Mylar blanket uses

Emergency Mylar Blanket Uses

An emergency Mylar blanket. Some call it a Space Blanket. Others say Thermal Blanket. Survival Blanket. It’s a common item in an emergency kit. Everyone should have (at least) one in each of their own kits.

As the name implies, they are made from Mylar foil material. They don’t cost much, and they facilitate a number of practical and potential emergency uses.

Emergency Mylar Blanket Uses

Although the first listed use for a Mylar blanket is its intended purpose and primary reason for having one, lets think of some additional uses for this Mylar foil:

Wrap up and keep warm.

The number one purpose for the emergency Mylar blanket… To wrap one’s-self in, to keep warm. Most body heat is reflected back towards the body due to the heat reflective properties of the Mylar foil material itself.

I’ve purchased a number of various Mylar blankets over the years. You need to check a few things so you’re not surprised later on. One is the size – dimension (Length x Width). Another is the Mylar foil thickness – durability – tear resistance. Some have additional features and attributes that may be worth it to you such as grommets, two-sided, and others.

There are two very popular Mylar blanket / styles based on popularity and ratings. Here’s the first one. I’ll show you the next one in a minute…which is more of a survival ‘tarp’.

This one is the most popular:

Swiss Safe Emergency Thermal Blankets
(their storefront on amzn)

Heat reflector for a campfire.

String it up behind a campfire so the infrared heat reflects back to your location. Not too close though or it will melt!

Improvised poncho in the rain.

Outdoors without a rain poncho and it’s raining? Maybe you’ve got an emergency Mylar blanket for a makeshift poncho…

Improvised shelter.

Similar to using a tarp for a lean-to shelter, it will provide some protection from the elements. Or at a minimum it could help waterproof the roof, integrated into an improvised shelter made of natural materials. See below for a better Mylar blanket/tarp for this purpose.

Hold water for over a fire.

Bunch together the corners of a piece of Mylar blanket material so as to hold some water (like a small sack). Tie the bunched end, and attach (string) to a make-shift tripod (sticks). Boil above a fire (not in it) for safe drinking water.

[ Read: How long to boil water for safe drinking ]

Protect yourself from ground moisture.

It’s waterproof, so place under your sleeping bag (or small tent) to protect from ground moisture (and as a ground cloth to reflect your body heat back to you) if camping outside.

A signaling device if you’re lost.

Due to it’s highly reflective surface – a very shiny reflector. Excellent visibility for search-and-rescue.

Fit inside your boots.

Cut the Mylar material to fit into your boots for added warmth – although the material does not ‘breathe’.

Rainwater harvesting.

Use it to catch rainwater (like a tarp) which could then be used for drinking water.

[ Read: Rainwater Collection from a Tarp ]

Light reflector.

Cut pieces to use as a light reflector behind a lantern or candle.

Place under a blanket for added warmth.

Body heat reflection while sleeping in a very cold environment. Also, being under a blanket, it won’t make lots of ‘crinkle’ noise when you shift around as you sleep.

Use behind the heat radiators in your home.

In your home to reflect heat back into the room, instead of into the walls behind the radiator (if you have that type of heat).

Block Thermal IR heat signature.

Attach to inside of an umbrella to help block heat signature…

[ Read: How To Block IR Infrared Thermal Imaging ]

Drape a Mylar emergency blanket over a cooler.

To reflect heat away and help keep cool inside the cooler.

Line the inside of your cabin to help keep warm inside.

(heat reflective properties).

A makeshift solar oven.

A Mylar blanket is a standard item in any survival kit. You can do a lot of things with them, even make a do-it-yourself reflector oven.

Window curtain liners.

To keep heat out during the hot summer, and/or to help with room darkening properties for your windows.

Line your hat with it.

For you tinfoil hat wearers, its’ way more effective than tinfoil! (Haha lol, couldn’t resist that one)…

Okay, here’s the other Mylar blanket that I like. It’s more of a tarp though. One side Mylar reflective, and also two layers of polypropylene. Reusable. A bit bigger. Heavy duty. Grommets for tie-downs.

