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  1. #1
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    Emergency Blanket? Do you and why / why not?

    I was recently looking at my pack weight as I do every trip and I was wondering about the AMK Emergency Bivvy and Emergency Blanket I bring on every single trip which add up to roughly 6.5 ounces. I am starting to wonder why I bring them. I do not store them on my person, they are in my pack, so the getting separated from my pack argument does not work. I am starting to think about not bringing them. I mean I always have my rain gear, base layer thermals, and my TQ and UQ with me regardless of the trip or season - I add fleece and puffies and thicker thermals as the seasons change. The only reason I would see needing them is if all my stuff got soaked... but all of my stuff is in cuben stuff sacks, which are then all inside a S2S dry bag. I don't see the argument as being used for an emergency shelter, because I have my tarp and hammock. I am not trying to argue against them, I am just trying to understand if they are really necessary for my system. Hopefully some of you guys can help me make up my mind on deciding if they are worth it or not. The other factor is where I am likely to be at this time of year, even during a freak storm would not be colder than 50 degrees. So maybe bring them only during winter and on dayhikes when I do not have so much warm gear? I don't know. HELP! OPINIONS!

  2. #2
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    I carry a Blanket not a bivy in my BOB ( bug out bag ) also have one in my fire kit on a knife.
    As for packing it with a already set up to camp, and knowing that your gear will be dry--- well what's the sence, IMO I would just drop it

  3. #3
    So... a couple of things come to mind when reading what you posted -
    First, you state "even during a freak storm would not be colder than 50 degrees" - there are several things that you must account for in emergency situations - the most important being an understanding of what caused you to be in an 'emergency situation'. Generally it's due to either unexpected/unforeseen circumstances, OR a chain of uncorrected 'errors' in your personal judgement that cause you to no longer be in a 'safe zone' of response or ability. A freak storm would be a good example of this, hypothermia can be induced pretty quick at that temp with rain and any wind - with out proper prep and management of your gear and body, you could be come hypothermic due to a failure in your rain gear, for example.

    That all said, its been said by others, you pack for what you fear, or are afraid of.
    Some bring a tent (...shudder...) and their hammock because they are afraid of having to go-to-ground.
    Others bring two sets of "______" to counteract "_____".
    Generally its all based off a fear that "____" will happen -

    Some are well-founded fears, for instance, I have to bring a pair of gloves and 'trash' grocery bags because I'm so highly allergic to various flora () that I have to pretty much wear the gloves when I'm touching anything that touches the ground and then wrap them up in the bags when I'm done - or so that I can wrap anything that touches Poisonous Ivies/Oaks/Sumacs - and I bring extra soap so that I can wash, and an 'after' lotion that's supposed to breakdown the oils in the 'poisons' out there.

    If not for these, I wouldn't be able to enjoy the outdoors.

    As to the 'need' for BOTH a bivouac and blanket... I'd say drop the heaviest one one and keep the other - put it in the same kit you keep any other 'emergency' stuffs and make it readily accessible - who's to say that you'll be the one who needs it?
    I'm from the ol'skool boy scouts, where it was appropriate to 'need' two of everything, and 'be prepared' meant having 'everything' even if it meant a 80lb pack... I'm slowly coming around and learning the new way of things which is lighter is better, but only in as so much as you are able to maintain comfort-ability in all expected scenarios. For some that means having a 3oz rain tarp with a .25oz ridgeline to create a A-frame rain fly for poor weather, and otherwise they sleep straight-away on the ground with nothing, just so they can hike with a 'fanny' pack -
    We all know of the original "Walk off the war" thru-hike - but, check out these guys, they're helping folks 'walk off the war' today -
    Donate to help fund gear for the warriors who are coming back home and need help walking off the war!
    WarriorHike.com

  4. #4
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    I always bring a bivy or at least a space blanket. I have used the blanket as a vapor barrier between my hammock and UQ and it gave me the additional warmth I needed on a particularly cold night.

    I think you may be making an assumption that you are the only one to benefit or suffer if you bring/don't bring your emergency bivy or blanket. While this may be true, do you ever go with others who may not be as fortunate or prepared as you? Might you ever forsee the need to deploy your blanket for someone else on the trail, a stranger in need? When I do camp with other people often they are my kids. If they forget to pack something or get their stuff wet, at least I have something for them. One time in the winter, I built a small shelter for my dog with a blanket. He was happy I brought it.

    S

  5. #5
    Senior Member lattie11581's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone here. You probably don't need both. The blanket works well crumpled up in between the UQ and your hammock for extra emergency insulation. I went on a canoe / hammock trip in May a couple years ago and a storm blew in... 20's at night. That space blanket was a welcome 3oz in my pack!
    "It's better to keep your mouth shut and let people THINK your stupid than to open it and PROVE it" - SFC Kagawa, United States Army (my old platoon SGT)
    *Originally -Abraham Lincoln 16th president of US (1809 -1865)

  6. #6
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    These are interesting points. I look forward to hearing more of them.

  7. #7
    I have had to pull out the E-Blanket when I was tenting it in past and my 3/4mat wasn't cutting the mustard insulation wise.
    I think they are one of those items that can justify their weight and space several times over in a number of possible situations.
    So the question is why not ?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DENMONKEY View Post
    I have had to pull out the E-Blanket when I was tenting it in past and my 3/4mat wasn't cutting the mustard insulation wise.
    I think they are one of those items that can justify their weight and space several times over in a number of possible situations.
    So the question is why not ?
    That is exactly the question I am trying to answer. The 7 ounces I have carried every trip for the past 3 years without ever needing could be 7 ounces of something that I use often. 7 ounces could be fleece pants, a down jacket, or a wind shirt and pant set. 7 ounces could be a 4 foot reflectix or closed cell foam pad. 7 ounces could be 2 big fluffy down pillows from HG. Its becoming more a question of "What instead?" instead of "Why / Why not?". For me at least. To each his own. Hearing a variety of opinions is nice because it is allowing me to take into consideration things that I otherwise would not have thought about.

  9. #9
    Member Tryinhard's Avatar
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    I personaly would not be with out an E blanket. There are so many uses if you have an equipment fail. You can use them to bake in, put them up inside your tarp for a reflector to add extra warmth, as a signaling device etc.
    As I walk in the woods........ well......... I feel at peace with the world.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bear bag hanger's Avatar
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    I bring along a space blanket for emergencies. I certainly agree with everyone above in that you only need one, not both the bivvy and blanket. The biggest reason I might need one is if I meet someone who is hurt and needs the added warmth while waiting to be carried out. If I come across someone who truly needs it, do I want to give them my $300 down quilt or my $10 space blanket? I can't exactly leave them to die, can I?

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