After considering food and water, what other items should one have on hand in case of an emergency or disaster situation? Depending on where you are and what type of emergency or disaster situation you are most likely to encounter, there are a number of different survival items and tools that can prove invaluable to your survival. This short is going to focus on one of the most essential survival items that applies to most if not all environments and situations. Future articles will break down additional items that pertain to common and specific environments and situations.
Let me introduce the good old space blanket. Why does almost every survival kit or bug out bag have one of these? Because along with dehydration, exposure is something you need to prepare for above all else. Living in our climate controlled world it is easy to forget just how brutal the elements can be to the human body. Be it heat or chill, when one is exposed to an extreme for a long duration of time without shelter or protection, bad things happen. Having a good space blanket can literally mean the difference between life and death. Not only can it provide shade against the heat, it can keep you warm in the cold and block wind and rain.
Did you know that space blankets were developed by NASA in 1964 for the US Space Program?
Key benefits for warmth:
Minimizes heat loss caused by thermal radiation, water evaporation and convection
Key benefits for keeping cool:
Reflects up to 97% of radiated heat
Note: survival blankets should not be wrapped around your body but instead used as shade covering when dealing with extreme heat.
There are several types of space blankets available to consumers. The most common is the standard Mylar survival blanket. These are the most cost-effective, lightweight, and easy to pack. They can be found in just about any sporting goods store and from a multitude of online retailers. Unfortunately the standard blankets tend to be a bit too lightweight and have been known to rip and tear. They can also be challenging when the wind is up or when one is caught in a real downpour. A better choice is a more robust Mylar survival pouch, Mylar survival bivy, or Mylar sleeping bag. These are thicker, larger, and are designed to cocoon the user to better protect them from the elements. Due to the heft and increased thickness, these deluxe space blankets hold up better during an emergency or disaster situation and are much easier to use. They are harder to find in local stores but available via online retailers.
Whatever type of space blanket you choose to go with; having one in your arsenal is a vital component for any survival situation. Most pre-packed survival kits and packs come with either a survival blanket or a survival pouch. Being how affordable they are it's never a bad idea to pick up a few spares for the car, boat, or even office. They also make great gifts. What's better than letting a friend or loved one know that you care about their survival? And besides, they are just plain cool looking.