Ever wondered if there are actual survival uses for survival blankets?
You see them everywhere. And all of the prepping experts (including myself) swear by these blankets.
But aside from looking like a really large piece of aluminum foil, do these survival blankets actually work to help save lives?
The answer is yes, yes, and yes many more times. Truth is, I consider these little emergency blankets (or space blankets) to be one of the most useful survival tools on the planet.
These blankets are one of the best survival tools you could ever own.
They’re so useful I’ve listed out 10 really unique survival uses for survival blankets. I’m willing to bet you’ve never even considered half of these.
Check them out below.
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The Fascinating History Of Survival Blankets
Before I go into detail regarding survival uses of survival blankets, I want to give you a brief history of this tool.
You probably already know these blankets were created by NASA. Back in the late 60’s, during the NASA “race for space” heyday, engineers turned to this material to beat the Russians.
The material, known as Mylar, wasn’t actually created by NASA. Instead, a company named DuPont invented it. You’ve probably heard of DuPont; they’re one of the largest companies in the world. And because they’re so big and innovative, they’ve done quite a bit of business with the U.S. government.
Once they created Mylar and saw how useful it was, they offered to license it to NASA for their use.
NASA was thrilled to begin using Mylar. They liked it so much because it is:
- Incredibly thin.
- Incredibly strong.
- Incredibly lightweight.
- Incredibly flexible.
Once NASA brought it in-house they began testing it in the harshest environments. This was to help simulate how it would perform in space.
And what they discovered blew them away.
Researchers figured out Mylar could do things other materials only dreamed of.
First off, it could withstand the coldest temps imaginable. When subjected to the freezing temps of -270°F Mylar maintained its flexibility, which made it perfect for use with satellites.
They also noticed it reflected the sun’s rays with insane efficiency. This kept sensitive electronics protected from the crazy heat.
Plus, they noticed Mylar even shielded the satellites from radiation.
Once they ran the tests, the verdict was in.
Mylar was going to be used for the space program to help us dominate orbit and, in the process, put the Russians to shame.
Years after being used in space, DuPont’s technology was declassified. After it was made available to the public, preppers started using it. After using it for years and years in the field, survivalists now agree Mylar is one of the most useful tools around.
And that’s why I want to show you just how powerful it truly is.
10 Survival Uses For Survival Blankets Revealed
Most people think the emergency survival blanket is good for one thing, and one thing only.
And that’s reflecting your heat back to you.
Yes, survival blankets are great at that. Since Mylar reflects 90% of your body’s heat back to you they’re great for helping you stay warm in a cold weather crisis.
But that single use is just scratching the surface of its many uses.
Check out a collection of them below:
1) Use It As A Signal Mirror
Because of its shiny surface, you can use a survival blanket just like you would a signal mirror.
The added benefit is, because they’re so big, they do a great job of reflecting larger patches of light.
Using them as a signal mirror is easy.
The simplest way to make this work is to cut out a 4-inch by 4-inch section of the blanket. Then, grab it by the sides, hold it taut, and angle it towards the sun. This will reflect the sun’s light and get you noticed in no time.
2) Make A Bear Bag
If you’re ever out camping in the woods, you know how dangerous it can be to leave food on the ground for bears to grab.
Space blankets are great for keeping food away from bears.
Here’s what to do to keep your food safe from bears:
- Place your food in the middle of the blanket.
- Bring all four corners together.
- Grab the corners and twist the bottom of the bag so it seals the neck of your blanket shut.
- Take a long length of paracord and tie it around the neck of the twisted blanket.
- Throw the other end of the paracord over a tree branch 12-15 feet off the ground. (Tie the end of the paracord around a stick if you need help).
- Hoist the blanket up and then tie the paracord off on the trunk of the tree.
There you go, you’ve just made a bear bag.
This is just one of the many clever survival uses for survival blankets you might have never thought off.
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3) Use It To Stay Cool In The Heat
Most people think the best way to use survival blankets is to reflect the heat back to them in the cold. Not so fast – you can also use them to keep heat off of you.
One of the best ways to manage this is by crawling under a blanket. This works quite well if it’s incredibly hot out and you have no shade.
If you find a small tree or rock outcropping, you can also punch small holes in the corners of the blanket and tie it up. Then you can hide behind the blanket while the sun bears down on you.
The fact that the sun’s rays bounce right off of the blanket make it so you can use them to stay protected from the damaging rays of the sun.
This is one of the simplest survival uses for survival blankets.
4) Use It As A Tourniquet
Reader beware: If you use an emergency blanket as a tourniquet, you must know how to tie a tourniquet.
A lot of people think tying a tourniquet is as simple as taking cord/rope/survival blanket and tying it tightly above the wound.
Not true at all! Doing this can severely damage a limb. So be sure to learn how to tie a tourniquet before attempting to use one.
That being said, survival blankets are great for use as tourniquets in emergencies.
The fact they can be torn into different widths and lengths is extremely useful.
I recommend you take a look at some practical emergency medicine books before attempting this. Once you learn how to tie a tourniquet, you’ll love having your survival blanket with you.
I consider this one of the more advanced survival uses for survival blankets.
