Emergency Survival Blankets

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 5 months ago

Discussion at Outdoor Life.

I’ve seen in-field tests.  These things have limited capability, and are no replacement for having a parka or being able to start fire (which underlines my constant attention to redundant means of fire start).

If anyone has an experience with survival blankets, please indicate in the comments.


Comments

  1. On September 28, 2021 at 10:41 pm, Keysersozeforprez said:

    I recently bought a $40 wool blanket from Amazon and did a little testing on my trip to AZ.

    It was down in the 50’s by morning…low 40’s a few mornings. 50’s would be fine a d even 40’s if it’s dry and no wind. Even a small breeze cut through my blanket. I was looking on the bushcraft forums and some suggested how old timers used to sew a canvas backer on their wool blankets and oil or wax them. I intend to experiment further with wool.

    A blanket can also be carried rolled and looped over a shoulder, a la Civil War soldiers. It can also be folded and cord wrapped to function as a “backpack” to carry other supplies. Example: https://youtu.be/Cp-LLwiTeJY

    I’m not saying such a thing is a silver bullet, but I’m thinking we could be learning from our ancestors. The pros are these are cheap, durable, and serve as multifunction items. Cheap enough that having a minimum of knowledge and a cheap supply of said blankets, one could cheaply equip family and friends in this way.

  2. On September 28, 2021 at 11:54 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    ” … old timers used to sew a canvas backer on their wool blankets and oil or wax them.”

    Now that’s something I hadn’t thought of. Thanks for that.

    I’ve been looking for a Polish Laavu, and can’t find one except foreign (in other words, mail would be from somewhere else to America).

    And they’re also all quite expensive, at least, the legitimate ones.

  3. On September 29, 2021 at 4:42 am, Nosmo said:

    When I got shipped off to summer camp in New Hamster (back in the Pleistocene Era….) my father (who grew up hardscrabble in the eastern Rockies) mentioned that if it got cold at night a quick fix was put a layer of newspapers under a thin mattress to stop air infiltration. Since we spent a lot of time actually outdoors (8 weeks of camp, usually 3 days a week, sometimes 4, occasionally 5, actually “camping outdoors” in the White Mountains. It was quickly figured out by many that a layer of almost anything on top of the lightweight sleeping bag deeply urban Moms and Dads bought for their kids (because it’s “summer camp”) to stop air infiltration was worth whatever weight it added to the backpack.

  4. On September 29, 2021 at 8:05 am, Jack said:

    I’ve zero experience w/ camping in the modern era. After years of wearing only cotton (I raced cars and refused to wear synthetics due to the burn/melting hazard), I’ve discovered the benefits of modern material science…

    A mylar/foil emergency blanket weighs 1/10 of a wool blanket, is puncture and tear-resistant, reflects heat and light, and stops wind and rain. Like canvas, it can be used as a layer inside another blanket. It can also be repurposed as a poncho, lean-to, rain-cover, water carrier, emergency locator reflector, or bandage, among other emergency supplies. The light-duty blankets run about $2 each while the heavy-duty blankets are $10-15. Cheap insurance.

  5. On September 29, 2021 at 8:11 am, Fred said:

    That’s the same principle as thermal layers. Create air pockets for your body to fill with warmth. Very efficient. No outside layer to trap the warmth in the pockets (spaces in the wool or synthetic fill) then you lose heat rapidly, especially in a even a light breeze.

    This is why wool is a great mid layer. When working you can remove an outer shell and the wool vents heat and wicks sweat quickly. When done working wait a bit til your body comes back to rest then reapply the outer shell.

    And remember what ‘ol Les Stroud would always say; “you sweat, you die.”

    Winter is coming. Be ready of spirit, mind, body first, then knowledge, then tools and equipment last.

  6. On September 29, 2021 at 11:38 am, xtphreak said:

    @Herschel

    Look up “1844 Helko Werk Germany Waxed Canvas Bedroll” on Amazon (but beware the price!)

    I have a friend who rode about half of the TAT (Trans America Trail) and slept nightly in a sleeping bag, laid on a blue plastic tarp (think Harbor Freight) with the other half of the tarp folded over him like a burrito.

    Personally, I use a US surplus (but new) bivy cover.

