Geocaching Safety: Space Blankets
We talk a lot about safety here at Madcacher. That’s because we want everyone to be able to enjoy and continuing geocaching for a long time. In fact; anyone who read our post about what to carry in your geocaching kit may have noticed that several of the items are safety focused. One of the things in that kit is a “space blanket”.
Such blankets have been in first aid kits for decades, but they seem to be more and more widespread in today’s world at popular events such as tough mudder or marathons.
These sheets may seem like the foil used for cooking or wrapping food; but they are a completely different animal indeed! As the name implies these wraps were invented by NASA for the space program. Turns out that in 1973 due to a broken heat shield that the Space Lab was overheating. This caused concern for a number or reasons; the equipment began to malfunction, there was the potential for toxic gas build up and of course the pesky problem of astronaut death (NASA tends to frown on that sort of thing). Engineers scrambled to work with an outside company (National Metallizing) to develop an emergency heat shield for the ailing station.
The material is not that much different than what is found in Christmas tinsel, and using an adjusted manufacturing process to make a parasol that the crew placed over the space station. And it worked! It kept the heat from the sun out. And it works the exact same way whether it’s after a race or because you need to find shelter in the woods because you got lot while looking for that 5/5 up a ravine.
The blanket works by reflecting heat in either direction, so it works to keep the heat coming off your body near you.
Though developed by NASA, the blankets are mass-produced today and are available cheaply online from a number of sources. Given the low cost there is no reason to not have a space blanket for geocaching.