The idea for the Mylar blanket originated with NASA. In 1964 the organization was looking for a material that would insulate, be lightweight and very efficient. They invented the Mylar blanket (aka space blanket) and it has since been used on virtually every space mission. The shiny blanket lined the bottom of the Apollo lunar lander vehicles and, as a tribute to its usefulness, is still used today in satellites, space stations and telescopes.
While the idea had many uses for space travel, the blanket has since found many uses for preparedness and emergencies. The blanket can be used during power outages, auto breakdowns, to collect water, create shelter and more. Check out these ideas below and be sure to add your own in the comment section.
Obviously you can use the emergency blanket to keep you warm. Mylar blankets retain 80-90% of your body heat and since they’re so compact, they fit easily in 72-hour kits and in your car’s emergency kit.
You can use duct tape and an emergency blanket to make a toasty sleeping bag for a child. Simply fold the bag over and tape the edges together to create a sleeping bag. For adults, you’ll probably have to tape two blankets together. You can also use them as lining for an existing sleeping bag to retain more heat.
Since Mylar blankets are good at keeping heat in; you can use them on your windows if the power goes out. They will reflect back light from a fireplace indoors and create a pocket barrier in your window frame to keep the cold out.
If you’re out hiking and get stranded, an emergency blanket would make a pretty helpful shelter. It might not be able to withstand a lot of extreme weather but it will keep rain off of you and keep the warmth in. You can use the blanket to make a simple lean-to shelter in the woods.
Emergency blankets are very reflective. In fact, they reflect out 99% of light rays. They would make a great signaling device to search and rescue helicopters or cars from a distance.
Mylar emergency blankets are waterproof and do a great job of repelling water. Use that to collect moisture. You can simply lay the blanket out at night to collect dew. You can also position the blanket strategically to collect water in a bucket or canister.
As we mentioned previously, emergency blankets reflect nicely. Line a bowl (or hole shaped like a bowl) with a Mylar blanket. Place some kindling in the middle of the blanket and angle the blanket to it concentrates its light into the center. The concentration from the bowl shape will transfer the sun’s light to ignite the kindling.
What Ideas Do You Have?
Comment below to tell us what you can use an emergency blanket for. Do you carry them in your 72-hour kit? Share your knowledge below.
Boy Scouts Handbook: Original 1911 Edition