View Full Version : Check your survival gear
While the forum was down I was camping in the Sinai desert.
Our group was up a mountain in about 40'C.
One of the group collapsed due to the heat and I got out my space blanket to provide a bit of shade.
The blanket started to split along the folds but luckily was still effective in shading the casualty.
The space blanket has been in my day sack for about 20 years,I would never go into any wilderness without it,never expecting to need it.
When it was needed it almost failed and this made me rethink my attitude to survival gear.
I will in future check all my gear regularly and buy the best quality I can afford.
P.S. This was an organised group and I was the only person to carry any sort of survival gear.You can never tell when your gear will be needed.
Superb point you've made about checking your kit.
I tend to eyeball my gear that I take each time I use it just in case something isn't right or has damaged or deteriorated.
20 year old blanket ... that's lasted well!
They do have a fairly limited lifespan...
Space blankets get a fair amount of unfair criticism.
Originally they were marketed with the claim that they reflected back 90% of radiated body heat (probably true.)
Critics pointed outthat we only lose maybe 10% of body heat by radiation.
However, the space blanket is waterproof, windproof and sunproof, and verylightweight with a tinypack size.
Well worth carrying, IMHO.
Space blankets are at their best combined with other materials and are superb reflector surfaces when a fire is used with a shelter. My only real dislike is the high potential for electrical storms. Several years ago a father-son duo hiked our California Mount Whitney when a storm moved in. They took shelter in a rock outcrop and deployed a space blanket. The outcropping was high in ore content. The combination resulted in a lightning strike. They both survived, but I tossed out my spaceblankets for many years. I'm always going through my kit. I've found melted no melt candles, crumbling water tablets, an old G/F's # and my cat fell asleep inside my ruck once.
Is it possible that the space blanket acted as a sort of Farraday box and actually saved their lives?
Getting caught up high in an electrical storm is a nightmare scenario for anyone.
It may well have. This might be a good safety topic for a new post. Years ago, I was riding in the Great Basin region that covers part of California, Nevada and a few other states ( it's big.) We wound up in the middle of a massive electrical storm. My partner spent several frantic seconds stripping his huge western spurs, saddle carbine, spade bit,sheath knife and even huge trophy buckle. We hobbled our horses and spread out from each other . Within a heartbeat we felt our hair rise, the smell of ozone and a huge boom. :z: Ever feel dental fillings get warm :shock: ?
Electric storms on the praries are pretty fantastic too, sort of lets you know your place in the scheme of things.
I have been caught in several in Canada. Its amazing to see, the lightening lancing the grond miles away then suddeny its over you.
Problem with grassland like that is you are the highest thing around!
In the army I even saw one of our guys, Kev Perman, blown out of a trench when a bolt struck the radio antena.