Arcturus Heavy Duty Survival Blanket

Lets hear your additional ideas for uses for a Mylar blanket…


  1. I have seen mylar blankets used to make in ground solar stills to get water in the deserts. This i realize is mostly done in the arrid SW, but could be done anywhere in the country. We used to say an average 6′ diameter, 3′ deep hole covered by a plastic tarp or space blanket can usually draw a quart of water from the ground each day in the desert, more if you put vegetation under the plastic to distill. Bet it would get more in the Eastern half of the country where your soil moisture is higher than ours.

  2. i bought some mylar blankets last year.-( BH Lot of 50 Emergency Mylar Blankets – 84″ x 52″ on amazon ). they are thin and cheap but at 35 dollars for 50. i have them scattered out every where. in my bags, glove boxes of the trucks. hell, i think i may even have some in the silverware drawer.
    that’s a good heavy duty blanket that you have recommended ken, i may get a couple. thanks!

  3. We (wife & I) live in snow country in winter so one is left in car so can be attached to the hand grab things up @ roof. This way only the front seats area are heated then car doesn’t have to be run for so long if we need to spend time in car w/o forward advancement, otherwise known as stuck.

  4. Pleading ignorance, but guessing based on a hunch, I wonder if anyone has used one of these as a field-expedient faraday cage such as, for example, a cell phone or other sensitive electronics?

    1. – Bogan,
      i recall someone commenting somewhere else they had tried this and were disappointed. I might try it if it were all I had, but I wouldn’t want to plan on it working.

      -Papa S.

  5. – I have about 6 of the heavy-duty ones you recommend stashed in various places, including one in the GHB. There are at least two dozen of the cheap little dollar store variety scattered here and there around here, including a couple of them in that same GHB. The problem with the cheap ones is that once opened, you will never be able to fold them back. They are essentially a disposable item, and that has ended up how I use them. I will purchase additional ones on occasion, if I see them and think, ‘I need to get a couple more’.

    For what they are, they are very useful. I gave one to my little sister once, and she ended up using it that night when a storm took her tent out while camping with the Scouts. She loved it. It allowed her to go ahead and get a good night’s sleep without her tent. (It was a cheap, Wally World model) What I don’t know is if she was impressed enough to replace it, or if was a one-off sort of thing. She hasn’t spoken with her brothers now in several years.

    – Papa S.

  6. Not too long ago I bought 20 of them for $15.
    The need at the time was something to reflect the light/heat coming in my bedroom window.
    A little rubber cement, placement and razor blade did what I needed and I had 19 left for other things.
    like my bags.
    They also mage a pretty wrap for presents.
    Something to scare the heck out of goats and sheep.
    55″ x 84″ 12-micron aluminized polyethylene mylar

  7. Great article and I agree with you about the different uses for heat retention. I’m sure everyone has in the least one Mylar blanket for each person in your group. I found something that takes the Mylar Blanket to a whole different level in protection. It is Leberna Emergency Survival Sleeping Bag. You get two per pack, 3ft wide by 7ft long and come in their own pull string pouch. They are extremely tough, holds your heat in better than just a regular blanket and being Mylar extremely lightweight. My only complaint about them is the pack size but both take up about 4 inches x 6 inches in your pack. The best part about their Mylar Sleeping Bags is the cost. Both are under 15 bucks and come two per box.
    I also have a Mylar Life Tent from go time gear. It comes with a 20ft Para cord rope, safety whistle and has it’s own drawstring pouch. This takes about the same amount of space as the two Sleeping Bags. Don’t remember what I paid but it was under 20 bucks.
    One other thing about Mylar that could save a life is for shock after a car accident. I have used regular Mylar Blankets for this reason twice being first response to an accident. Mylar can also be used for a sucking chest wound to stop air flow from open wounds.
    You can also wrap frozen food with Mylar and then place in a cooler for longer life.
    I haven’t done it but you can make a balloon with Mylar for signaling.
    If you live where it freezes wrap your motor to reflect the cold and keep it from freezing in the morning ( but not on a hot motor).

Comments are closed.