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Building a Space Blanket Shelter

Updated on December 1, 2014

The Space Blanket Shelter

Here is a quick, easy and warm shelter that can be built in a survival situation that could potentially save your life (or at least make your night more comfortable!) It is based on the traditional lean to shelter with a fire in front about six feet away. The roof is lined with an aluminized mylar space blanket and a light weight plastic sheet over the front and sides. Even on the coolest of nights, with snow all around, temperatures inside the shelter can reach up to 70 degrees! This shelter is extremely light weight and inexpensive and is therefore ideal to keep in your survival kit.

How it Works

The idea behind this shelter works on the principles of thermo-dynamics. You want to maximise the heat entering the shelter and minimise the loss of it once its inside. The space blanket is quite thin, however it reflects over 90% of heat radiation. By fastening it to the roof of the shelter it reflects heat back down on you. The clear plastic does not reflect much heat at all, but instead stops the now warm air from escaping. In essence the shelter works like a green house; heat goes through the plastic sheet and is reflected onto you and gets trapped inside the shelter. This means the fire does not need to be fed nearly as often as with a traditional lean to.

Tip :
Instead of having the space blanket flat against the roof, tie a small knot in the center of the blanket. This will create a slight concaving to the space blanket which helps to focus the heat energy onto you better. A shelter like this was built by Cody on Dual Survival. In the video below he shows the inside and gives a good explanation.


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