Gearhead: Survive Outdoors Longer's next gen ‘space blanket’ is a must-have


A must-have for any winter excursion, from an icy wilderness hike to a road trip through snowy mountains, is a lightweight and fail-safe emergency blanket. If an unexpected emergency strands you outdoors, such a blanket can help protect you from the kind of cold, wet and windy conditions that might result in hypothermia.

Survive Outdoors Longer, a survival products company that specializes in emergency outdoor shelters and blankets, produces the highly rated SOL Survival Blanket. Unlike the traditional “space blanket” made from fragile Mylar, the Survival Blanket is constructed from vacuum-metalized polyethylene. It reflects 90 percent of your body heat to keep you warm, won’t shred if nicked or punctured (unlike Mylar blankets), is both water- and windproof, and comes in a blazing orange color that makes you easy for rescuers to find.

Important survival tips — how to construct a shelter, for example — are printed right on the blanket where you can see them.

The Survival Blanket resists tearing by stretching; if small holes and tears develop, they can be easily repaired with duct tape. If not used for emergencies, the Survival Blanket is handy as a ground cloth, gear cover or first aid blanket. At 60 by 96 inches, it weighs a mere 3.2 ounces. It costs $7.

In Sonoma County, SOL’s products are carried in Petaluma by Clavey River Equipment and Dick’s Sporting Goods; in Santa Rosa by REI, West Marine and Sonoma Outfitters; and in Cotati by Outdoor Pro Shop.

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