Survival Blanket

Survival Blankets – 7 Ways They Can Save Your Life or Your Sanity

Photo courtesy of Flickr, Michael Pollack

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.

Now what?

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 Eyelets 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?

My Favorite Survival Blankets

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.

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.


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    • Michael
    • November 27, 2013

    Would really love to have one!

    • pamela wright
    • November 3, 2013

    Hi Nancy. I have chickens, they roam all day in the yard and go to bed in a safe coop at night. All summer we have no problem with the hawk population, then comes fall and we start to lose our chickens to the hawks. One day I’m out watching the kids swim and 3 hawks come cruising over, but never even stop on a tree, just fly by. Hummm, I think that the reflective surface of the pool distracts them from my birds. We have tried several methods to deter those hungry hawks from my brood with no luck, stringing fishing line from tree to tree, Owl decoys, lots of others, even hanging cd discs from the trees…Now the pool comes down, it’s a 18X52 intex so we store it away. I wanted to try my idea of reflection decoy so I bought several of the cheaper emergency blankets, Draped, clothespinned & taped 3 of them over a 9 foot sun umbrella, set it where the pool sits…it’s been a little over 8 weeks and no chicken loss! I have a baked potato umbrella in my yard, but I have all my girls.

    1. Reply

      Pamela, that is brilliant! Wow! Thank you for sharing, there’s a lot of us that will be interested in your tip. GREAT! Thank you very much!

    • Eileen Russell
    • September 30, 2013

    I have a use for survival blankets too! cut a strip about 2 inches wide and long enough to tie around your head. Use this like a blindfold, only you can see through the blanket. Use for sunglasses to protect your eyes from snow blindness or the bright summer sun.

    1. Eileen,

      That’s wonderful! Thank you for adding on to the conversation in such a helpful way. Bless you!


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    • Echo
    • September 25, 2013

    thanks for the mention!!! almost fell off the bench here in the rv!!! 😀

    1. lol, I give credit where it’s due, girl! 🙂

    • John R
    • September 25, 2013

    I am in the process of changing all my 55 gallon rain water barrels with IBC 275 gallon totes. The plastic in these totes have nothing in them to protect them from the sun. They will get brittle and crack. Shiny side out wrapped around the tank. 2 blankets are just enough to wrap around the sides. Cut one for the top. The first 2 totes I converted, I used 4 mil black plastic from Lowes, and in the sun were very hot. $12. I had enough to do 2 totes. Space blankets, it take 2 and a bit. Do the math and watch all the rubber neckers, driving by my house, wondering WTF is crazy guy doing now?

    1. Hi John!

      That’s an unusual use for sure, but it sounds like it’s working nicely! Thanks for stopping by!

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