Most survivalists are familiar with the traditional space blanket, also known as the Mylar blanket. Almost all pre-made survival kits, like the kinds that come in water bottles, have a space blanket in them. Even though space blankets are very thin and don’t seem like they could give you very much warmth, the truth is that they are based on NASA science. They are able to reflect heat back to you, something that other kinds of blankets can’t do, and it makes them a nifty little thing to have, especially when you have a source of heat, like a fire.
It turns out, though, that space blankets are useful for more than preserving body warmth. Let’s look at three such uses:
1. Waterproofing a shelter
Many people won’t bother using space blankets as a part of their survival shelter because, the blankets being so thin, they assume it will tear easily and be ruined. There is some validity to this, since it is actually quite easy to get a small rip in a space blanket just by tying or stabbing it to a tree.
But space blankets do have one very valuable property: They are waterproof. This will be especially critical as a defense against hyperthermia if there are rain clouds coming from the distance. Hyperthermia is one of the biggest killers in a survival situation, and heavy rainfall that soaks through your clothes and sticks to your skin can accelerate its onset. That’s why it’s so imperative that your shelter be as water-resistant as possible, and space blankets provide just the trick for that. Simply use sap, duct tape or another kind of a sticky substance to affix the blanket to the shelter
2. As a signaling device
There will be nothing more disappointing and morale-breaking in a wilderness survival situation than for a plane to fly in the air and not notice you. But if you have some sort of a signaling device, your chances of being spotted by a pilot in the air or by a group of hikers on the other side of the valley go up dramatically.
Easily, the best signaling device is to get a large fire burning to fill the air with either white or black smoke. The problem with this method is that it can take a long time to get a fire going. That’s why you need a quick and easy signaling device that you can just pull out of your pocket and use on a moment’s notice.
A space blanket will reflect the sun just as well as a signaling mirror — and furthermore it has a much larger surface area, increasing the chances of being found.
3. As a fishing lure
You likely already know how to build a makeshift fishing kit in the wilderness: Find a stick and remove it of the branches, use your shoelaces or some vine for the line, and then grab a soda can tab or a paperclip for the hook. Well, actually, there’s one more component of the fishing kit that you’re missing: the lure.
The whole purpose of the fishing lure is to gain the attention of the fish so that your bait has a greater chance of being found. In other words, a good fishing lure can dramatically increase the chances of you making a catch, and there will be few better options for a fishing lure in a survival situation than a small piece of your shiny blanket stabbed through the line.
What survival uses would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the section below: