the golden or matt silver surface is generally used outdoors to keep the heat, it is possible that this varies depending on the survival coverage.
Take therefore always a survival blanket for your safety and that of others. It does not weigh anything, does not cost much and can save a life . This versatile item is essential and should always be part of your first aid kit. Even for a stroll, you may need it to protect an injured from the cold or spend an unexpected night out.
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