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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Uses For a Foil Survival Blanket

By Ray C. Subs

You might have seen them in a first aid or survival kit or tossed one into the glove compartment in your car. They are shiny and silver and look like "huge sheets of aluminum foil", but survival blankets have so much more potential. Made from a metalized plastic film: Mylar, and used for various purposes by NASA, this two-sided material either reflects or conserves heat. Today, its uses spread far beyond simple blankets or even space suits. Mylar is a component in fire fighting uniforms, candy wrappers, water pipe insulation, and pizza delivery bags. Due to the lightweight and compact nature of Mylar, it is perfect for survival or "space" blankets. Whether stored in your glove compartment, included in your first aid kit for shock victims, or added to your pocket before a hike, survival blankets have a multitude of uses.

Mylar blankets can be duct taped into a sleeping bag shape, which prevents drafts and helps retain ninety percent of your body heat. Good for either protection from the cold or heat, survival blankets can be used to cover the windows in your car or home. It can also be used over the walls of your tent. The shiny side of the Mylar reflects heat, so face it outward when you want to stay cool. Try covering an umbrella with a survival blanket when you are on the beach to maximize the shade. In emergency situations, survival blankets can be used as impromptu tents. The reflective side of the blanket can also be used as a signal similar to a mirror. Mylar is thin enough it can be cut easily, making it ideal for turning into bandanas, hats, or other emergency clothing needs.

Survival blankets are waterproof. Depending on the situation, this can be life saving or simply very convenient. Lay down a survival blanket before sitting on wet grass, snow, or sand. Or try it under your sleeping bag when camping for a warmer, dryer experience. Wrapping your feet in small sheets of Mylar can keep them both warm and dry. Blankets laid out overnight can collect dew, or a blanket can be used to line a leaky bucket.


For more information about survival and technical gear, please visit http://www.specialforces.com

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