Designed by NASA, the Mylar Emergency Blanket would have to be one of the most popular items ever added to bug out bags. And when you know NASA is behind it, it gives you a huge confidence boost that the item might actually work. Mylar blankets have been around for a long time now and still, they continue to remain at the forefront of survival gear. Know why?
What makes Emergency Mylar Blankets so Good?
Other than being designed by NASA, the technology behind the mylar blanket is considered by many as space age. That makes them almost as exciting as buying the latest cell phone. OK, maybe not as exciting, but the way these blankets work is amazing.
For a start, they are incredibly light. Packed into a bag, an emergency mylar blanket barely tips the scales, the thing weighing less than a slice of bread. Even throwing half a dozen into your bugout bag still wouldn’t register much of a difference. Just how light are they? Less than 2 ounces per blanket.
The next reason that makes them so perfect is that they come in a bag so tiny, it fits into the palm of your hand. Think playing-card size and you get the picture. Oh, and did I mention they were developed by NASA?
Finally, the emergency mylar blanket reflects heat, which is their primary function when added to an emergency bag. As purported on the packaging, they reflect up to 90% of heat, which means when wrapped inside one, your body heat remains trapped, keeping you warm in the coldest of nights.
Do Emergency Mylar Blankets Have a Downside?
It depends on how you look at it, but despite these blankets having a fantastic list of benefits, they come with a few issues on the downside. I guess it’s all part of the job when trying to find the perfect equipment for your bugout bag.
Given that they’re a flat sheet of tin foil, they don’t trap heat very effectively. Unless you were to glue the sides shut and use them as a sleeping bag instead of a blanket, then it’s to be expected. Although, someone did think of gluing the sides together and thereby creating this amazing product, a snug-fitting emergency mylar blanket poncho jacket. Perfection.
The biggest issue with mylar blankets is that because they are so lightweight, they’re also incredibly thin. That makes them vulnerable to tearing and they don’t stand up to a lot of punishment. But, if I was stuck in the middle of a blizzard with only a mylar blanket, I’ll take it any day of the week.
What Else is an Emergency Mylar Blanket Used For?
They have several great uses, some of which may not be on this list. I’m sure there are many others and I’d love to hear your thoughts. But for now, check out these other ways for utilizing this blanket when low on available tools and supplies.
Use #1: For Signaling
Use them to signal, like you would a mirror, only when you don’t have a spare mirror lying around. The blanket is made from reflective material and when the sun strikes the surface, reflects the light almost as good. You may need to use some sort of backing to give the blanket some posture. Tear a section off and wrap it around a book, a cell phone or something else similar-sized. Giving it some stability will make it more durable.
Use #2: Use Them As Groundsheet
Stuck sleeping out in the open without a tent? These blankets are fantastic when used as a groundsheet. Yes, I know, they aren’t very strong, which is why I suggest you use something between the blanket and yourself. Even if it’s just pine needles or leaves. That way, you remain dry when sleeping on the ground, plus the blanket reflects your body heat back up to you.
Use #3: As a Heat Shield For Your Tent
Even if you have a tent, the chances that the cold night air penetrates your shelter is high. Use the blanket as a heat shield by fixing several around the tent, especially above. That way, your own body heat is reflected back inside, keeping you warm throughout the night.
Use #4: Collecting Rainwater
Collect rainwater by digging a shallow ditch, then spread the blanket out on the ground and gently place a rock in the middle. I say gently because these blankets are incredibly fragile. Once torn, the split will only continue to grow. The rainwater will accumulate in the middle, which you then pour into your bottle, or if need be, drink straight off the blanket itself. In an emergency, any water is considered precious.