PDA

View Full Version : Those thin cheap mylar emergency blankets



Wildthang
02-10-2014, 04:42 PM
So a few years ago I bought a few of those cheap thin mylar emergency blankets for some of my car emergency kits and a couple of my Bobs. Never had to use one and I hope I never have to, but was just thinking that if you got caught out in some really cold weather, how good would they work.
It seems to me that they may serve better as a reflector for the ceiling of a survival shelter to reflect the heat from a campfire down to where you are sleeping. And from what I read, there are some good survival blankets out there.
I took one of the cheap ones out of the wrapper here a while back, and I don't think it would survive a strong wind without a wind block, or a thick plastic to reinforce it, and probably would never be reusable.
So now I have bought some tougher blankets that at least will not fall apart when the wind hits them, I bought 3 of these!

http://www.amazon.com/MPI-Weather-Emergency-Survival-Blanket/dp/B000CSJWWW/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1392064835&sr=8-12&keywords=emergency+blankets

Has anybody ever had to use an emergency blanket, how much do they help?

crashdive123
02-10-2014, 05:16 PM
The cheap ones do not keep you warm in extreme cold temps. They may keep you a little warmer, but may not prevent hypothermia. Several years ago one of our Alaska members did a test in his yard. He had to give up the test and go inside to warm up. I've heard good things about the heavier blankets and biveys but have not tried them.

The cheap ones will make a serviceable shelter or reflector.

Rick
02-10-2014, 05:32 PM
I've never used one on my person but have used one to make a shelter waterproof and to reflect a fire. A+ for both. Around here, building a debris shelter in winter will net you a lot of slush and ice in the debris. All that starts to drip once it warms up unless you have something waterproof on the frame first. I just can't get my head around something that thin keeping you warm so I've never tried it.

pete lynch
02-10-2014, 06:06 PM
GI casualty blankets are similar to those MPI ones. I have some of both.

Ken
02-10-2014, 08:12 PM
Today's sleeping bags can fit in a stuff sack in a glove compartment.

http://www.rei.com/product/846746/mountain-hardwear-lamina-30-sleeping-bag

hunter63
02-10-2014, 09:34 PM
I usually carry one in about everything....only tried to use one once, was during a pouring rain/sleet/snow, ....and blustery.

Actually did a pretty nice job of wind break and rain fly......could never get it back folded up though.

The older ones if I recall were a little thinker and was gold on one side.

Still have one in my belt pack.....right under pouch.....


http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y139/hunter63/BOBcrop.jpg (http://s4.photobucket.com/user/hunter63/media/BOBcrop.jpg.html)

crashdive123
02-10-2014, 09:37 PM
Here's the thread that Klkak did on his field test. http://www.wilderness-survival.net/forums/showthread.php?2599-Space-Blankets

ClayPick
02-10-2014, 10:00 PM
Anything helps when youíre freezing. A bothy bag is something I want to try.

hunter63
02-11-2014, 12:02 PM
Found the orginals listed.....down to a couple left?
http://www.rei.com/product/407104/space-emergency-blanket,-silver/orange?preferredSku=4071040002&cm_mmc=ad_gdn-_-dyn-_-product-_-4071040002&mr:trackingCode=6C90BAC3-46CA-E211-9C7C-BC305BF82162&mr:referralID=NA

Grizz123
02-11-2014, 12:31 PM
does anyone use wool clothing?

hunter63
02-11-2014, 01:27 PM
Of course,.......Lots of wool, ........Merino long undies, Malone pants, Pendleton shirts, as well as others.....

Wildthang
02-11-2014, 01:46 PM
Now this seems to be the real deal! Of course it is bigger and more expensive but would obviously keep you much warmer than the average survival blanket!

http://www.amazon.com/Blizzard-Survival-Sleeping-Bag-Bivvy/dp/B006BBW15O/ref=sr_1_12?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1392140651&sr=1-12&keywords=emergency+shelter

Batch
02-12-2014, 12:01 AM
I don't have much faith in the pocket mylar blankets. I carry a heavy duty emergency blanket that has a hood and also grommets in it. It is more heavy duty than most tarp material and I have used it and refolded it quite a bit. I also keep a cheap emegency blanket that I have opened and refolded at home and a SOL Survival Blanket. I have also played with that and I stick it in my pack for my girls if we have a machine problem on the trail. But, that is it and we don't even start to get cold like most.

