Blizzard Active Survival Bags &Jackets have never let us down and have always lived up to their promise: keeping you warm and dry.
Almost every casualty we encounter in Mountain Rescue is suffering with some degree of hypothermia, even on relatively mild days. This is because fatigue, exhaustion and shock, all serve to lover your body’s temperature and the colder you become the more demoralised and miserable you feel.
Early survival bags were nothing more than heavy gauge bin bags, only in orange, and whilst they protected you from wind and rain, they did little to maintain body temperature and if in direct contact with snow or ice actually drew heat away from your body! Plus, single layer bags/ blankets are easily punctured, and once a tear has started to develop, it rips right across the material. Surprisingly, people still buy these types of bags, now called space blankets, when there is a far superior and cost effective alternative – Blizzard Active Survival Bags & Jackets.
Mountain Rescue teams carry Blizzard Bags and we carry these personally. Scott used his as an emergency sleeping bag on the Cuillin Ridge on Skye and my jacket has been used many times here in the wet southern uplands of Scotland (they are easy to repack back to original size using a vacuum cleaner!).
The game changer was Reflexcell™ – a brilliant material designed by professional engineer and keen mountaineer Derek Ryden and the science is beautifully simple.
Plastic cells that trap warm, still air, providing insulation backed by silver reflective surfaces trapping the radiated heat from your body. All encased in a tough and durable waterproof and windproof outer layer with interwoven elastic material to hug the body, stopping drafts, reducing convection, and keeping the material right next to you where it is needed.
So why do we choose Blizzard compared to the many lookalikes and why the Active range? One word – Trust!
We chose the Active range because:
- They have less bulk and weight but still provide good warmth.
- Are rated down to -40°C, something we never get to in Britain
- High visibility orange, easy to spot by rescuers
- The outer layer is completely waterproof and windproof.
- Unlike most other insulating materials, they works just as well when wet
The Blizzard Survival Bag is a full-sized sleeping bag in a providing total warmth and shelter – anywhere, at any time.
Blizzard Active Survival Jacket
The jacket is thigh length with a hood and clear plastic sleeves for protection from the wind and rain. It allows for 100% mobility, and is perfect for mountain walkers and climbers and aiding the walking wounded from emergency situations.
We have had these specially vacuum packed flat (rather than the conventional brick shape), slightly smaller than the size of an A4 sheet of paper (Approx 17cm x 24cm x 2.5cm). This shape is ideal for slipping down the inside of your rucksack without taking up much needed space, allowing fast easy access when you need it!
OPENING THE PACK
Open the package by tearing at the red pre-cut slit at its base.
Unroll the product to its full length. Stretch the product sideways, ensuring that all cells are fully stretched, both all the way around, and along the full length.
After being stretched, the material may stay flat at first, but over a couple of minutes, the cells will fill with air. When stretching the material in the Blizzard Survival Jacket, treat the ends of the arm holes carefully, since they are the weakest part of the garment. Now get into the product carefully.
Reflexcell™ works best if all cells are full of air and none is squashed or flattened. To create cells of the perfect shape, tug the material lengthwise, then look to check that the material has gained a corrugated appearance.
If the cells get flattened again during use, re-form them again by tugging. To avoid flattening the cells, try not to stretch the garment tightly in a sideways direction, for example, pulling the front tightly around you, so that the back becomes flattened.
Tug the garment lengthwise to re-form the pleats, then roll it up tightly (to avoid trapping air, start rolling at the foot in the case of a sleeping bag, start at the head in the case of the vest). Secure with a strap or string (or using the Blizzard Pouch, if available).
When you get home, unpack the product, turn it inside out and leave in a warm place to dry for a few days before re-packing for future use.
At home, you can use a vacuum cleaner to get your Blizzard Survival Bag back almost to its original packed size.
Tug the bag lengthwise to make the pleats as neat as possible. Next, put a tea towel over the end of the hose of your vacuum cleaner. Insert this into the top of the bag, closing the bag around the pipe with your hands. Soon all the air will be removed, and if the bag is carefully rolled or folded from the foot end (easier with two people), it can be made extremely small.
Alternatively, Blizzard offers a re-packing service for a small charge.