Let's talk blankets. First, it's obvious why you should have a small blanket in your car. Just get stuck in a snowstorm once and you'll never again wonder if you want to keep a blanket handy. It's one of those 'gotta have' items.
When space is of a premium, one may prefer a solar blanket. These are very small, extremely lightweight blankets which take up literally no space at all. They are 84`x 52` and weigh only 1.5 oz. Several could be tucked in your pocket, purse or glove compartment with no problem.
Originally developed for use by astronauts, solar blankets are made of space-age materials which reflect 90% of one's body heat. I suggest at least two per to put on the ground as a ground cover and one to cover. Since these blankets are so versatile, compact and very inexpensive, most preparedness folks choose to slip several per person in their cars, packs, or pockets.
Additionally, these highly reflective blankets can be used as an emergency signal, to shield one from the elements, or to reflect heat from a small campfire into a shelter.
Recently, my area was hit by an unusual snow storm. As the winds howled, electric power was lost. Since I heat most of my house by pellet stove, this was not good news. To keep warm, I started a fire in my living room fireplace, but high ceilings do not a warm room make. However, I'm clever by nature. I set up my tent in front of the fireplace then, I created a tunnel using four solar blankets and duct tape. This channeled the heat from the fireplace into my tent. I was cozy warm all night!
One cannot have too many solar blankets. Two taped together can make a warming sleeping bag, especially useful if stranded outdoors or in a car during a blizzard. These blankets will help you avoid frostbite, hypothermia, and other cold-related problems by blocking out rain, moisture, and cold while holding in valuable body heat. In very hot climates, a solar blanket can be used to reflect the sun's radiant heat away from the body.
Marathon runners use solar blankets to prevent cooling too quickly after a race. Hospitals use them to keep patients warm during surgery. Campers, hikers, and emergency response teams find solar blankets are lightweight and an inexpensive addition to their kits.
A fleece blanket is an insulating blanket made with synthetic fibers. Polyester fibers are twisted, the brushed with a rough wire to bring up the nap, then the fibers are sheared to an even length. A good
quality fleece blanket will not pill even when washed repeatedly, and has a velvety texture.
Fleece blankets are soft, warm, and are especially comfortable when one is under stress. Fleece will provide warmth, even if wet. However, they do take up a bit more space. My fleece blankets are 84`x52`.
My personal preference is to combine the fleece and the solar blankets. Place a fleece blanket next to your skin, cover with a solar blanket, and you will be toasty warm whatever the situation in which you may find yourself.