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July 29, 2015
Totally Ready for Anything
Mylar Blankets: Not Just For 72 Hour Kits Anymore
by Carolyn Nicolaysen

You have seen many lists describing the items you should have in a 72 hour kit and they all include mylar blankets. They are cheap, small, and light weight making them a no-brainer for tossing into your kits, however, they are not the best protection against the cold and thus many in the preparedness community discourage their purchase. That is not the case for me. I say stock up!

Several years ago the power went out in southern California due to a transformer failure during a heatwave as the temperature hovered around 110 degrees. Our daughter called to let us know how miserable they were and to get some sympathy and maybe a little advice. I counseled her to get the mylar blankets from her 72 hour kits and to hang them in every window catching the direct sunlight. She had two sliding doors that fit that description and called me a short time later to tell me hanging the blankets had reduced the heat in their home and made a real difference.

On March 4, 2010 there was a rescue in the Sierra mountains in California of a man who had been lost while hiking and he had endured two nights in snow storms. When they found him he was waving his mylar blanket as a signal to the helicopter rescue party.

How can we benefit from a stash of emergency blankets?

Warmth -- Yes this is the obvious one so it is the best place to start:

Insulation from the cold:

Insulation from the heat:

In first aid kits:

As a shelter:

Moisture barrier:

Signaling device:


Radiant heat:

Collect rainwater:


Added tip: Always store a roll of duct tape with your mylar blankets. It is best for adhering to mylar.

Survival blankets can only be used a limited number of times and they sometimes tear, but they are lightweight, compact, and cheap, and for all these reasons, it is hard to imagine a car, a boat, a home, or a backpack without one or two or several.

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