An emergency blanket should never be considered the first line of defense against the elements. But as a hedge against worst-case scenarios in the woods or during natural disasters, a basic survival blanket could be the difference between staying alive or perishing. Hypothermia is one of the top killers in the outdoors, and a Mylar or Mylar-coated blanket reflects body warmth back to the individual, dramatically reduces heat loss and increases the chances of survival. In addition to keeping you warm, there are countless uses for an emergency blanket, depending on its weight and construction. Here are but a few.

Waterproof & Reusable

This one doubles as a shelter in a pinch. Amazon

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Most survival blankets are waterproof. While a blanket with grommets can be strung up like a tarp, even a non-grommeted blanket can be wrapped like a shawl or worn as a makeshift poncho to help weather the worst of any storm.

Super Lightweight

Four reinforced grommets let you tie this one down for extra stability. Amazon

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A 5×7 heavy duty survival blanket is about the ideal footprint for a two-man tent. It creates a waterproof barrier between the tent floor and the ground, and with the Mylar side up it will reflect body heat away from the ground to keep you warmer at night.

Bonus Item

Made from advanced dual-sided aluminized material. Amazon

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Because of their light weight, a basic mylar blanket is an ideal addition to your bug-out bag or a survival kit stashed in the trunk of a car. They are so light that packing several blankets is a good idea, since many survival situations affect multiple people at once.