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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Space Blankets- Do You Carry One? on 10/10/2013 14:43:23 MDT Print View

Ok, so I'm going back out on tour (again, again, again) and I'm looking at the space blanket on my floor, thinking "What the hell do I use this for?"

I've got synthetic insulation, and the good sense not to get soaked. So will I really need this thing? It's like four ounces. I understand the science (sort of...) but I see a lot of companies putting reflective layers in stuff. Both my thermarest pads have it. It's starting to look like a gimmick to me. Am I wrong?

Does it really make a big enough difference to warrant the weight, or can I ditch it if i'm within my sleeping bag's "Extreme" range the entire trip?

Edited by mdilthey on 10/10/2013 14:44:01 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Space Blankets- Do You Carry One? on 10/10/2013 14:45:49 MDT Print View

Space blankets are pretty useless for keeping you warm, the bivy space blankets are much better.
I sometimes tape a space blanket to my tarp to reflect heat from a fire. It works amazing for that.

Edited by justin_baker on 10/10/2013 14:48:18 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Space Blankets- Do You Carry One? on 10/10/2013 14:51:41 MDT Print View

A space blanket can be effective in blocking radiated heat loss, but that is less than 10% of your total heat loss. It is as effective as a good sheet of plastic for blocking convected heat loss, so it is not worthless. It is a good rain cover in a storm.

I've used one as a ground sheet when I didn't have a better piece.

--B.G.--

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
kinda on 10/10/2013 15:14:53 MDT Print View

I use one above 60F for warmth and at lower temps as a VBL with my quilt.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Space Blankets- Do You Carry One? on 10/10/2013 15:16:56 MDT Print View

I've carried one for years and never used it, wonder if it wouldn't be better to leave at home.

It provides a little warmth. It provides more warmth for the weight and volume than anything else.

If you have a tent and sleeping bag it's probably not important to take. In a survival situation just use those.

If you're day hiking it could save your life in a survival situation.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Re: Re: Re: Space Blankets- Do You Carry One? on 10/10/2013 15:35:25 MDT Print View

I spent a night out once down in the low 20's clothed in shorts and T-shirt.
Wished I had a space blanket or bivy back then. :)

Bill D.

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Day hiking only on 10/10/2013 15:37:34 MDT Print View

"If you're day hiking it could save your life in a survival situation."

What Jerry said.

I've stopped carrying them when backpacking.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Space Blankets- Do You Carry One?" on 10/10/2013 15:40:41 MDT Print View

In most instances, yes I have a space blanket. They are in my vehicle, in my PSK, and even hanging on the backside of my greenhouse (increases the internal temperature of my greenhouse). When backpacking with all my camping gear, I consider the space blanket to be redundant and don't carry it but in the winter I do carry it as a ground cloth (I use snow shelters in the winter, not tents).

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
blanket on 10/10/2013 15:49:13 MDT Print View

The blanket is difficult to use. It's so light that you can't wrap it around your body well, especially not if you are putting it over your bag. The bivy version is so much better.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Yep on 10/10/2013 16:00:23 MDT Print View

Cool. Confirms what I was thinking. Definitely useful to have in a dayhike bag, but redundant when backpacking and camping.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Yep on 10/10/2013 16:32:28 MDT Print View

Justin had some good suggestions, but I think where a reflective sheet is really going to shine (pun intended) would be as a partial VBL under a quilt and directly over the body during cold temps to boost ones sleep system. Think Michael L's earlier thread with using Cuben and it helping a lot, but instead using the reflective stuff. I've experimented with S.B.'s before but not quite in that way yet. But it seems clear that would be of the most efficient ways to use it besides reflecting fire heat.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 10/10/2013 16:34:13 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Yep on 10/10/2013 17:03:19 MDT Print View

"but I think where a reflective sheet is really going to shine (pun intended) would be as a partial VBL under a quilt"

This may be controversial, but I think there needs to be an air space next to the space blanket to be effective.

If there's something against the reflective layer, it will just conduct heat and reflective layer won't make any difference

If the space blanket is on the outside that works. There's an air space on the outside.

If you could have an air space and then space blanket, that would work, but how could you suspend the space blanket? The Blizzard Survival Suit accomplishes this by having an accordian fold with elastic, but that's sort of heavy.

Ken Miller
(Powderpiggy) - F

Locale: Colorado
Redundant on 10/10/2013 18:51:14 MDT Print View

+1 with Dena

Usually you'll have a fly or ground cloth or tarp for wind and rain protection.

I carry them in my day packs. Colorado is known for 40 to 50 degree temperature swings at elevation. Mix that with a little August snow fall and you might catch a chill.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Yep on 10/10/2013 19:06:48 MDT Print View

That's interesting Jerry, i didn't know that. I would still like to test it out.

Guess Columibia is scamming folks then with their reflective liners and claims of enhanced warmth?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Yep on 10/10/2013 19:25:09 MDT Print View

Like I said, the air space to make reflective layer effective theory seems to be controversial for some reason

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
Space Blamkets on 10/10/2013 19:29:14 MDT Print View

I tend to prefer the bivvy configuration. I use the old space blankets I have lying around for ground sheets

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yep on 10/10/2013 19:32:39 MDT Print View

How does the concept work? Does it matter at all how the reflective layer is made besides the accordion part? What i mean more specifically, is i just got some SOL emergency blankets, they are reflective on one side and solid color on the other side, as opposed to the regular mylar space blankets. Would that make any difference at all, or do you just need some kind of air space?

I'm trying to figure out how this works, and my brain is just not working very well so far doing it.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 10/10/2013 19:52:04 MDT.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 10/10/2013 20:11:22 MDT Print View

I prefer a blanket type vbl, less sweaty.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yep on 10/10/2013 21:19:17 MDT Print View

What's important is reflectiveness in the IR spectrum. It may be a solid color in visible wavelength, but reflective in IR, I don't know.

You want an air space next to a reflective surface for it to work.

I would put the solid color surface against me (my clothing) and the reflective surface facing out.

If you look on the web, you can frequently see photos of people with space blankets with a colored surface on the outside. If that colored surface is not reflective in IR, I think that won't work, they should have the shiny side out, not the colored side. Radiant heat loss is sort of obscure, so maybe they're just making a mistake in usage, which is funny since they're selling it. They should show how to use it properly.

If there's a shiny side facing you, there is some air gap because of wrinkles and such so that works some.

And, like I said, I may get some disenting opinion about this : )

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Yep on 10/10/2013 21:43:26 MDT Print View

Ok, i think i see what you mean a little better, especially as far as the air gap. Like an air gap between you and the S.B. That part makes sense, i thought you were saying you had to have a clear air space behind the S.B. to work.

Well there are ways to create some air gaps i suppose, rolling up some clothes into a tight roll placed over your body, but then you got to sleep like the dead, so not very practical i suppose.

Why does nature hate us so, why, whhhhyyyyy..???? Can't things be easy, light, effective, and cheap?

Why are we such wimpy creatures, with so little natural adaptation? Wolves don't have to hang around gear forums figuring out, "Gggrr arff arrff ruff ruff ruff Ah oooooh(translates) "Well Bob, let me tell you, i got these new down booties, and they are dah bomb, super light, super warm, and it only cost 3 rabbits. Can you believe it?"