Preppers need all sorts of gear if they want to be prepared for a survival situation, but sometimes the most important pieces of gear are the least exotic. By way of a for instance, consider the humble blanket.
More than most tools, a blanket is going to help keep you warm and snug despite the outside temperatures, and even if you aren’t entirely comfortable it will help keep your core body temperature above the ever critical 98.6 degrees.
Unfortunately, the blanket is one of the tools most commonly overlooked for inclusion in a Preppers survival stash or bug-out bag. Seasonally appropriate clothing, sure. Tent or bivy, sure.
But why not the blanket? If I were going to guess, it is because of most common blankets simply take up too much space and potentially too much weight to be given much thought, or else people think they won’t need them.
Luckily, today we have specially designed survival blankets to cover all of our bases.
Be they made from lightweight, metalized mylar or a variety of ultralight super warm fabric constructions these blankets take up next to no room and can keep you toasty warm and nearly any condition.
In this article, we are bringing you a list of 10 survival blankets worth including and your survival kit along with considerations for selection.
Exposure is a Deadly Killer
Most preppers are already entirely acquainted with the basic necessities of survival.
These necessities are the fundamentals, stuff you absolutely, positively must have if you want to stay among the living. Things like air, water, food, and so forth.
Shelter is another one that is absolutely essential, but what some preppers don’t know is that shelter may be an even more pressing survival necessity than water, the water is disproportionately a subject of concern.
It is true that you might die in as little as a couple of days without water, but what would you do if I told you that you can perish in as little as a few hours in bone-chilling conditions if you are unable to stay warm? Pretty serious!
The only thing that will kill you quicker is a lack of air or profound physical trauma.
This means that going into any sort of survival situation of any duration you must have the means to provide adequate shelter for yourself in order to obtain protection from the elements.
Cold weather or cold, wet conditions especially can debilitate and kill quickly. That means you need something to repulse the weather and trap warm air against your body.
Sometimes You Won’t Have Time or Means to Create a Shelter
Now, in response to the pressing considerations of avoiding exposure some preppers would just opt to build a shelter instead, using a tent or bivy carried for the purpose or perhaps constructing one out of natural materials according to the environment they are in.
This is fine in theory, and I will never fault you for practicing those skills or bringing along a quality tent, but in practice this may not be possible.
The reason is that any number of occurrences is possible which could interfere with or prevent you from building a shelter.
You might be injured. Your shelter materials could be damaged or missing. You might simply be exhausted and rapidly running out of light. None of these are conducive to warming up and doing it quickly.
One should also consider that any shelter, no matter how small, will only begin to keep you warm when it can trap a warmed volume of air around you.
It is much quicker to heat up a smaller volume of air using body heat alone and the quickest way to make the smallest possible shelter around you is to just wrap yourself with a blanket.
This is not to say you should not try to improve your situation with a shelter that you can sit in while wrapped in a blanket, you should, but if you need to warm up in a hurry bundling up in a blanket is usually best.
Which Type of Survival Blanket is Best?
In the realm of survival blankets you will find two basic types.
The first type is typically a mylar blanket that has been coated with a metallic skin designed to reflect infrared radiation with high efficiency.
This metallic coating might be on both sides, or just on one side depending on the specific manufacturer.
These are commonly referred to as emergency or space blankets since the technology was first pioneered by NASA for American astronauts.
The second kind is what is commonly known as a camping blanket. These blankets are fabric and designed with a loose, light fill that will easily trap warm air, and are further designed to compress or fold down into a very small, light package so that they do not take up much room in a pack. These are available in all kinds of colors, sizes, and styles.
Which is best? Both are generally adequate for keeping you warm, with space blankets offering an excellent return on investment since they are usually weather-impervious and surprisingly warm to boot.
Traditional camping blankets are also more than capable of keeping you toasty, perhaps even warmer than a survival blanket but they are more vulnerable to soaking in inclement weather.
Considering how light and how efficient both of them are you can definitely make a case for both, with a weatherproof space blanket serving as an outer shell or weather liner for a soft, cozy camping blanket.
Whichever one you prefer, you will find several examples of each on our list below. That’s enough on the topic; let us get to the list!
The Top 10 Best Survival Blankets
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Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Thermal Blanket
One of the best in-class mylar emergency blankets is made by Swiss Safe.
Durable, compact, and reusable, these waterproof, windproof marbles can retain up to 90% of emitted body heat, rapidly warming you in any condition.
These sturdy emergency blankets are easily repurposed as ground covers or additional insulation in a variety of shelter situations.
