Has anyone...

john

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if i rember correctly , a space blanket is about the same as using one blanket,i use to pull my head under the blanket and warm up with my exhaled hot air (not good for you i know) from time to time through the night,the ground is the problem with the cold.
 

Wentworth

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Hi John, you're right about losing heat to the ground. I'll be sitting on my pack, which has a layer of closed cell foam, the same thickness as a sleeping mat, which should be fine for the temps here.
When I've slept in a blanket, I sometimes pulled my head down inside too. I can't see the moisture buildup being an issue with a blanket, but with a down bag or a non breathable space blanket it might get even more wet.

Aussiepreppers, most miserable night ever? I think your forecast will turn out to be accurate.
 

AussiePreppers

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heh, i've been thinking about this every day since you mentioned it. I think it will be good, non-anecdotal data that should be useful. How bad is a night out with only a space blanket using it as a blanket or a super tight confined shelter? I'd rather know in controlled conditions before I rely on it. I'm sure anyone who throws one in their pack based on advice from others would love to know too.

I've only ever seen them used to warm someone after an 'event', usually just before they go in the ambulance.

The packaging on mine says good for sub-zero temps. Sub zero temps is about 15 deg C for qlders so i'm not too sure I want to wait too long before trying this... it's already chilly here.

One thing I did think about for a strategy for using it as a blanket, is whenever you think "shoot this is crappy and uncomfortable" you stand up whip it inside out and sit back down. Hopefully the trapped air warms again quickly, and the little bit of muscle movement might help generate heat without sweat, and lets the moisture-laden side hopefully evaporate until you get annoyed enough to do it again. Dew may also be a problem for this theory? I'm sure it will set on you like flies to...
 

pap11y

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I am interested in this now. It may keep you warm but when you move it will be an issue and if you have no mattress I see it being a cold cold night.

Good to test it now before winter really hits :)
 

Walker

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Yep, spent a very uncomfortable night in a space blanket, and know a few mates who did the same in a garbage bag. Score both as a 10. Inevitably we woke up in the early hours of the morning wet from condensation and many degrees colder. I reckon a space blanket is only good for keeping the wind off and as a very temporary wrap-around for those suffering hypothermia/shock.

A layer of loose fitting material between the person and the plastic may collect or channel away the condensation - haven't tried that.
 

Westie

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Yep, spent a very uncomfortable night in a space blanket, and know a few mates who did the same in a garbage bag. Score both as a 10. Inevitably we woke up in the early hours of the morning wet from condensation and many degrees colder. I reckon a space blanket is only good for keeping the wind off and as a very temporary wrap-around for those suffering hypothermia/shock.

A layer of loose fitting material between the person and the plastic may collect or channel away the condensation - haven't tried that.
In the ambulance we put a blanket then space blanket then another blanket. So some sort of loose fibres would be good as this will help trap the warm air.
If you plan on laying brown you will def still need some form of bedding material (branches and leaves etc) and something to hold it down as they flap in the lightest breezes.
 

Le Loup

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I only carry one pure wool blanket all year round. Most of my trekking is done in winter. I have never used a space blanket.
Keith.
 

rurik

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http://www.bogong.com.au/grabber-all-weather-blanket.html

I have spent the night in one of these, it was summer in the southern highlands so temp was about 8 deg and there was a huge southerly coming through. I made an envelope with it and had the opening pointing down wind and propped open with a stick, I was in long pants, boots and a light jumper. On the whole I slept well and did not feel wet or sticky. I would give it a 7 out of 10.

Recently I spent the night out at -5 and a 7 deg wind chill with my summer sleeping bag rated to 0. I used the same blanket over my bag and under my Gore-Tex bivvy, I was plenty warm but I should of put the blanket over my bivvy so I did not get so damp.
 

MongooseDownUnder

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I used to use one of the space blankets all the time when long distance hiking. I often had mixed results but they are handy for the weight.


Sent from my camp fire by smoke signal!
 

Bushdoc

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Used one of those survival bivy bags in SEQ in winter. Essentially a foil lined bivvy bag.
Cold as, despite thermal unders. Plenty of condensation.
Comfort 3-4/10, but better than hypothermia.
 

