4 Survival Uses For Space Blankets
Space blankets, also sometimes called Mylar blankets, solar blankets, or thermal blankets, are among the most common survival items there are. You can find them in practically any survival kit or even alone in any sporting goods store.
The reason why space blankets are so popular is because they are designed to keep you warm. Even though they are very thin and fragile, they are also able to reflect your body’s heat back to you. This could be a lifesaver in a situation where you’re cold, wet, and without shelter or fire on an open mountain.
Survival uses of the space blankets
However, space blankets are not made out of the simple aluminum foil like you can buy at a supermarket. In reality, they were developed from technology made by NASA in the 1970s (hence the name ‘space blankets’).
In the early 1970s, U.S space stations were overheating while orbiting the Earth. As a result of this, NASA became concerned about the food and supplies within the stations, fearing that they could overheat.
The solution was the space blanket, nothing more than a thin and shiny metallic sheet that had the unique ability to reflect heat. Very large sheets were then placed around the space stations to help deflect the heat and maintain normal temperatures inside the stations. This alone saved the lives of many astronauts in space.
It didn’t take long for others to recognize the uses of space blankets in other applications as well. Everyone from marathon runners to doctors to mountaineers use space blankets in way or another. Runners use them to maintain their body heat after finishing a race, hospitals will use them to help keep a patient warm during a surgery, and mountaineers use them to stay warm while climbing cold mountains.
Aside from these uses though, there are many more reasons to include space blankets in your survival kit. Since space blankets are very lightweight, compact when folded, and dirt cheap, there’s little reason not to include at least one or two of them in your survival kit or bug out bag anyway.
After reading about these four additional uses for space blankets, you’ll probably end up wanting to keep them stored in many more strategic areas as well, such as your garage, car, snowmobile, or wherever else you view as being useful for your survival.
Here are four survival uses for space blankets beyond their intended use:
Being able to signal for help may be the only thing that saves you in a situation where your leg is broken or you’re unable to travel from your present location. Thanks to the shiny and reflective nature of space blankets, you can unfold them under the hot sun to reflect the sunlight and signal for help.
For optimum results, choose the least used space blanket that you have, and then carefully unfold it on a flat area on the ground underneath the hot sun. Secure the four corners with rocks so it won’t fly away in the wind.
You would also be wise to place it on a hillside rather than on top of a hill. This is because laying it on top of a hill would attract any pilots in the air, but it would be unlikely to gain the attention of any hikers or campers on the opposite side of your valley or hillside. In contrast to this, laying it on the side of the hill would be more likely to attract both kinds of rescuers.
In addition, because of its shiny and reflective nature, you could also use a space blanket as a trail marker while you travel. Carefully cut it into strips and then tie the strips to tree limbs while you walk.
CAMPFIRE BACK DROP
You may initially believe that it’s a bad idea to place your space blanket next to a fire since you fear it could melt. In reality though, space blankets can withstand temperatures up to four hundred and ninety degrees Fahrenheit, so as long as you keep it away from the direct flames you will be safe.
Unfold your space blanket and then tie it to two trees behind your campfire. The heat of the fire will reflect off of the blanket and back to you, warming you quickly. This may actually be more effective over simply wrapping yourself with the blanket.
Your best source of protein (and easiest to catch) in a survival situation will be fish. In a survival scenario, your skills will be put to the test since you’ll have to fashion together your own fishing gear out of natural materials and/or items that you already have.
For example, you can make a fishing rod out of a limbless pole, use vine or your shoelaces as the fishing line, a paperclip for a hook, and then worms you dig out of the ground for bait. However, your chances of actually making a catch will always be greater if you add a fishing lure to attract the attention of your fish to the bait in the first place.
Fish are very attracted to shiny objects in general, so a strip of space blanket tied to your fishing line is sure to get their attention quite easily.
PROTECT YOUR GARDEN
Finally, you can use your space blankets to protect the crops in your garden. Birds, for instance, are a major pest to crops but will be repelled by the shininess of a space blanket.
Another use for a space blanket in your garden would be to preserve the moisture; simply lay a space blanket over your bed and then secure it on the corners with rocks. This will prevent the water in your garden from evaporating.
While space blankets work wonders at reflecting your body heat back to you, that’s not the only reason why you should include one in your survival kit. Each of these four uses will also help make your efforts easier in a survival or disaster scenario.