Mylar is a thin polyester or plastic material. Blankets of Mylar come in different thicknesses and can be used in a variety of situations.
The reflective side of a Mylar blanket can reflect heat. By hanging a Mylar blanket with the reflective side facing you, body heat as well as any other heat source will be reflected on you. If you were to step behind the Mylar blanket, however, the blanket would shield you from the heat source.
Mylar blankets were turned into impromptu tents and clothing for Hurricane Katrina refugees because of Mylar's insulation properties. As a plastic, Mylar is also moisture resistant.
The reflective side of a Mylar blanket can be used to focus light on plants in shaded areas.
In the event of an emergency, Mylar blankets can be used as signaling devices to call for help because they are so reflective.
In the absence of fire starting materials, a Mylar blanket can be used. Simply line a bowl with part of your blanket, fill with some flammable materials and aim the bowl to collect sunlight. Mylar blankets can also be used to collect rainwater or dew.
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