It’s 45 degrees and raining. Your last backpacking trip of the season has run into a snag – the weather was supposed to be fine and mild, but instead is dripping and cold.
The boots you wore for the weather you expected have sprung a leak and your right foot is shriveled and contributing to an overall feeling of soggy malaise. You make camp and start a smokey, barely-there fire, but you quickly realize that you did not pack the rain fly for your tent. And it’s already leaking.
Well, you know that survival blankets can save your life by keeping you warm. But did you know that there’s multiple alternative uses for a survival blanket? A survival blanket can save both your life and your sanity when you’re under distress. This is why they’re useful not only for camping but to keep in your car. Every car should have at least one of these.
Here’s how you can use a survival blanket beyond simply wrapping up your body:
1) As a shelter. Get a blanket with grommets for this purpose, and use your paracord to tie it down.
2) To keep rain off your tent. A survival blanket adds an additional barrier to the wet and the wind. Many folks use this instead of a tent fly, as they are generally less expensive and wear just as well.
3) As a water-proof layer to protect you from moist earth below. For example, use a survival blanket instead of a footprint for your tent.
4) As a boot liner – if one of your boots springs a leak, you can put a piece of emergency blanket in there to help keep your foot warm and dry.
5) As an emergency distress signal – the reflective side will get the attention of a search party.
6) To hang over your campfire, keeping the fire protected from the rain and directing heat where you want it (hat tip to Echo Moon on Facebook). You can also hang a survival blanket behind your seating area/log when sitting in front of a camp fire. The heat will be redirected and will keep you warmer than without one.
7) To keep heat and sun out in a hot climate. Reverse it (shiny side out) to reflect the sun’s rays.
How have you used a survival blanket? Would you share your story and your ideas with others here?
Lightweight survival blankets are specifically designed to keep you alive in very cold conditions. They are olive green on one side and shiny reflective silver on the other side. These are the original “space” blankets and are a good value at Amazon.
All-weather blankets are good to have in the event of a major disaster like a hurricane or snowstorm if you live in the colder states and lose your electricity during winter months. The all weather blankets are strong enough to double as a shelter. Placed in the bottom of a tent, they can protect you from the cold or wetness of the ground.
Here’s my favorite one: it’s a nice mid-weight blanket – not so heavy that it takes up a lot of room in your car trunk, and it’s good for hiking. Plus, it has grommets, so it can double as an emergency shelter or for any other sheltering use.
A hooded blanket is an ideal survival multi-tasker. Because this one has grommets (like the other one I recommend), it can be used as a footprint or for reflecting heat from a camp fire. It packs down into a small package, can be re-used over and over, and it has a hood. Grab one of these from Amazon, and you’ll rest a bit easier.