I’m currently working on putting together my first aid kit for my search and rescue (SAR) work and the first aid kit I bought didn’t have an emergency blanket, also known as a space, mylar or thermal blanket, included and I wasn’t really sure if it would do any good as it is extremely thin and the conditions in Iceland can often be very harsh both with the cold and the wind. I did read a lot of articles like 50 uses for an emergency blanket but in reality I think there are only two scenarios were I would use the blanket, one is to wrap it around someone to help them keep warm the other is to wrap it around myself if I ever have to spend the night out in the cold.

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When folded up the emergency blanket takes up very little space (100x100x15mm) and weighs about 50g.

For me the size of the blankets might be something I have to take in consideration as I am a fairly tall guy (196cm), most of the blankets are about 100-150cm in width and usually about 200cm in length which means I couldn’t easily wrap it around my whole body so I would need a longer blanket. Understanding how these blankets work is also important because their purpose is to keep your own warmth from escaping and try to block out rain and wind but they do not insulate you from cold. That means that as long as you are standing with the blanket around you and air around that it works fine but as soon as you sit down or lie down on the cold ground the cold will come up through the blanket so you must use something else to create a barrier between the blanket and the cold ground. Also keep in mind that the blanket tries to keep all the heat inside there is a chance that you might get very sweaty if you spend much time wrapped in the blanket and that could make you even colder when you finally emerge from the blanket.

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From the reviews I’ve read it seems that the blanket could only help someone feel slightly more comfortable in cold conditions but it’s not meant to be used for survival in the wintertime.

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My conclusion is that even though I’m still not sure how well the blanket would work in real situations it takes up very little space and and is well worth carrying around. I plan to buy an extra blanket to try it out in training so that I will better know how it works.