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Space Blankets. Those aluminum looking blankets that make you look like a big bag of juffy pop to any bear that might come by.

Come on they are in everyone's hiking gear, but have you ever used one? What are you thoughts on them?
 

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Tried one two weekends ago. It was in the lower to mid 50s. It kept me warm until the wind changed dirrection and kept blowing it off. It's hard to get used to the light feel of the material. I have a larger one that I think would work better because I could lay on half of it and then pull the remainder of it over me, then it would stay in place in a breeze. One more thing I learned; don't pull it over your head, because all the vapor from your breath condences on the inside of the blanket. That quality would make it a good candidate for a solar still if need be.
 

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trois pour cent
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First, they are way too flimsy.
Second, they only fit you if they are small.
In my emergency pack, I carry a sturdier emergency blanket and the space blanket. I also wrap the space blanket, still in it's plastic package, with duct tape. Keeps it from getting torn while in my pack and the duct tape can also be reused.
 

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Son Of Liberty
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last winter me and some friends did a 3 night trip in the eastern kentucky mountian snow with nothing but what we could fit in BDU pockets. We used space blankets, we shivered all night and had a hell of a time sleeping but it was doable.

the temps were mid 20s
 
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One of my buddies from high school bought a space blanket for a camping trip. It kept him nice and warm, maybe a little too warm. The thing reflects so much of your body heat it can get kinda hot.

The space blanket sounded like tin foil, maybe worse. Every time he moved, that space blanket made so much noise none of us could sleep.

Space blankets have a place, but not for a comfortable camping trip.
 

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I seem to have read where a space blanket with a dark blanket over it will nullify your infared body heat signature.
Might be handy if some evil helo's are looking for you at night.
 

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Information is Ammunition
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That is true. A friend of mine in Missouri got lost in the woods a few years back and they had a police helo out looking for him. they almost missed him because he was wearing a space blanket and all they could see was his head. They thought it was a small animal until he started jumping and waving his hands.
 
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I have no doubt that a space blanket saved my life as well as my climbing partners life. For the space they take up and weight; compared to all the potential uses...I think there will always be a spot for a few in all my packs and gear.
shane
 

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Son Of Liberty
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That is true. A friend of mine in Missouri got lost in the woods a few years back and they had a police helo out looking for him. they almost missed him because he was wearing a space blanket and all they could see was his head. They thought it was a small animal until he started jumping and waving his hands.

Sorry but I have to say this is false.

I had the chance to be trained in the use of Thermal Imagery , one of the perks was we got to test it. The search and rescue guys dressed up in a Space blanket, the space blanket type tarp, a guile suit and regular clothing. The space blanket sort of broke the image up some but it was still a HOT spot from hell. Because the space blanket itself reaches near your body temperature it is nearly impossible to hide, the outside of the blanket would have to be withing 3-5 degrees of the environment in order to hide you at all. The tarp worked better but after a short time it to heats up. The guile suit worked decent but you could still very much tell it was a man. The very best thing was foliage because the thermal imagery cant look through temperatures and the foliage being not in contact with your body keeps it near outside temperatures.

The very best way to beat it is to stay in the cover of the woods and walk on your hands and feet, at a distance you can be very deer looking. I'm guessing that this is why they had trouble finding your buddy.
 

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I used one when I spent an evening on a exposed sand dune in a wind storm on Fraiser Island in the south pacific, I was freezing my butt off! I tried to make the blanket into a poncho, big mistake, the wind tore that blanket in half in 5 seconds! Otherwise it worked well.
 

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maybe they were high up too, idunno
 

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When I used to 'rough camp/hike'. I used one of the thicker (2 layer, I think), larger ones (almost the size of an army blanket) and slept rolled up with a poncho liner, the space blanket and a rubberized GI poncho.
As Kev mentioned you can get to warm and perspiration is COLD when you roll out.
I have several of those that fold up real small to almost pocket size, but have never used them.
I'd like to find another large 2 layer one.
 

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I have one of the OLD six layer ones from the 1960's but it is too small in dimension to be of any real value
 

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I used one many years ago while backpacking. We got caught in a sudden storm and were frozen. I wrapped up in the space blanket and shivered for about 15 minutes before my body heat filled the space around me, then I started sweating......They work, but should be used for emergencies, since they don't breathe.
 

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Honesty Josiah I hadnt really tested these at all, other than taking a few out of the original package and looking at the materials used. I just tested one outside, the mylar film type (thanks to this post) in the cold (20 degrees last night) and in the plain open space, they are better than most regular blankets, almost too much heat if you can curl up and wrap your body and head (leave your face out because you will sweat even more than usual if you try to cover your face). In reality if you are directly on the ground you need to insulate your body with some cattail fluff or evergreen boughs, pine needles, anything to get a little airspace between you and the ground, or whatever your leaning/laying on. I am a little over 6 foot tall, 170 pounds and I would recommend buying the biggest one you can, this one was the biggest I could find and it wrapped all the way around me from about neck level to the ground (I will measure it later, package long gone). In all reality I slept on 4 layers of evergreen boughs in a T-shirt and bdu pants, and hiking boots, and I was pretty warm and cozy right out in the open in about a 3 mile an hour wind (max) and I can imagine that in a real situation with a little cover and use of your surroundings for more insulation, you could use these to survive a pretty bad situation, although I have yet to try it in an insulated snow pit maybe I have yet another winter test!! All in all I would recommend everyone spend the extra two or three bucks and buy two and figure out how to use one to your advantage, that way in a real situation, you will have some knowledge of how to use them effectivly. Thanks for the great post Josiah!!!:)
 

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I have always had in mind to use it to line the top of my emergency shelter. As opposed to wrapping up in it. That way I don't have to worry about tearing it or someone hearing or seeing it. It probably would work best with the type of shelters that you lay down in. That way you can warm up quicker than you could with a larger shelter.
 
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