Prima-Care Medical Supplies Foil Mylar Rescue Blanket
Current Retail: $10.85
Reviewers Paid: $3.00
This may be one of the best inventions and, in my opinion, one of the most dangerous gear pieces out there for inexperienced users. It is best used as a heat reflector under a tent, as an under-quilt and covering for a hammock, or used to make a heated shelter. Can also be used as a fireplace heat reflector or as shade from the hot sun.
I do not recommend using this as your primary blanket as it only reflects up to 90% of your body heat and it does not generate heat only reflect.
- has multi uses and purposes
- Noisy if used as a blanket
- Can easily tear
- Do not be use as a primary blanket
Designed for NASA, the Mylar Solar Blanket can be seen & sold on every camping and outdoor website. Solar blankets come in an assortment of different thicknesses, lengths, widths, and percentage of heat reflected back to person.
I have seen these Mylar Solar Blankets everywhere online such as EMS, REI, even hardware stores and Walmart. They are in people's EDC bag, bugout bag, car, or truck, sitting there waiting to be opened for the first time in a real life emergency. But that is just it... people have them for when the crap hits the fan but have no experience with them and are using them when it is too late.
They reflect your body's heat back to you. Not only are there diminishing returns, but also heat lost from air seeping in. If you are already freezing cold and cold to the touch the heat that you are reflecting back to you is not going to get you warmed up.
I first used this in a real life emergency. I was in a county park in N.Y. on a raining evening and saw a foreign woman shivering. Like everyone else using this solar blanket for the 1st time I used in incorrectly. The key words to understand is it "reflects heat back to you". If you are freezing it is not going to bring your core temp up.
After 5 minutes I realized my wrong doing as the woman was still shivering so I took the soaking wet woman with my solar blanket wrapped around her into the front seat of my SUV and turned on the heater. I told her to open up the blanket and lean towards the heated air vent. Within another 5 minutes she stopped shivering's. The Mylar Solar Blanket prevented the heat from my SUV from escaping creating an oven like environment that warmed the woman up quickly.
Thinking that this solar blanket is going to save your life will be the end of you. This is a perfect example
As you can see in the above diagram the heat from the fire heads towards the solar blanket and 90% of that heat gets reflected back shown as a smaller arrow heading to the right. To use a solar blanket effectively, one must have something that is generating heat that is hotter then 98.6 degrees ( your core temp), and something that traps that heat so that it surrounds you. In the above diagram what is missing is something trapping that heat.
Any sort of shelter can be made using a combination of Mylar Solar Blankets: Tepee, Lean-to Shelter, A frame etc. All that you need to make sure is that it has 5 sides of Mylar solar blanket walls (back, left side, right side, top and floor) and one side a clear plastic with a large hole for ventilation.
If not using as a solar blanket shelter but as an actual blanket for it to be effective you still need a heat source. What I use is a few air activated foot warmers. Wrap the Mylar Solar Blanket around you blocking all of the wind and have 1 foot warmer in left chest pocket other in right chest pocket. The most important part of your body other then hands and toes is your core (chest). This setup will provide a lot more warmth as air activated foot warmers can reach temperatures in excess of 165 degrees Fahrenheit and will provide the necessary heat to warm your core temperature back to 98.6 F.
I have used solar blankets probably more than anyone. I have taught numerous people how they can be used effectively as a tent base, or be used as a shelter or fire wall reflector, as a hammock blanket and under quilt, or as a heating room in 32 degrees weather while the enclosed area is in the upper 70s. Solar blankets can even be used to make you cooler during a heatwave reflecting the heat away vs back to you
I have used these in Hunter Mountain in late December during a very cold snow storm at a log cabin with no electricity. I have used them in blackouts to keep myself and my ex from hypothermia by covering windows and doorways. I have literally used them in every weather and terrain—snow, rain, sleet, and blazing summer to cool off a location or vehicle
But my greatest fear is seeing that 90+ % of people are using them wrong and without a heat source added to it like hand warmers or heating pads or fireplace they end up either suffering or forced to end their camping trip or becoming hypothermic, so my advice is do not bring these until you test them and learn their limitations and benefits.
I met the head of the district of CERT in my area and I was offered a position (Community Emergency Response Team also known as CERT). These solar blankets were one of the things they were suggesting for people's bugout bag.
After telling him my experience with them I asked him to try one out while he was there for 60 minutes and I told him by the time I come back you're gonna be freezing. An hour later I returned to the outdoor festival with him there waiting for me now wearing again his warm jacket and the solar blanket in the garbage.
I told him they were not garbage in fact they were amazing if used properly.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $3