By Beverly Sandlin
This post is one of a 5 part series that deals with the 2 mil reflective one side, black or white poly the other side, blackout, 4’x50′ roll (comes in 25′ and 100′ rolls as well), that is sold by High Tech Garden Supply on eBay for <$30 (includes shipping), that I have been experimenting with this winter.
This 2 mil Mylar, white or black poly one side, has so many uses for outdoor survival that I’m sure I haven’t covered all of them here. Add your ideas in the comments and I will add them to the list for printing!
Reflecting the heat of a campfire
1. If an inexpensive Mylar emergency blanket is the only thing between you and death, don’t you want the best possible blanket that won’t rip? You can make your own emergency blankets that are stronger and more durable with this roll of Mylar, just duck tape the edges for an almost untearable blanket.
2. You can make a Mylar sleeping bag with a hood by taping it or even sewing it!
3. You have enough Mylar to actually build yourself a tent that is not only water and wind proof, but will reflect back 90% of your body heat, or face it shiny side out and it will keep you cool as well.
4. You can use it as a reflective surface for signaling help.
5. You can actually start a fire with it by forming it into a perfect cone shape – think tin coffee cup or a small hole in the ground – with very easy to catch kindling in it – but it must be a clear, sunny day with very little wind.
6. It will hold water and can be used to catch condensation and dew.
7. With a 3’x3′ piece you can create an instant solar cooker just by putting a dark pot or glass pot with a lid onto it and facing it toward the sun.
8. Place under a sleeping bag to increase warmth and keep out the dampness of the earth.
9. Line your sleeping bag with Mylar to increase its warmth.
10. Want toasty warm feet or have a leaky boot? Just wrap your feet in Mylar and slip into your boots. Or fit it around your boot liner or glue it onto a pair of shoe inserts or make your own shoe inserts with felt or cushioning foam and Mylar.
11. Mylar will radiate the warmth from a fire back onto you so that you are warm all over instead of just on the side facing the fire.
12. Want to keep your food warm while transporting it? Wrap it reflective side in with Mylar and seal with a twist tie. The average drop in temperature is only 15 degrees an hour and it is a snap to wipe clean. Just don’t set a hot pot directly on it – put tiles or a towel beneath the pot first.
13. Cut into a rain proof hat or poncho, reinforce before cutting first with duck tape.
14. Drape and then tape a Mylar blanket over your umbrella for even more rain or sun protection.
15. Temporarily seal a leaky tent roof with Mylar and a bit of caulk.
16. During a rain storm it can be used as extra protection over your tent to seal up windows and the door, and even divert flood waters away from your tent.
17. You can even create a little tent over a small campfire or bed of coals to protect it from drizzle and keep on cooking.
18. In a pinch, you could make a sail by reinforcing it with duck tape for the rope to go through.
19. Create a raft or frame and cover a canoe with it. It can even be used as a temporary patch on a boat combined with an adhesive.
20. As a bag to haul water or food.
21. As a bag to keep your food dry and pest/predator free by hanging it in a tree.
22. Need to deflect the sun and keep a certain area shaded? Mylar is weather resistant and can reduce the temperature up to 20 degrees by deflecting the sun’s rays. And on a cool day it can increase the temperature by reflecting back your body heat.
23. Need a versatile, moisture proof tarp for under your tent? Whether you want to keep moisture out or heat reflecting back in, Mylar can do it and it is feather light for backpacking.
24. Because it is strong and tear resistant, you can use it almost in any way that you can use a tarp.
25. Need a sled for the kids or to sled out that deer you just bagged? This Mylar will do it over snow covered ground.
26. How about a lightweight, water and windproof doggie coat that you can just tape on to profect your companion.
27. It’s plenty strong, so you can actually use it as a tourniquet or to stop bleeding. It can even be used to hold a salve or poultice on if you get into poison ivy, etc. You can tie it or secure it with tape or vet wrap.
28. Cut in thin slices it can be used for tying flies for fishing.
29. Cut in strips, braid, and it becomes an ultra strong rope.
30. Fold together, add some duck tape, hang and you have a hammock that will keep you warm by reflecting your body heat, or better yet, line a camp hammock with it to keep off the pests and stay warm and dry.
31. Make a water or dew catch by stretching out the Mylar and putting a pin hole in the center with a container underneath.
32. Make a solar still by digging a hole and stretching the Mylar across it in a bowl shape. Make a tiny hole in the middle and place a collection can under that hole. Moisture will be caught and drain down both from the surface and underneath the Mylar. Keep a long plastic tube handy that you can put in the cup or container and suck from the tube.
33. Lay a Mylar blanket on the snow or damp ground before you sit down.
34. Use a blanket to quadran off a latrine area.
35. Wrap yourself in a Mylar blanket to prevent muscle cramping, chills and to keep you warm after an intense hike.
36. Use a sheet of Mylar to create an outdoor shower area both on the ground and as a curtain.
37. It reflects radar waves… Think of an airborne search and rescue using radar. It will reflect the radar in such a way that they may take a second look and find you!
38. Wrapped in Mylar it will make you invisible to heat sensors.
39. Set up behind your camp lantern and double the light instantly.
40. This Mylar is strong enough to make a travois if needed.
41. It makes an instant bowl for your dog to lap out of or to serve an unexpected guest warm soup.
42. Makes an instant game dressing table.
43. Clean surface to prepare your meal on.
44. Reflective side out it makes a sun poncho to keep you cooler.
45. Tie over your hat for extra protection from rain, snow or sun.
46. Slice it into strips and mark your trail.
47. The white side you can write on and leave a note.
48. Body bag.
49. Caught in a quick moving forest fire? Dig a hole and pull it over you reflective side out. Warning: Intense heat will melt it and it does catch fire with extended exposure to flame.
50. Dig a small pit, lay it in the depression and wash dishes or whatever.
51. Mylar put shiny side out over your cooler will keep the ice from melting longer.
52. Duck tape over your boots to cross a stream and stay dry.
53. Wrap over your gear or electronics to keep them dry.
54. To keep your gun and ammo dry!
55. Black side out, tie a “bag” around some leaves on a tree in the sun and collect transpiration water that would otherwise evaporate away.
56. Use as a solar mirror to bouce extra light onto a solar panel, if you are using one in camp on especially cloudy days.
Survival video with mylar blankets
57. Keebler – Add Mylar to some of your vehicle windows (at night) more stealth.
58. Keebler – Cover the windshield when parked to stop ice/snow buildup. You can use magnet strips to help hold it down.
59. Bev – Mylar sun shades are inexpensive and used to protect your dash and keep your vehicle from heating up during the day. They can also be used to make a solar cooker. For whatever reason my copy/paste isn’t working. Just use the search bar and type in “windshield solar cooker” or “solar cooker” for several different designs.
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