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SOL Survival Poncho

photo: SOL Survival Poncho emergency shelter

A light, effective emergency blanket/poncho.

Pros

  • Packs small and lightweight
  • Not bombproof, but durable enough
  • Reusable

Cons

  • Could be slightly longer

I've been a big fan of SOL/AMK Heatsheet blankets for some time now. Much more durable and useable than the chintzy ones you so often see labeled as emergency blankets. I've got to test the Heatsheets out a couple of times and with a little work was able to refold them and reuse them. The SOL Survival Poncho is made of the exact same proven material. Obviously at this light weight (2.7 oz) it isn't bombproof, but plenty durable for its intended purposes—a survival situation.

The poncho measures 50" across and 38" in length (excluding the hood). It's a bright orange color, nice for when you're wanting to be seen. You could easily split the side seams and tie off the hood if you were wanting to use this as a small tarp/blanket (50x76").

I think the poncho design though is superior for a survival situation. One, it readily lets you move with it on—this is much harder to do with the Heatsheet blankets. I always have a windshirt with me on all outings and would probably layer this under the windshirt to make it even easier to be on the move if need be.

I think one of the more effective ways to utilize this poncho is in conjunction with a small candle (beeswax preferable as more heat and longer burn times). This is just a modern take of the "Scout" fire utilized clear back into the 1700's—scouts in enemy territory building a tiny fire between their legs with their heavy wool coats wrapped around to keep the heat in. I've utilized this technique with the Heatsheet blankets. It will be easier with the poncho—it's already sealed AND has a hood. A 0.9 beeswax candle has an approx burn time of 4 hours, two candles in conjunction w/ the poncho should get you through an unexpected night out.

For those that want a margin of protection in the mountains, but still want to travel light and fast, this poncho really fits the bill nicely. It's small enough that it should fit into even the smallest of packs without any problems.  It's found a place in my running pack for all of my long runs.

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Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $9.99

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Price Current Retail: $7.99-$8.99
Historic Range: $7.74-$13.00
Reviewers Paid: $9.99
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