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Survival Blanket vs. Hypothermia

A vital component of any survival kit is a “Survival Blanket.” Survival blankets, often referred to as space blankets, are a compact, light weight blanket made up of Mylar that’s designed to reflect the majority of the heat given off by your body back to you. The neat thing about survival blankets is that they weigh next to nothing and come packaged in a small, folded up configuration.

In any emergency/survival event that includes exposure to weather hypothermia is a major concern. Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body is expending more heat than it can absorb or produce. As humans our body core temperature is regulated between 97.7 and 99 degrees. When our bodies core temperature is reduced to around 95 degrees that’s when hypothermia begins to set in. As the bodies core temperature drops it begins a cascading, almost free-fall temperature drop. The colder you get the harder the body works to warm itself up. As the body tries to warm itself up it expends energy and thus causes additional drops in temperature until it reaches the point of no return. When you get cold and start to shake, that’s your body trying to warm itself.

One of the common misconceptions about hypothermia is that it needs to be really cold for this to be a problem, this is not the case. Temperatures do not have to be below freezing, in fact they can be well above freezing and still cause a potential life-threatening issue. If you are wet then the onset, and effects become enhanced. You must remember that were not talking about a cold-related injury like frostbite. Hypothermia is insidious and will sneak up when you don’t expect it.

The best way to beat hypothermia is to take measures and stop it before it starts. To do that you have to keep warm and stop the bleeding-off of your body heat. This where the survival blanket will save the day. By wrapping up in it you are creating a platform for the heat dissipated by your body to be reflected back and reabsorbed. If you are wet, then remove any clothing that’s affected (wet or damp) and dry off as best you can. When wrapping up make sure and cover your head, this is where the majority of your bodies heat is dissipated.

Take the time to do some research and educate yourself about the process of hypothermia and how you can prevent it. Go and get yourself some survival blankets and incorporate them into your gear. Be smart about this and it just might save your life one day.

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