  7. On September 29, 2021 at 11:42 am, xtphreak said:

    @ Jack

    I carry one when hiking or riding.
    Small.
    Light weight.
    Inexpensive.
    Noisy (every movement).
    Not cozy (it’ll trap heat, but contact transfers the heat away quickly).

  8. On September 29, 2021 at 12:07 pm, Ned said:

    I’ve used mylar reflective blankets in hunting camp when it rained constantly. Set up as a reflector from a fire, we used it to dry clothes. Pretty much within seconds the wet clothes would be steaming.

  9. On September 29, 2021 at 10:47 pm, jim said:

    Ned keyed on the correct use as a reflector

    The original sheets for use in EMS were used to moderate patient temperature and avoid temp loss – never intended as a ‘blanket’

    All are manufactured the same – a sheet of clear mylar has a reflective coating bonded to one side, then machine folded to the compact package we’re used to seeing. Studies showed that the coated side would reflect up to 80% of the heat that hit it – however it would pass upwards of 50% of heat that hit the other side…

    Which side is which when it’s dark and you’re already cold and wet?

    MPI Outdoors came out with the gold sided ones – made it easy to determine which side was reflective – and the gold side was moderately effective as a signal panel

    Very useful when used within the parameters of the design – but can be detrimental if not. Don’t wrap up in a plastic bag when you’re already cold and wet…

  10. On September 30, 2021 at 2:22 pm, jeff said:

    The article and the comments are discussing multiple categories. Pick one type of “blanket”. The foil type “blankets” are useless. Yes they stop wind and rain, so does raingear or a tarp / tent and these do so more efficiently. Synthetics (and wool) will insulate while wet and will hang dry / steam anywhere out of rain. Aside from IR camouflage, I have never seen foil type blankets used with any consequence.

  11. On October 2, 2021 at 8:39 pm, bobdog said:

    Those mylar things are fine in an emergency, but there are thicker multi-layer versions that will last more than 20 minutes. I’ve used both many years ago. The thicker ones are actually reusable and give you the benefit of an extra layer to hold in body heat.

  12. On October 6, 2021 at 6:57 pm, TRX said:

    I have one in my crash pack. Not so much for a “blanket”, but as a big shiny object to help find the crash site.

    Out in the woods, and/or in the dark, simply *finding* a crash site (again, if you had to hike out leaving someone behind) can be a big deal.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment


You are currently reading "Emergency Survival Blankets", entry #28261 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Survival and was published September 28th, 2021 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (704)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (40)
Air Power (10)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (22)
Ammunition (275)
Animals (279)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (371)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (86)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (28)
Australian Army (7)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (217)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (18)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (3)
Blogs (24)
Body Armor (23)
Books (3)
Border War (18)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (38)
British Army (35)
Camping (5)
Canada (17)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (16)
Christmas (16)
CIA (30)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (3)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (218)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (209)
Department of Homeland Security (26)
Disaster Preparedness (5)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (15)
Donald Trump (27)
Drone Campaign (4)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (39)
Featured (189)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (1,756)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (44)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (9)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (1,623)
Guns (2,296)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (16)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (3)
Horses (2)
Humor (72)
Hunting (30)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (104)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (4)
Infrastructure (4)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (171)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (64)
Islamists (98)
Israel (19)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (3)
Jihadists (81)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (7)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (6)
Lawfare (14)
Leadership (6)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (280)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (67)
Medical (146)
Memorial Day (6)
Mexican Cartels (41)
Mexico (61)
Michael Yon (6)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (5)
Military Equipment (25)
Militia (9)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (25)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (25)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (94)
NATO (15)
Navy (30)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (3)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (62)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (221)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (7)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (72)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (4)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (647)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (968)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (491)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (37)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (658)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (28)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (23)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (52)
Survival (185)
SWAT Raids (57)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (38)
Tactical Gear (14)
Taliban (168)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (21)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (96)
Thanksgiving (13)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (24)
TSA Ineptitude (13)
TTPs (4)
U.S. Border Patrol (6)
U.S. Border Security (18)
U.S. Sovereignty (23)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (10)
Uncategorized (98)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (3)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (412)
War & Warfare (41)
War Movies (4)
War Reporting (21)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (79)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (21)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2024 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.