5) Use It To Cook Food
Ever heard of a solar oven?
It’s a self-made device that uses the sun’s rays to cook food.
They’re not hard to make, and one of the core components of them is a reflective material that angles the sun’s rays to cook the food.
See how you can use your space blanket to build a solar oven here. This is one of the coolest survival uses for survival blankets ever!
6) Use It To Dry Clothes Fast
Being wet in the wilderness can be the kiss of death.
Disaster or not, being wet exposes you to the dangers of hypothermia.
That’s why you’ll want to use a survival blanket to dry your clothes faster.
You dry your clothes the same way these blankets are used to cook food. Simply stretch out the blanket so it’s at an angle to the sun’s rays. Then string up clothes above the blanket so the powerful rays hit the clothes and help moisture evaporate.
This simple hack can speed up the drying time significantly!
7) Use It To Help Stay Fed
If you’re out in nature, you’ve got to be smarter than nature to survive.
That’s why you’ll love how emergency survival blankets can help keep food in your belly.
Here’s how this works: many species of fish are attracted to shiny things. They believe anything reflecting the sun’s light might be something to eat.
This is because loads of insects have hard shells with iridescent/reflective qualities. These shells reflect the sun’s light. And that reflection is a signal to the fish that it’s time to eat.
So, for you, all you need to do is tie little ribbons of survival blanket to the bottom bend of a fish hook.
You only need small strips, but once tied to the hook, those strips will make fish go crazy!
This one little trick can keep you from starving to death.
It’s so easy!
8) Use It To Collect Water
Not only will these blankets catch fish, and keep that fish away from bears…
They’ll also keep you hydrated. This is probably one of the most important survival uses of survival blankets.
There are all kinds of ways to do this:
- You can lay the blanket flat and then set it on top of grass in an open field to collect dew. Make sure it’s off the ground a few inches so cool air goes under the blanket to help create dew.
- You can create a blanket bucket and dip it into a stream to bring water back to camp. The same technique you used for the bear bag will help here. Consider using a smaller portion of the blanket for optimal effectiveness.
- Or, one of my favorites, is tying the blanket up in a tree and making a funnel out of it. There are all kinds of configurations, but the basic point is to have the top of the blanket catch rainfall and have gravity pull the water into a container. With its wide mouth, the blanket allows you to catch quite a bit of water.
9) Use It To Protect A Garden
Plants are extremely sensitive to fluctuations in temperature.
If a cold front comes through, it will kill the plants you’ve worked hard for months to grow. The same thing can be said about a sudden heat spell.
Survival blankets are useful for both instances.
One of the more practical survival uses for survival blankets is related to gardening.
If you hear cold weather is coming in and you’ve got sensitive plants, just drape a blanket over the plants. Residual heat coming off the ground will be trapped under the blanket and keep your plants warm.
And if you’re worried about a strong bit of warm weather hurting the plants, use blankets to shield them from the sun’s rays.
Put up a few posts and stretch the blanket by its corners so it’s laying completely flat. Keep the blanket a few feet above the plants if you can. This will allow the plants to absorb the morning and evening light but will shield it from the bright noonday sun.
This use will be essential when you’re dependent on a garden for survival.
10) Use It To Get Unlost
If you’re thrust into a crisis situation, odds are you’ll be in an unfamiliar place.
If that place happens to be in the middle of the woods, there’s a strong possibility you’ll get lost.
If you own a survival blanket, you can use it to prevent yourself from getting lost. This is an incredible simple but effective survival use.
All you need to do is tear small strips off the blanket and tie them around tree branches.
Tie a piece onto a branch every 30-40 steps. This way you’re never more than 100 feet away from a strip, helping you stay unlost.
Make sure to keep them at eye level. That way you’ll always be able to get a direct line of sight on the shiny and reflective strips.
11) Bonus – Use It For Food Storage
I’ve never seen this written anywhere, but I think it’s a great way to use these blankets.
Right now, almost all the survival food companies sell their food in Mylar pouches. Part of the reason they use Mylar is because it’s impervious to water and traps odors inside
That’s why I think these blankets are great to bury survival food in.
Using them for food storage is simple. All you have to do is place the food about 6-12 inches from the edge of a full blanket (or a smaller section of blanket depending on the size of the food).
Wash your hands after placing the food in the center (to keep your scent off the outside of the package).
Then fold the edge over the food, and roll it towards the other end. Once you’ve reached the end, take the sides and bring them to the center of the roll and tie them off.
Your food will now be safely stored and totally secure.
Bury the food at least 18 inches under the ground and mark the burial spot. Now you’ve got an awesome emergency food storage spot no one will know about.
There Are Many, Many More Survival Uses For Survival Blankets
The 11 uses I’ve listed here are not even a fraction of the uses you could imagine for these incredible blankets.
If you Googled other uses, you’d find there’s a long list of uses for these incredible blankets.
Because they’re so useful, I think everyone should own at least one.
I personally own 100.
They don’t take up a lot of room, only weigh a few grams, and are incredible gifts.
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If you want to be prepared, you need these blankets. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
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Want to know wintertime survival uses for survival blankets? Check out my wintertime survival tips blog post.