WhiteHorse3340
02-12-2014, 04:14 AM
I just got one of these not too long ago, and I was thinking of shelter more than warmth when I got it. But, here is an interesting tidbit: I was just watching Survivorman tonight, and he said that the mylar blankets do the most good when they are touching bare skin...which means that the more clothes you take off, the more this thing will warm you up, supposedly. He said that he didn't feel like getting naked in the wind, the cold, and the rain, lol...and I can't say that I blame him.

I don't know if you saw the very first episode of Dual Survival, but Cody Lundin makes a KILLER shelter with a mylar blanket and some visqueen.

Rangefinder
02-13-2014, 10:16 PM
The thin mylar pocket blankets, (regardless of marketing hype) were never meant to be used as a stand-alone. The "help" retain heat, but have very little insulting capabilities when you start hitting sub-freezing temps for long periods without additional heat sources. It's a short-term advantage at best without other measures being taken for fire and sufficient shelter. They are better heat reflectors than insulators, by far. I use one of the mylar lined polyester tarps for my tarp shelters. With limited opening and a constant fire (very small is enough) shining in, it stays toasty warm down to zero. But the moment the fire is taken out of the equation, things chill down fast. Used as a blanket, it's effective as a wind break and moderate insulating layer. But at zero and minus temps, you need to "tent" it around you and burn a candle. In that way, you can actually get too warm if you aren't careful.

Use all of these as they are intended to be--heat reflection, not insulation.

Rick
02-14-2014, 07:43 AM
Your naked body traps a thin layer of dead air next to it. This layer of air is held in place by hair, skin cells, pores and dirt. The trapped layer of air provides thermal protection but can easily be removed by a slight wind. When we add clothing, even a thin layer, what we are doing is protecting that thin layer of trapped air and, depending on the bulk of the material, increasing the size of the air space. That's why layering works. We trap more and more dead air spaces next to us.

If you could sandwich yourself inside a survival blanket and seal yourself in then it might offer some protection. But openings and gaps in the blanket release the trapped air space the same as opening your coat. Then you have the issue of heat convection and/or conduction. Your coat, if thin enough, will conduct cold through the material. I have to think the blankets do the same thing. That's why I can't get my head around the blankets providing very much thermal protection.

finallyME
02-14-2014, 02:36 PM
I've never used one on my person but have used one to make a shelter waterproof and to reflect a fire. A+ for both. Around here, building a debris shelter in winter will net you a lot of slush and ice in the debris. All that starts to drip once it warms up unless you have something waterproof on the frame first. I just can't get my head around something that thin keeping you warm so I've never tried it.

This is the way I have always used them....as a waterproof layer in a shelter.

Xzhcr501
02-22-2014, 09:32 PM
so if I am pretty new at all this. If I am going to spend the money, what would be a better investment? Just a regular MIL style wool blanket or a heavy duty mylar? I have several of the cheap Coleman pocket mylar blankets just cause they were on sale at Academy, but I have also thought about something better for the car. Not that it gets that cold in Texas compared to where yall most of yall are at, but To us sleeping on the ground in 30 degrees in the middle of the night is still pretty cold. (:

crashdive123
02-22-2014, 09:40 PM
so if I am pretty new at all this. If I am going to spend the money, what would be a better investment? Just a regular MIL style wool blanket or a heavy duty mylar? I have several of the cheap Coleman pocket mylar blankets just cause they were on sale at Academy, but I have also thought about something better for the car. Not that it gets that cold in Texas compared to where yall most of yall are at, but To us sleeping on the ground in 30 degrees in the middle of the night is still pretty cold. (:

It all depends - it's kind of an apples and oranges sort of thing. My wool blankets are there to keep me warm and to be used on a regular basis when carried whereas the heavy duty mylar is carried for emergencies, not regular use. Of course the wool can be used in an emergency. If the mylar is used on a regular basis it won't last, and it may not be available in an emergency.

hunter63
02-22-2014, 10:02 PM
You are not gonna go out and sleep in a mylar blanket and stay warm.....was made to keep you alive, not act a sleeping bag/bivy.

They don't breath, so moisture is gonna be a problem.....

Go with a wool blanket, or at least a sleeping bag or both.....then consider the mylar as either water proofing/ground cloth/rain shield.

