News > Quick Considerations When Packing Survival Bags

Quick Considerations When Packing Survival Bags

07/04/2016

Many hikers will carry a survival bag or thermal blanket with them when out hiking, even for small day trips. Hopefully you won’t need it, but when they are so lightweight and easy to slip into a backpack, what is the point in leaving it behind?

Not just reserved for the big emergency situations, it has many practical uses, such as: one of the group might have a small injury that is being treated and you need to remain stationery for a while or you need a bit more warmth when camping overnight. The bags can also be used as waterproof storage for your kit.

However, even for activities as straightforward as hiking or trekking in groups, it's still possible that you could find yourself or a member of your group in a remote area in need of assistance. It’s hard to prepare for every eventuality when hiking, but the survival bag will give you a little more reassurance.

Which bag do I need?

Consider the climate and duration of your trip. If your trip is only a day or two then one of the survival or bivy bags below would be sufficient.

These seemingly simple pieces of kit are a reliable method of minimising loss of body heat in times of trauma or immobilisation whilst you wait for help to arrive. The heavy-duty polyethylene material is designed to give you protection against wind and water whilst being as light as possible to carry.

However, many places that are mild during the day can drop in temperature dramatically at night - especially at altitude. If you plan to be away for longer or in particularly rough conditions a blizzard survival bag might be more suitable, as they are made from a higher spec material.

If travelling in a group, each member of the group should be carrying their very own survival bag, but it’s also a good idea for someone to carry a survival shelter.

This is a much larger, fully enclosed shelter that can hold 2 or more people depending on what size you have. This allows multiple people and their kit, to stay warm together if there is poor weather or someone has injured them self.

The Survival Bag

Recommended by the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme this survival bag is where our thermal protection range begins; designed for one, it will protect you from losing essential body heat when needed.

The Survival Bag - £4.25

Read our reviews:

 5 stars - "We used them for a Sleep Out in December both this year (2015) and last year. Last year they really helped keep the frost of. This year, they helped combat the effect of wind from storm Desmond! Worked well." - Jane - 24/12/2015

4.5 stars - "Everyone on the hills should find space inside their rucsac for one of these. You'll be glad you have it when the going gets rough." - Paul @ Celtman - 02/12/2015

Thermal Bag

Remaining inside this bag will retain over 90% of radiated body heat when needed. Strong, metalised polyester material, radar reflective and taped seams for extra strength, this bag retains more heat than a blanket and is extremely lightweight at only 220g of additional weight.

Thermal Bag - £10.99

Survival bag tips

Light and Dry Bivi Bag

Another recommended bit of kit by the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, this bivi bag is light-weight and comes in a compact storage sack, so it can be reused time and time again. Retaining over 90% of radiated body heat and also heat reflected, this versatile bivi bag is an extremely valuable addition to your hiking kit.

Light and Dry Bivi Bag - £14.99

Survival Shelter

If hiking in a group or a couple, survival shelters are increasingly used by mountain rescue teams and would provide two people protection from the elements, whilst also acting like a beacon on any mountain range. Fitting two people and their backpacks the shelter fits over both hikers, with a draw cord closure at the bottom creating a sheltered internal microclimate.

Available for two people as above or for four people at £34.99, all shelters are made of a tough PU coated fabric with waterproof seating panels, a window and air-vent.

Survival Shelter - 2 people - £26.99

Read our reviews:

4 stars - "Very pleased, and good job with the vent and window, it's very useful. Inside the shelter, it's warm, but not too hot." - John Allem - 17/08/2015

Thermal Protection Bag and Blanket Range Compared

Survival Bag Thermal Blanket Thermal Bag Bivi Bag
Weight 290g 55g 180g 205g
Packed (cm) 10 x 18 x 3 9 x 10 x 1.5 9.5 x 12 x 4.5 10 x 7 x 7
Unpacked (cm) 105 x 210 210 x 140 220 x 100 90 x 210
Heat Retained - 90% 90% 90%
Weatherproof Y Y Y Y
Radar Reflective - Y Y Y
Reusable - - - Y
Price £4.25 £4.25 £10.99 £14.99

All prices correct on date of publish.