Measuring 52 in. by 82 in., these are more than large enough for anyone to wrap up in and get warm.
Even better, they are available in a great variety of colors and patterns, from space-age glossy gold to high visibility rescue orange or even a variety of camouflage patterns.
My favorite is a low-profile olive drab on one side and a high-visibility orange on the other, allowing you to remain low profile or signal for help depending on the situation.
A multipack of four takes up next to no room and at 2 oz. each these blankets weigh virtually nothing, so you are without excuse when it comes to including these in your survival kit!
Get it here.
UTOOL Heavy Duty Emergency Tarp
Your tools heavy-duty emergency tarp combines the best features of a rough and ready wilderness or backpacker’s tarp with a traditional metalized mylar survival blanket.
Measuring 7 ft by 5 ft and weighing just a smidge over a pound, this survival blanket is highly adaptable and ideal for those who demand multi-purpose gear.
Unlike most survival blankets, the heavy-duty emergency tarp features tough grommets suitable for forming it into a shelter, and the triple-layered backer makes it tough and more than capable of shrugging off wind and rain.
A 93% heat retention rating will keep you plenty warm when it is used as a reflector or wrapped around you as a blanket, and more than most this emergency tarp is tough enough to stand up to use as a ground cover.
Like many varieties in this category, you can get this tarp and multiple colors, but it also comes in an extra heavy-duty version for the most demanding applications for a very modest upcharge. This is a great go-to option for preppers!
Get it here.
Oceas Outdoor Mylar Emergency Blanket
This pleasant blue mylar blanket from Oceas Outdoor has much to commend it, not just its fabulously attractive color.
Even among blankets that are considered extremely compact, this one is on another level, rolling up into a small bundle and its own carry bag that is scarcely larger than a pill bottle, and a pack of four fit into a case barely the size of a trade paperback book.
Despite its extremely low profile and barely there, feathery weight, this is one tough mylar blanket and it easily resists tearing and puncturing.
An ample 7 ft by 5 ft size means it can be easily wrapped around one or two people or used to line the inside of a sleeping bag.
Windproof, waterproof, and tough this is a blanket that is capable of going the distance.
These things are so impressively small and packed into a compact, tidy pouch I think they are a perfect fit for inclusion in a larger expedition or bug-out pack or implemented into a vehicular survival kit.
Get it here.
Don’t Die in the Woods Freakin’ Huge Emergency Blanket
Don’t Die in the Woods might be a company with a pithy name, but they make legitimate products intended to help you do exactly what the company’s name suggests!
Admittedly, naming the company “Survive!” might roll off the tongue a little better, but you cannot argue that it isn’t memorable. Their flagship product, the Freakin’ Huge Emergency Blanket, lives up to expectations.
Checking in at a humongous 7×5 ft and built out of rugged, hardcore foil-lined mylar, these blankets will reflect up to 90% of emitted body heat, and our purpose designed for improvisational use.
A little bit of paracord and duct tape can see you easily craft a sizable tent, bivy, or other shelter solution.
Totally water and windproof, this is the emergency blanket to choose if you need size and toughness.
Available in classic olive drab, high profile blaze orange, or a surprisingly effective mottled woodland camouflage pattern- spoiled only by the inclusion of the company’s massive logo scrawled in the middle of it!
This one is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if it doesn’t live up to the hype the company will take care of you.
Get it here.
Don’t Die in the Woods World’s Toughest Emergency Blanket
our second entry from Don’t Die in the Woods, the World’s Toughest Emergency Blanket is not named for the sake of hyperbole alone. This is one bodaciously tough mylar blanket!
Weighing in at 3 oz., which is at least three times heavier than the average mylar blanket, the ultra heavy-duty backing and thicker metallic coating of this blanket are immediately apparent when handling.
Capable of putting up with the worst abuse, be it used as a ground cover or shelter from rain and blowing debris, this is the one you’ll want with you when conditions are at their worst.
Happily, you give up no reflective performance in the bargain when gaining a tougher product, as this foil blanket will still reflect 90% of the heat energy coming off of your body.
Sold four to a package, each one of these super tough and durable blankets comes in its own handy stuff sack for parting out into multiple survival kits or you can keep them all together in a pouch with an attached carabiner to service your group or vehicle.
Colors, like their other survival blanket, are all of drag green, survival orange, and woodland camo.
Get it here.
Ninth C Emergency Blanket
Another multi-purpose mylar survival blanket, this offering from Ninth C is made from a supple, flexible, and totally waterproof polyethylene material.
