I remember once when I was about 6-7 years old, my dad and I were driving back from Florida during the winter. I was wearing shorts because we had left sunny Florida. My dad used to drive straight through for 13 hours, and this time, we were in his 1956 Pink Cadillac.
It was around 3 o’clock in the morning when we got near our exit and in Texas at that time, it WAS wintry – cold, snow on the ground, and I was fast asleep in the car. The next thing I know we’re broken down.
Back then, there were no cell phones. We had about a mile and a half to walk and I wasn’t dressed for the occasion. I remember my dad (you know how your dad is always a big, strong guy when you’re a little girl?) picked me up in his arms, and opened his shirt and wrapped it around me and carried me the whole way home. This is me and my dad:
And then guess what?
We were locked out of the house! LOL! My dad had to wake a neighbor at 3 AM (closer to 4 now) and have her give us a key and a ride to the car so he could jump start it.
We were lucky.
We broke down near our home. But what if that had been farther or a different situation? I wasn’t prepared for warmth. I always remember this story whenever I think about survival gear and cold weather situations.
It’s extremely important for us to have survival blankets in our cars and our bug out bags. The job of a survival blanket is to increase your odds of surviving in extreme conditions.
Most survival blankets are tear resistant and have some type of reflective material on the outside of them. Some can also be used in water to help lock your body heat in. They can be made of various materials and are extremely portable – with most of them folded into a shape about the size of an adult’s hand.
They can serve many different purposes in order to help save your life. A heavy blanket can be used to create a way to keep the elements off of you. These heavier blankets can be rigged up over tree branches as a way to make a shelter. You’ll get a protective barrier against wind, rain and even driving sleet.
Lightweight blankets are made of material that’s intended to keep the rain or other elements off of you, but they’re not good if you need to use a blanket as an emergency shelter.
Don’t you love how perfectly made up and smiley she is? You know in a survival situation, she’s not going to look anything like that. This particular type of survival blanket is called the Kangaroo Emergency Thermal Blanket and they’re super cheap and come in packs of 10 (so you can keep some at home, in the office, in your car, and in your bug out bag.
The lightweight ones can help keep out the chill, but if you’re going to be somewhere, such as in snowy areas, it’s best to have the heavier blanket. However, if you know how to use the lightweight blankets, you’ll be just fine. The blanket you see above is the kind of blanket that’s going to keep about 90% of your body heat locked inside.
The key is to wrap yourself in them, not just lay them over your body. This type of survival blanket is all about keeping the heat of our body locked inside. So make sure you AND your kids know the proper way to use a survival blanket.
Survival blankets come in different sizes, widths and colors. One of these colors is bright orange and the orange is what makes it easier for you to be found in the event that a rescue is needed.
While some people love the orange or silver, reflective blankets, I actually prefer this one: TITAN Thermal Blanket. The reason is this one still has the reflective, silver side – but the other side helps keep you camouflaged if you need to stay hidden. It’s an olive green color, like this:
Other survival blankets are lightweight thermal ones that are specifically designed to keep you alive in blizzard type conditions. These are self-heating blankets that use your body’s own heat to generate the warmth you need.
There are also heat reflective blankets that have a mirror type sheen on one side, which makes them reflect. These are highly visible blankets and are good to use in extreme cold or in extreme heat because they deflect the rays of the sun and help keep you cool.
All weather blankets are also well known as survival blankets. These types of blankets are made with the same kind of material that’s used by astronauts. It can deflect heat or hold heat in even in below zero weather.
This kind of blanket is good to have in the event of a major disaster like a hurricane or blizzard 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.
Survival blankets are often ignored because we know we already have regular blankets at home. But those aren’t the same as one that will lock in heat. Ours don’t have reflective shimmers. Ours can’t easily be toted around in a bug out bag or even a purse or car without taking up too much space.
So make sure, especially if you have kids, that you prepare for their survival by including blankets like this when you’re on the go. I know my poor dad felt horrible. But really, I didn’t know about the danger – all I knew was that it was kind of cool walking along a country road by moonlight in the dead of night, listening to the snow crunch beneath his feet. And looking back, I sure do love that he was the kind of dad who would carry me, wrapped in his arms, because I know many other parents who would have dragged their kid by the hand – or worse, maybe left them in the car.