How does the NRC foil work and why should you have it in your first aid kit?

2022-03-17
How does the NRC foil work and why should you have it in your first aid kit?

We were getting ready to spend the night on the edge of the 600-meter rock cliff overlooking the Norwegian fjord. Sounds great, doesn't it? Certainly it would have been so, were it not for the fact that we did not take a tent or even a tarp. The rain was coming, and the only form of roofing we managed to create was a makeshift tent built on the basis of two rescue foils. Sounds pathetic? Perhaps, but if it wasn't for the NRC blanket, we wouldn't have been able to sleep even a moment during the rain. Read the post, from which you will learn what a life foil is and how many uses it has in survival.

What is a thermal blanket?

Isothermal foil, life foil, NRC - this seemingly ordinary element of first aid kit equipment has the same names as applications. What is it exactly? A thermal blanket is made of metallized plastic film, and most often - polypropylene or polyester. Interestingly, this material was developed for NASA for the APOLLO mission. Sounds amazing? It is really a space technology, and the English name of the NRC foil is space blanket.

Which side of the NRC foil should I use?

In fact, you'd think that every foil is the same. But when choosing this life-saving piece of fabric, it's worth paying attention to whether both sides of the blanket are the same. Yes - each NRC foil will be useful both in the case of cooling down and staying in the sun, which may overheat the body. The different sides of the life blanket, however, can be used to enhance the desired effect. Just use the darker side outside to 'lure' the sun's rays, or the silver side to reflect them.

There is one more point. If you are out in the snow and want to be noticed by members of the search party, use the more colorful: orange, green or - most often - the golden side. It will stand out against the background of down.

Life foil - 6 uses in survival

The main function of the rescue foil is to prevent hypothermia, which we wrote about in the article about heating in the forest. NRC delays the body's heat loss and protects against wind chill - this is the purpose for which the life blanket is used by emergency services. However, during survival situations, the rescue foil can be used in many different ways.

Over the years, I have used an isothermal blanket as:

  • Rainwater Tank: Anyone who travels off the beaten track knows that carrying water with them for a few days is an unnecessary waste of energy. The water can be obtained in the field, and the rainwater collected with the NRC foil on the ground will be safe to drink without the need to boil it.

  • Dish: You don't have a container where you can boil water? No problem. All you have to do is pour water into a bag made of a rescue foil and throw the stones heated in the fire into it.

  • Shelter: All you have to do is hang the foil on a rope stretched low above the ground or seal the roof of the shelter with a blanket of life.

  • Raincoat: There has been a downpour and you don't want to get your clothes wet? Wrap yourself tightly with the NRC foil, it is completely waterproof.

  • Reflective screen: Rescue foil wall retains and reflects heat. All you have to do is sit between it and the fire and the fire will warm you on both sides.

  • Backpack cover: The backpack tightly wrapped with NRC foil is a guarantee of dry equipment and the electronics inside, even during a heavy downpour.

The functions of the thermal blanket can be changed endlessly, so it is always worth having the Life foil in the tourist first aid kit. I encourage you to improvise. Nothing gives as much satisfaction as a self-developed survival "patent". However, the foil itself may not be enough to warm up, and - especially when the fire fails - it is worth knowing even the most unusual ways to obtain heat in survival. The more methods you learn, the better you will be able to cope with really demanding situations.

Author: Kajetan Wilczyński

Editing: Tomasz Świgoń

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