Bright and shiny silver on one side and high visibility orange on the other, this is a survival blanket it can just as easily be used in a variety of signaling applications including as a giant reflector.
one advantage of this type of construction is that it is notably quieter compared to the crunchy, crinkly space blanket type that is so common.
However, keeping quiet doesn’t mean you’ll be staying cold, as this employs the same technology as other emergency blankets to retain upwards of 90% of your body heat.
the PE coating on this blanket makes it especially well suited to catching water also, giving you even more capability for what is already a multipurpose item.
These only come in one color way, the aforementioned Hive is orange with an especially shiny silver coating on the opposite side, but this is entirely adequate for most purposes.
Get it here.
Arcturus Military Wool Blanket
The first non-mylar entry on our list is a modern rendition of a classic. The Arcturus military wool blanket is a 5 ft x 7 ft powerhouse when it comes to keeping warm.
Wool is an excellent survival fabric, as you may or may not know, and is capable of maintaining its insulating qualities even when it is soaking, sopping wet.
Thick, sturdy and utterly dependable this blanket deviates from more traditional designs by actually relying on an 80% wool fabric blend, meaning this blanket won’t shed, won’t make you itchy, and remains machine washable.
I know there are some 100% wool purists out there, but believe me when I say this blanket will make a believer out of you, in the field or at home snuggled up on your couch.
Perhaps the only shortcoming of this blanket is the same one you would expect with any wool product, namely that it will soak up water and remain wet for a very long time.
That also means it will dramatically increase in overall weight once it gets wet, so this is not the right choice if you want a weatherproof covering. Even so, if it is wet you can stay warm, and that’s half the battle.
Get it here.
Get Out Gear Double Puffy Camping Blanket
A packable, stuffable, and extra, extra puffy camping blanket, Get Out Gear’s Double Puffy blanket is exactly what it says on the package: an extra large, super warm, and extremely plush blanket sure to provide you and anyone with you some comfort when you need some warmth and softness out in the field.
Made from 20D ripstop nylon, this is a wind-blocking and nominally water-resistant blanket that utilizes synthetic insulation for keeping germs at bay and making care easy.
One innovative feature is the integrated snaps that allow you to quickly turn this one and a half pound blanket into a functional, wearable poncho.
Easily capable of resisting dirt, grit, and other incidental contact out in the wild, this is an excellent option for campers and preppers alike.
Even though it feels and wraps like a full-size blanket you reach for at home it stuffs down into a comparatively small 6 in by 12 in roll that is easily lashed to the outside of any backpack.
Get it here.
KingCamp Multipurpose Packable Travel Blanket
This packable travel blanket by KingCamp uses a multi-cell quilted fill design which is extremely warm and comforting, but this one has been designed in such a way that it packs down into a tiny 1 lb. package easily capable of fitting in a carry-on bag or a minimalist hiking pack.
This means it is a great option for preppers who are watching footprint and every ounce that goes into their bug-out bags.
The hypoallergenic state-of-the-art fiberfill feels like genuine goose down only it isn’t, and has none of the fussy care requirements or tendency towards hosting mold and other allergens.
A 20D nylon water-resistant and the wind-blocking shell will provide some protection from the elements, although it is not truly waterproof so try not to let this one get soaked.
For those who want a proper blanket and the lightest and smallest possible format this offering from KingCamp definitely fits the bill.
Get it here.
Cascade Mountain Tech Camping Blanket
Another excellent and traditional outdoor or camping blanket from Cascade mountain tech, this high quality, lightweight 6×4-ft blanket features a synthetic fiber fill for longevity and anti-allergen qualities, and the eccentric stitching maximizes the surface area of the fill for maximizing warmth when you have it wrapped around your body.
Compressible to a tiny bundle suitable for stashing in your pack or lashed to external storage, the total weight with the sack is only one and a half pounds.
One happily included addition to this blanket is the integrated loops that can allow you to hang the blanket or fashion it into a shade or covering, or just secure It to The ground during windy conditions.
This blanket can definitely help buck the wind with its nylon construction, and water will bead off of it but it won’t resist being completely soaked, so make sure you have a backup plan if you are expecting serious rain or your pack takes a dip in the river during that botched crossing.
Get it here.
Get Some Emergency Blankets Today
Among all the shelter items that you might carry into the field or rely on in an emergency, make sure you include a simple blanket.
A blanket is one of the quickest and surest ways to warm up quickly, and whether you choose a mylar-metallic space blanket or a more traditional fabric camping blanket, both can do the job, and furthermore, both will give you even more options for creating a warm and life-saving shelter.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.