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Discussion Starter #1
I had an interesting talk with the manager of a Gander Mountain Outdoors store. I was killing some time while my wife picked up some gift's. Somehow we got on the subject of emergency camping. You know, your outboard goes dead, your "day long" fly-in pilot never show's up, that kind of thing. I noticed the "three for $6.99" Mylar blankets and asked the man his opinion of them. He stated that they were better than nothing, but not much better. In even fairly mild temperatures, 45 to 55 degrees, hypothermia would be an issue with just a couple Mylar blankets. He also told me the blankets were fragile and wouldn't stand up to abrasion's from twig's, rock's or even sand. Two nights at most and they would be in shreds. He related to me a story about a marathon runner type that was running the North rim of the Grand Canyon and took a "space blanket" with him. He said the blanket was "not enough" at night and that it became useless because of all the rips in it. It was his opinion that the cheapest K-Mart special bag would serve you better. This is from a guy who has made his living testing and selling outdoor equipment from boots to hats to guns.
 

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Obviously andy has never actually tried mylar space blankets out in the field in cold weather.

RIKA
 

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if they were used inside, say a sleeping bag rated for 40 degrees, would they help lower the rating? I'd think that on the inside, they'd do a better job of reflecting the heat...

For my purposes, I'm more interested in them for their ability to reflect sunlight in the middle of a summer afternoon here in the desert... something I haven't tried. I suppose one "shade" is as good as another, as long as it's solid and lets your body heat escape.

Any ideas what to use as makeshift shade in the absence of say a tree and sticks to erect a lean-to type deal? or how good the mylar might work?

cheers
 

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All the C4 Plastic explosives I use at work are wrapped in mylar bags. It doesn't keep C4 warm either!!!

If you want to increase the rating on your sleeping bag, 2 simple ways are;
1) Gortex exterior bag and 2) a fleece liner for the bag. Both used together can increase you bags rating by a minimum of 25 degrees.
 

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The space blankets are good to keep in your car in case you get stranded and it's cold, you us ethem to sleep in the vehicle. Even there, they won't last long, but they were designed to get you through the night so rescuers can arrive. They were never intended as wilderness camping gear.

Krept, I'd say they'll increase the rating of your sleeping bag, but there's a couple of caveats:
1.) You'll tear it up turning at night.
2.) the mylar doesn't breath and moisture from your body will condense, possibly leaving you damp, and in a very bad way the next day. You'd have to "air out" the bag/blanket several times a night.
 

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Thanks Mag.

Anyone have any ideas how it would work as a makeshift heat reflector in the desert?

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think you would be much better off with the 'Nam style poncho liners. They weigh ounces, and if they get wet they will dry off in minutes.
 

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yes, the poncho liners are 'great'! garand posted a thread last night on winter
camping, and i didn't respond![sorry, garand, i wasn't in the mood ,although, excellent posting! my northerererer bro!] i agree with with the poncho liner post above, but own several mylar 'blankets' myself.

my field experiance with them is they are a crappy [1] night affair.



:wavey:
 

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I have seen heavy duty tarp type emergency blankets. Can be used as a ground cloth reflective side up, or a fire reflector. I have a couple but have not used them yet. Anyone with any expereince with these?
 

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Space blankets work well with a poncho liner for limited use and they can also work well inside of a sleeping bag.

Where space blankets really shine is when you use them inside a vehicle or some improvised shelter, like something constructed inside of an existing structure such as out of cardboard boxes or a tent.

In a situation like that, a small heat source, like a tin can with a candle in it can be surprisingly effective. In that scenario, you use them as part of the shelter as aheat reflector instead of wrapping yourself in them.
 

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The best way to use one of those mylar blankets is under your clothing. They don't shred as much and they will help keep you warm. They don not make good tarps or shades because they tear far too easily.

The heavy duty ones, that are reflective on one side and some other color on the other side work very well. Most of the ones I have and have used have grommets that make it a snap to use them to make a shelter, a shade, or fasten them together. I keep two in each vehicle, along with several of the el-cheapo space blankets.

The reflective side can be used to make a fire reflector, but the down-side of using them this way is that they will melt if too hot or too close to the fire.

They tend to get stiff in extremely cold weather, but I have not had one fail because of low temps. (sub zero)

They shine in the desert for making a simple shade from the sun. or an impromptu blind. I have a couple that are camo on one side.

A good sleeping bad like the merlin snugpack, or the wiggy's is far more useful....

:devil:
 
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