How can an invisibly thin, crinkly, metallic-looking sheet of plastic save your life?
As it turns out, a whole lot of ways, actually.
What Is An Emergency Blanket?
You may have seen space blankets used at the end of long endurance races such as marathons. After running long distances, athletes sometimes use space blankets to prevent shock from cooling down too rapidly.
Or more recently on the TV show, "Better Call Saul" - Jimmy's older brother covers the walls of his house (and his suit jacket) with space blankets to protect himself from electrical radiation.
From NASA to National Parks
An emergency blanket (also called a space blanket, mylar blanket, first aid blanket, thermal blanket, and more) is made of an ultra-thin, heat-reflective, metallized plastic sheeting called mylar.
Mylar was first developed by NASA to be used on the exterior surfaces of spacecraft for thermal control. Now, however, people have found an almost unending variety of uses as a vitally important piece of survival gear.
Why is there a space blanket in my survival kit?
The many survival applications of mylar come from its unique physical characteristics:
- Heat-reflective: Mylar can reflect up to 95% of radiated heat. Depending on how you use it, this can keep you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather, as well as coming in handy for fire building, cooking, signaling, and food preservation.
- Waterproof: Essentially a large plastic sheet, mylar can be fashioned into various types of shelter, protective clothing, water collection and transportation devices, and other creative uses.
- Lightweight: Mylar is incredibly thin. Like, you can see through it. Most standard mylar is around 12 microns thick, while our HeatFlex mylar is around double that (which is still incredibly thin). This makes mylar really small and light so you can take it anywhere.
- High tensile strength: While a space blanket out of the package can be easily cut or torn, it is surprisingly strong when twisted or braided into cordage for use in first aid, shelter building, or other survival needs.