We continue our series on trail running compulsory gear with the space blanket otherwise known as an emergency blanket or a survival blanket.
Why is it compulsory?
The primary purpose of a space blanket is to keep you warm in an emergency situation. It could be that you’re injured or you’re waiting with an injured person until help arrives.
A space blanket doesn’t create any heat on its own and so you’re going to need to wrap it around you quite snugly to keep your body heat in. Putting a jacket and even pants on OVER a space blanket is one way to keep the blanket close to your body and it has the added advantage of preventing the blanket from flapping around.
TIP – Put your space blanket on BEFORE you start to feel cold. They only reflect heat and can take a long time to warm up if you’ve allowed your body temperature to drop.
Other uses for a space blanket for trail runners
- As shelter from the sun.
- As a waterproof layer.
- Use the reflective surface as a signalling device. Stretch the blanket out shiny side up and pin it down with rocks so as to be easily seen from the air.
- A thin strip can be used as a tourniquet.
- Cut a sling for arm and shoulder breaks and dislocations.
- Use its reflective properties to reflect headlamps or torches to use as a signalling device.
TIP – The standard space blankets are very compact and lightweight. It’s worth carrying two. Don’t be afraid to use it.