Paramedic rescues an elderly person in distress with an ambulance by covering him with a thermal blanket

How Useful is the Hypothermia Blanket & Why You Must Include it in Your Survival Kit

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Mylar hypothermia blankets, or emergency blankets, have started to become a popular survival item to put in survival kits and emergency preparedness kits. They’re not only easy to store and lightweight, but they can also be extremely affordable if you buy them in bulk.

Most people think they’ll be caught outdoors in a winter storm when they purchase a hypothermia blanket, and that they’ll benefit from being covered by this aluminum foil-like, shiny material.

So, how useful is a hypothermia blanket, and why should you include it in your survival kit? Let’s talk about it.

What is a Hypothermia Blanket Made from?

The hypothermia blanket has been designed to be extremely lightweight and insulating. Hypothermia blankets can be used two ways: to preserve heat or to reflect heat.

It’s said that a hypothermia blanket can reflect between 80 and 90 percent of heat. In space, hypothermia blankets are used to maintain the inside temperature of the spacecraft because of ever-changing atmospheric temperatures.

When used in survival situations, they can be lifesaving when used property, but the opposite can be true if misused.

Is Every Hypothermia Blanket the Same?

With so many types of hypothermia blankets, do they all the work the same? The primary goal of each hypothermia blanket is to prevent the loss of heat by retaining 90 percent of your body heat. You must remember that they aren’t designed to produce body heat.

Most hypothermia blankets have two sides: one side is metallic/shiny, and the other is dull or a different color (i.e., orange).

Why is a Hypothermia Blanket Shiny?

The shiny side of the hypothermia blanket is designed to reflect heat off the object it’s facing, whether it be the sun, fire, or body. It works to insulate you and keep heat in while also keeping heat out, which helps regulate your body temperature.

How to Properly Use a Hypothermia Blanket

A hypothermia blanket can be used in various ways. Below you’ll find some of the most common ways a hypothermia blanket is used and how to use it properly.

Heat Reflection

The metallic side of the hypothermia blanket reflects heat. When you’re suffering or facing hypothermia, you want to have that shiny side facing you so that your body heat is maintained and is reflected towards you.

Keep in mind that your clothes must be as dry as possible for a hypothermia blanket to work because your body will need to generate heat. Most people expect the hypothermia blanket to warm them up magically, but the blanket works to slow down heat loss.

Repel Heat

If you ever find yourself stuck inside your car during a snowstorm, a hypothermia blanket can be used to cover the windows, with the shiny side facing into the car, to maintain the car’s warmth.

If you’re out camping, you can use the hypothermia blanket to repel the heat from the inside of your tent by facing the shiny side away from your tent, so the heat is being reflected away from you.

Water Protection

Hypothermia blankets are waterproof, and you can use them to keep yourself and your gear dry.

To do this, you can cut a slit large enough for your head in the middle of the blanket and use it as a poncho.

pset hiker woman wrapped in an emergency survival blanket

Is It Okay to Reuse a Hypothermia Blanket?

Yes, you can reuse a hypothermia blanket, so long as you’re careful with them. A cheap hypothermia blanket will rip easily. This can become a problem in emergencies, so we recommend always having duct tape on hand in your survival kit to repair any tears.

You might also find that it’s nearly impossible to refold a hypothermia blanket back into the package it came in, but you can fix this by using a resealable sandwich bag.

How Long Do Hypothermia Blankets Last?

If you leave a mylar hypothermia blanket unopened, it should last anywhere between one to two years. It has a short shelf life because of the possibility of UV exposure, oxidation, moisture, and other things.

Over the years, you might start noticing your hypothermia blanket deteriorating or fading because the aluminum is delaminating from the mylar sheet.

We highly recommend checking or replacing your hypothermia blanket once a year. This is because where you live, the climate you experience, and how the blanket was stored could play a huge role in its shelf life.

A used hypothermia blanket can be reused, but how long it will last will ultimately depend on how it was previously used and how much wear and tear it’s experienced. For example, the shiny lining might come off after being exposed to water.

Conclusion

While a mylar hypothermia blanket is a cheap investment, it could ultimately give you a chance at survival. You can also use hypothermia blankets for other survival purposes, such as repelling heat and water protection.

A hypothermia blanket is a must-have for your emergency survival kit because it will give you a chance to survive when used properly. To use a hypothermia blanket properly, you need to ensure that your clothes are as dry as possible and have the shiny side of the blanket facing you. This works to reflect heat to your body to maintain body heat until someone can come to help you.

There are more expensive hypothermia blankets on the market that you can purchase. Still, if you’re looking for something that you can easily pack into your survival kit, a mylar hypothermia blanket is a great choice.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you realize why hypothermia blankets are helpful and why you should have some in your survival kit. Whether you opt for the mylar hypothermia blanket or go with a more expensive option, knowing that you have something to retain your body heat is always beneficial.

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