Rick
02-23-2014, 06:23 AM
Even 50 degrees will rob you of heat especially if you are wet. Hypothermia can set in at just about any temperature below body temp if the conditions are correct. The wool blanket will still keep you warm if you and the blanket are wet. The fibers will swell and close and retain your body heat. I'd go with the wool blanket too. It will be of benefit under the worst of conditions. In the best of conditions 1+ on Hunter's comment.

ninjasurvivor
07-16-2014, 03:44 PM
Survival blanket is not a good name for mylar sheets. The word "blanket" implies you'll be sleeping with it. That is not what it is for. If you sleep with it you will wake up drenched in condensation, making your situation worse. You'd have to keep opening it up to air it out, but you'd lose your stored heat by doing that. Either way, you won't be sleeping comfortably.Like the OP said they make great reflectors, but that is more as a convenience if you already have fire and a shelter. And they will rip to shreds in the wind.

Realistically you would break one out if you were having serious core temperature issues. It will prevent the problem from worsening and possibly warm you up a little. This will buy you some time, but it's not going to get you through a full night of steadily lower temps. Your best bet is to use it to warm up, then keep walking with it around you until you find rescue. Curling up in it and hoping it keeps you warm all night is not a winning strategy.

Sarge47
07-16-2014, 03:55 PM
In the very 1st episode of "Dual Survival," Cody Lundin demonstrated how to make an effective, shelter that stayed warm in a winter environment using one...and he didn't wear it. Actually this is not the original space blanket. The original one is a heavier, thicker tarp-like product with grommets in the corners and has several uses. It's based on NASA technology and is now called the "Sportsman's Space Blanket.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sportsman%27s+space+blankets&sprefix=sportsman%27s+%2Caps%2C230

:smartass:

ninjasurvivor
07-16-2014, 04:13 PM
In the very 1st episode of "Dual Survival," Cody Lundin demonstrated how to make an effective, shelter that stayed warm in a winter environment using one...and he didn't wear it. Actually this is not the original space blanket. The original one is a heavier, thicker tarp-like product with grommets in the corners and has several uses. It's based on NASA technology and is now called the "Sportsman's Space Blanket.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_12?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=sportsman%27s+space+blankets&sprefix=sportsman%27s+%2Caps%2C230

:smartass:
Those are better because they provide more durability and insulation. However, the same problem applies because they are not breathable. You will get wet in them.

Sarge47
07-16-2014, 04:24 PM
Those are better because they provide more durability and insulation. However, the same problem applies because they are not breathable. You will get wet in them.

There are ways around that, however they have other uses too, not always as a blanket....:smartass:

ninjasurvivor
07-17-2014, 12:45 PM
There are ways around that, however they have other uses too, not always as a blanket....:smartass:
A ground pad maybe. I actually want to get one. I think it has its place in a good wilderness survival kit.

Graf
07-17-2014, 06:12 PM
The best way I have used the cheap ones is build a dakota fire pit use the blanket as a drop behind me with my back to the wind fire in front. I have tried sleeping in one over a coal bed covered in dirt mylar on top. It was like a steam bath, ended up chilling me to the bone from the dampness. regardless what your told the cheap ones need airflow between you and the blanket. The other uses I have used is lining a small pit covering fish with left over blanket cover with 2" dirt build fire on top depending on weather conditions and ambient temp food should be cooked 2 hours. If you want to cook breakfast bury under fire deeper before going to bed build the fire up, when you wake up you will have a hot breakfast. I have also used as a solar still in place of plastic, worked about the same no more water than plastic provided.

Tokwan
07-17-2014, 10:14 PM
To my opinion, you do not use a mylar blanket on its own. I have used it in about 8 degrees Celcius temperature. It only works when you are blocked by wind , such as under a trap..and u wrap the mylar around you, and you should not be wearing anything wet. It did help to keep me warm...but I was on the highlands in an equatorial country...

hunter63
07-17-2014, 10:27 PM
I think you need to have some body heat first to reflect back.......used them a couple of time in very cold hunting scenarios.....don't really help if you are sitting and already cold.
Works much better when moving around to keep warm, then use to prolong your heat.

Oh yeah, and I have never , ever been able to get the cheap ones folded back up in any kind if small package....
so a use and toss for me.

I have better luck with large plastic contractors trash bags.

ninjasurvivor
07-18-2014, 08:14 AM
Yea, whether it be a cheap plastic drop cloth, or trash bags, or mylar blankets, they can be used in a similar manner. If all I had was one or two of those I would build a debris hut type shelter. I'd line the inside of the roof of the shelter with the mylar sheeting. This would provide a close reflective barrier for my rising body heat, but it wouldn't be too close to me that it would allow for condensation. One on the ground too if I had enough of them, mainly as a moisture barrier. A proper debris hut on its own can be quite warm. If you enhance that with mylar blankets then you could have a very warm shelter.