Randall

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Somebody mentioned the homeless early on in this forum. A fairly common trick that is readily available to most urban homeless, is stuffing newspaper. Crumple sheets up and stuff it into your clothing. Everywhere :) Then make something to insulate the ground - again the homeless would use lots of cardboard if they didn't have something better. So, anything you can use to insulate yourself from the warmth sapping ground is going to be a biggy. Concrete is the worst of course. I've spent a night in a fire shelter in the bush, and even on top of a sleeping mat, the floor sapped any warmth I had (it was snowing outside).
 

Thrud

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My first night in a hammock was very nippy, before I properly understood the tricks/kit to improve insulation
 

Steve

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I remember years i ago i spent a few nights in the swamp at Kurnell with a few mates fishing and generally being idiots, no need for many creature comforts, we had beer and a fire! Think i just slept on top of my sleeping bag that time of year with a mozy net over me.
 

Randall

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heh, i've been thinking about this every day since you mentioned it. I think it will be good, non-anecdotal data that should be useful. How bad is a night out with only a space blanket using it as a blanket or a super tight confined shelter? I'd rather know in controlled conditions before I rely on it. I'm sure anyone who throws one in their pack based on advice from others would love to know too.
Well, that's one way of looking at it :) The other way is "everything should be OK, but I'll throw in a headlight, space blanket / garbage bag etc just in case I get caught out". Those things are definitely going to be of some benefit if needed. And they're the sort of size / weight that is no real bother. My headlight uses one AA rechargeable and is good for all night. In reality, if it's cold, it probably really will boil down to survival and not losing as much of your body heat as you could without these things. This in turn leaves you in better condition and not needing as many carbs. And it looks as though everyone here has fire making stuff up to their eyeballs. You could probably even work up a heat reflector for the fire, and another one for yourself, behind you. Make a mattress of lots of leaves and grasses - anything handy to help insulate you from the ground...You could even be relatively comfortable and get some sleep?
 

Edward

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Somebody mentioned the homeless early on in this forum. A fairly common trick that is readily available to most urban homeless, is stuffing newspaper. Crumple sheets up and stuff it into your clothing. Everywhere :) Then make something to insulate the ground - again the homeless would use lots of cardboard if they didn't have something better. So, anything you can use to insulate yourself from the warmth sapping ground is going to be a biggy. Concrete is the worst of course. I've spent a night in a fire shelter in the bush, and even on top of a sleeping mat, the floor sapped any warmth I had (it was snowing outside).

I remember when I was 7 I made a cubby house out of a cardboard box in the back yard one winter. It was very cosy & warm. Unfortunately I cant report on an overnighter, Mum wouldn't let me sleep outside! What I can gather from the experience is you need 2 things. Insulation & a wind break.
 

Randall

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I came across this video, by an American. He's quite unique for a yank - saw instead of axe, wool blanket, something like hoochy cord instead of paracord, basic usable knives, everyday clothing etc. He makes a shelter and a pretty good one using strong large plastic bags, and a small tarp the size of a hoochy. He makes the bed off the ground in case of a downpour. I would have gone much simpler (and quicker), like the Australian army hoochy setup. There were a ton of dead leaves where he was. I would have set up the hoochy between two trees, quick and easy and low, like the army. Maybe one or two inches higher than normal off the ground (the low sides of the hoochy). I would have made a bed of leaves in the hoochy, like 4" or 6" high - it would probably compress down to 2". Then lay the plastic bags on top of the leaf bed. The idea is, even if it runs, and water runs under the hoochy, you're still above it on the bed of leaves, the water runs under the leaves. Ideally though you'd set up on a bit of a mound if you could. The sides of the hoochy need to be the right height - too high off the ground and water running off the hoochy sides can splash up, or even get blown in if it's windy. I've set up my tent on a swamp once - it was a swampy plain with lots of high grasses, but rock only a couple of inches under the soil - hence no where for the water to go. I just picked a huge tall grassy area and flattened it out a bit. Set up my tent on top of it. The floor of the tent was nearly half way up the inside of the tent, until I lay on it. I was sleeping on about 2" of water, but dry. I could hear a million mozzies tormented by my presence but unable to get in :)Emergency shelter Actually, saw another video of his with a better idea than what I suggested; fill the heavy duty large plastic bags with leaves and use them for a mattress.
 
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