One of the most important areas of survival is undoubtedly shelter. If you are really unlucky and are surprised by bad weather and low temperatures at the same time, it may be a matter of a few hours before you are in a critical situation that may end fatally.
By the AKM SOL Emergency Bivy here:
With very little effort and equipment, you can prevent and avoid many problems regarding shelter. One of items to bring is an Adventure Medical Kit (AMK) SOL Emergency Bivy.
I’ve had some experience with the “regular” survival blankets and they have not always been positive.
They have a tendency to break very easy, particularly if there is a small hole in it. It is difficult to sit properly in the shelter made of a survival blanket, and almost impossible to sleep under it, as it easily blows away.
In addition, it is extremely difficult to use a survival blanket if you can only use one hand as it easily flies around you, and are difficult to unfold.
To it’s advantage I should emphasize that they are good to use as reflectors in the combination of a shelter and fire. I will make a post later so you can see how I use the survival blanket as a reflector.
During one of my trips to Arizona, I was presented to the AMK SOL Emergency Bivy, and it had my interest immediately.
In addition to being very compact, it reflects uo to 90% of your body heat. The bivy weighs approx. 0.20 lb and measures 3″ x 2.5″ packed in the transport bag. The bivy size is 84″ x 36″ unfolded, so it should fit most of you.
As mentioned before, I had some mixed experiences with the general survival blankets so I bought a few of them just in the belief that it would easily break.
That was not the case with the SOL Emergency bivy, on the contrary, the bivy is made of such a strong material so that it can easily be used multiple times. It feels at least 2-3 times as strong as an ordinary survival blankets, and feels as if the material can be stretched much more before it breaks.
At the end of 2012 we had the first major snowstorm in Denmark, and I decided to test the SOL Emergency Bivy.
I chose the following dress code:
Wool socks, Helly Hansen long underwear and a Headsokz balaclava. (Nothing else)
As an inner bag I used a regular poncho liner and a standard Thermarest sleeping pad.
I crawled into the bag at 2200 hours and fell asleep fairly rapidly, despite 24 kts. gusting winds.
I had brought a thermometer measuring both indoor and outdoor temperature and when it was coldest (at 0500 in the morning) was -18F outside and +50F in the bag. So a 68F difference. The temperature was measured at the neck opening outside the poncho liner, so my body temperature did not affect it too much. I have no doubt that the SOL Emergency Bivy makes a huge difference compared to the general survival blankets you can buy.
I woke up with a few hours separation to vent the bag, because I had my head inside the bag because of the cold. I then fell asleep fairly quickly again, and felt no great discomfort during my stay outside.
I can only recommend this bivy in relation to the general survival blankets. Just the fact that if you only can use one hand, you will still be able to crawl into it and taking advantage of its potiential.
Adventure Medical Kits makes 2 stronger bivy’s which I hope to test in the future.
You can read more about them here.