emergency blanket for camping

Can I Use an Emergency Space Blanket for Camping?

In Bushcraft and Outdoors by Jesse Mathewson3 Comments

emergency blanket for campingInvented in 1964 for the space program, and used to keep Skylab from overheating these are an amazing invention. Consisting of thin sheets of plastic coated with vaporized aluminum, this was done to ensure extremely low weight with a high net benefit/ reflective nature.

They are basically the same width as a human hair. Average weight between 0.5 and 5 ounces, they are truly indispensable.

So why review a space blanket? There are hundreds of manufactures of space blankets, why review any of them? It is an essential item of note that space blankets CANNOT create heat they merely reflect it, as well as light and even air depending on use.

Even with something so seemingly inconsequential as a space blanket understanding what they are, how they can be used and how they should be used is essential to understanding that you can indeed get space blankets that are really not a good quality. So what can space blankets be used for? This is the fun part, the easy part, and the essential knowledge part!

  1. Blanket to protect against the elements – carry a minimum of one per EACH member of the house and at least 2 extras in every vehicle and a minimum of two for each bag.
  2. Shelter/Shade – this is where the extra blankets come in handy, at a cost ranging between 0.23 and $6 apiece they like tourniquets are not something to scrimp on as far as amounts go, I suggest a minimum of two per bag and two spares in every vehicle kit (on top of one per family member) personally I purchase them by the case and have 3-4 per person in every kit!
  3. Fire Reflector – certainly some of us “can build a fire using two sticks and dead wood – shoot we don’t even need a knife!” however, the reality is much more difficult than the fantasy life we wish we lived. Using one of these to reflect a fire’s light and heat into the shelter (built out of another one) so that the blankets (also space blankets) will keep us from freezing or dying of exposure is both simple, inexpensive and DOES NOT use up valuable energy stores putting together!
  4. Water Purification by way of a solar still, exceedingly easy and fun to build this approach to water purification can work very well and provide much-needed water with overall weight being far less than bringing even a Sawyer Mini Filter with us. (And I always have one of those!)
  5. Solar Energy – expand your solar panels ability by reflecting more light into it!
  6. Solar Cooking – using a framework similar to the fire reflector you can harness the suns energy and warm or heat water allowing for some cooking, and believe me, a warm meal when things are down makes a HUGE difference!

There are many different uses that you can figure out as you go. I firmly suggest purchasing and using Shemaghs for head wraps, neck wraps and more. Instead of using a reflective space blanket use a shemagh for things like carrying additional items, hammocks, and wraps on the body.

emergency blanket for camping

However, this is up too you and I am certain you can find others uses for these amazing tools, though I would be quite careful with carrying or wrapping and tying things with space blankets simply because they are NOT designed for this type of thing and will break rather easily when used in this manner.

Over the years I have used multiple brand name space blankets and can honestly say that silver, gold expensive or not there is really not a huge difference in them. In fact these days most of them are manufactured in China and or manufactured using the same base components that are being made in China.

Unlike two decades ago, made in China does not hold the same stigma it once did. I am certain some of you may remember Nissan, Datsun, Honda, and Toyota in their initiation into the United States car market. T

hey went through the initial “not made in America” and quality issue problems, however, this has since been rectified and these days Toyota, Honda and even Nissan are made in the United States and far superior in most ways to “made in Mexico/ GM products”.

The reality is simple, production costs far less thanks to a lack of unions and entitled millennials in China and other manufacturing centers. Technologically China, Korea, and Japan have either surpassed or are equal to us in many areas. With the advent of global business linked through the internet, it is simply more cost-efficient to produce outside of the United States these days.

Someday we may see a return to American made and proud of it, however, even with firearms people are quickly learning made in America really isn’t the same anymore. To be competitive American companies cut corners instead of lower wages, this leads to bad products in many sectors from Automotive through Camping supplies.

Space Blankets are themselves a product that can be and is made outside of the United States and is made quite well. I suggest this 10 pack of Mylar Space Blankets cost averages out too $7 shipped, and I have never had any issues with them.

In fact, the pictures show these blankets being used and I have even reused them on several occasions for up too 4 days each, though you should understand this is not always possible, it does not take much to puncture a space blanket!

If you want to use the gold colored ones you will spend a bit more, and honestly will not get a larger return in value, this again comes from direct experience. However, the choice is yours, for myself saving a few bucks on things that have a definite use limit and or shelf life is smart prepping. You can do that with these and NOT sacrifice quality in any way.

emergency blanket for camping

Swiss Safe is a name brand blanket that costs several dollars more per blanket, however, they are green with a gold one included. $18 for 4 blankets, if you so desire these instead. The advertised thickness is 12-mils with the Swiss Safe blankets and the others are maybe 10 mils at most, honestly, this is not a huge deal as thickness is ONLY a pricing thing when you get into mils with space blankets, there is no significant difference in strength or overall usefulness.

Additionally, they crinkle quite loudly when you are taking them out regardless brand, sound carries much further than a reflection on a snowy, cold day!

So what uses do you have for a space blanket? Have you used one, or two? Do you use one as a ground cover and another as a blanket? How do you use them?

Thanks for reading and as always please let me know if you have anything you would like to review or see a review on!

Free the mind and the body will follow…

Also, please visit my other site Concealed Carry Today!


Comments

  1. I bought my first space blanket in 1965 and used it on ROTC field exercises a couple of times. While it was able to adequately retain body heat in mild weather, I found that there was a “philological” factor of it being so lightweight and lacking any sense of bulk or thickness that even a sheet of light blanket provided, it felt like it was doing little good. I still recommend it for emergency situations, but I would not rely on it for a alternative “blanket” for warmth.

  2. How do the mylar bags used for food storage compare to space blankets in thickness and reflectability? If mylar comes in wide rolls, perhaps preppers should have a roll of mylar in their preps.

  3. Used them more than once to keep warm. Work much better when you tie button rocks along the edges. Blankets so light moving your body will lift the blanket off you losing any heat you had trapped.

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