Why You Should Carry a Space Blanket

Emergency blanketIt’s not uncommon for little kids to carry around a security blanket. They take it with them everywhere they go, and when it’s with them they feel safe and sound from the big, scary, unpredictable world around them.

A security blanket doesn’t actually offer any physical protection, but it gives a kid peace of mind. If you’re into the outdoors, you should take a page from that blanket-toting kid’s book. Carrying a space blanket will give you that same peace of mind, and unlike a child’s blanket, it can actually provide you with some physical protection too.

Space blankets are also referred to as Mylar blankets, emergency blankets, and thermal blankets. They’re made of metalized polyethylene terephthalate, which is just a thin sheet of plastic that is coated in a reflective metallic film. When worn, these blankets can reflect up to 97% of your body heat back into your body. They were first developed by NASA in 1964, which explains why they are called space blankets.

These blankets are incredibly useful, and you should always carry one in your pack, first aid kit, or even in your car. Since these blankets reflect heat so well, they can be used to ward off shock and hypothermia. If you fall into a river on a cold winter day you can be in serious trouble. Starting a fire takes time and it will take even longer to warm your body back up. Emergency blankets, on the other hand, work immediately and are more efficient than a fire.

In addition to being able to save you from hypothermia, space blankets are also windproof and waterproof, making them the perfect material for an emergency shelter. You can keep cutting wind and moisture at bay, while still benefiting from the insulation properties of the blanket. This isn’t an ideal choice for a primary shelter, but it will be enough to keep you going in an emergency.

There is no reason not to carry an emergency blanket. It would be one thing if they were big and bulky, but they are absolutely tiny. You can cram an emergency blanket into on of your pack pockets and have room to spare. Oh, and they are dirt cheap and weigh practically nothing. When you consider that a little piece of plastic could end up saving your life, it seems like a no-brainer to carry a space blanket with you, everywhere you go.

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