Friday, June 05, 2020 by Mary Miller
Mylar, or space blankets, are highly underrated items with countless survival uses. These crinkly, shiny pieces of material come in a variety of forms, such as heat sheets and windshield reflectors. In the hands of a skilled prepper, even a simple windshield reflector can go a long way. Make the most out of your Mylar blankets and windshield reflectors by repurposing them into these DIY survival items. (h/t to ThePrepperJournal.com)
Going back to the basics, the default use of a space blanket is as an emergency blanket to protect you from the elements when bugging out in the wild outdoors. It can keep you warm during cold nights. If this is what you plan to use your space blanket for, make sure to get a thick version, preferably the kind that has the Mylar sheet mated to a much sturdier nylon or canvas backing. The thicker the better.
When SHTF, you can use a Mylar sheet or windshield reflector to build an improvised shelter. Ideally, you should get one that comes complete with grommets, otherwise, you can just punch holes into your Mylar sheet if you need to tie it up with cordage. You can also make a simple lean-to or A-frame shelter with a Mylar sheet. The blanket will trap your own body heat inside to help keep the shelter warm. It is especially useful in preventing hypothermia.
Because of the reflective nature of a Mylar sheet, it can be used as an emergency signaling device to call for help. Simply use the sheet to angle light properly and serve as a beacon that your rescuers can easily see. Another way you can use a Mylar sheet to boost an emergency signal is to cut a strip of it to serve as an antenna for a radio or a cell phone. This is an altogether different kind of “emergency signaling device,” but it is no less useful.
Another way to make use of the reflective nature of Mylar is to use it as an emergency fire starter. When the sun is particularly hot, you can dig a hole in the ground and place your Mylar sheet on it with the reflective side up. Next, place the dry tinder materials so that the sun’s rays reflect off the Mylar and onto the tinder until it begins to spark. You can then feed this smoldering ember into a larger fire.
To make a DIY solar oven, simply find an empty box and line the insides with Mylar sheets and cover the main opening with glass or plastic. Mylar works like aluminum foil by reflecting the sun’s rays to heat the box and cook your meals. If the weather isn’t hot enough to cook your food, it can still be useful in keeping your food warm.
In a survival situation, a Mylar sheet can be used for emergency first aid. If your companion has an injured arm or shoulder, you can cut a space blanket and fold it into a square to make a DIY sling. Another first aid use is to cut a Mylar sheet into strips and use them to create a makeshift tourniquet to stop excessive bleeding. You can also combine a space blanket and a clean piece of cloth to compress wounds with a temporary bandage. Simply wrap the cloth around the wound and use the space blanket to firmly but gently apply pressure. (Related: These are the items that you need in your first-aid kit if you just want to carry the bare minimum.)
Acquiring a source of clean drinking water is crucial when bugging out. Even if you are not near a water source, you might be able to collect some water by turning your space blanket into a solar still. All you need are a space blanket, a few green plants and the sun.
Learn of other survival uses for Mylar and other prepping gear by visiting Survival.news.
Tagged Under: Tags: bug out, emergency blankets, emergency shelters, fire starter, first aid, mylar, Mylar blankets, off grid, outdoors, preparedness, prepper, prepping, recycling, repurposed items, SHTF, signaling device, solar oven, solar still, space blankets, survival, survival gear, survival skills, survivalist, upcycling, windshield reflectors