TestimonialsHypothermia Prevention

Blizzard 3 Layer Survival Bag

Ruth, Mountain Leader

Unable to navigate their way back to their tent, Ruth and her hiking partner pitched an overnight emergency bivy using the Blizzard Bag.  

Last year (February 2011) I went for a planned 2-day expedition into the Scottish Mountains. A friend and I are both qualified mountain leaders and capable of night navigation, so decided to get some practice in by walking into the remote hills surrounding Seanna Braigh (a munro) in the far Northwest of Scotland (many many miles from any civilization). We pitched our tents about 8 kilometers from the summit as it got dark and set off. The weather was driving snow, high winds and poor visibility. However, we have been trained for these conditions and successfully navigated the 8 km to the top and almost all the way back to the tents.

Unfortunately, we had made a serious error of judgement though, which without our equipment could well have cost us our lives. We had pitched our tent in the failing daylight next to a series of about 8 small lochans (mini lakes) and had not taken account of the grid reference at which it had been pitched. Neither had we attached a glow stick to see the tent in the dark. As we approached the first lochan, expecting to see our tent, we realized that we were quite unsure as to exactly where it should be. For the next 3 hours, exhausted from a long days hiking in deep snow and on difficult terrain, cold and damp from sweat, hungry and in dreadful weather, we searched for the tent. At one point we realized that we had gone around in circles.

Although we had duvet jackets, full waterproofs, good equipment etc., we were tired and worst of all, I knew that I was getting very cold. I was struggling to do any simple tasks at all, was very slow, and all I wanted to do was curl up for a sleep. Thankfully, whilst I was blissfully unaware that I was suffering from mountain hypothermia, my partner was on the ball. He knew that I could not go on any longer and decided to do an emergency overnight bivy using… the Blizzard bag.

It is a fantastic piece of kit. I would be lying if I said that it was the most comfortable night that I have spent on 2000 feet up on a Scottish mountain in winter. However, I am alive to tell the tale. I am quite convinced that without it, or with a less superior piece of equipment – e.g. a foil blanket or plastic survival bag, I would have been verging on passing into a deep sleep and it undoubtedly saved my life. Mountain rescue would have taken many many hours to recover me from there, even after my partner had hiked the 18 km off the mountain to the nearest habitation. There was no mobile signal.

So, at first light, my partner looked up, saw the tent (about 500m away) and got me into a 5 season down sleeping bag and fed me hot drinks. A few hours later, we walked off the mountain to the warmth of my car.

Kevin

Off Road Running

Kevin C.

After plans for a support crew fell through, Kevin needed to find a sleeping solution that was both lightweight and would provide life-saving insulation.  

In 2009 I made the first ever attempt to run the length of the UK off-road, I succeeded.
1,254miles across trails, mountains, moorland and highlands. An average of 30miles a day for six weeks, the run took 45 days and 17 hours, including 3 rest days.
 
Two weeks before the start of the event, plans for a support crew fell through; I had to run solo and unsupported. I had to carry all my kit, running ‘mountain-marathon’ style.

One of the biggest weight savings I made was in my sleeping system. I considered using foil blankets inside a bivy bag would be enough to keep me alive at night yet light enough to carry through the day. I knew that there was no way that system would work, as soon as I moved the foil sheets would move away from the body losing all insulation properties instantly. 
 
I spoke to a mountain leader friend of mine who always carried a vacuum packed ‘Blizzard Bag’ made of foil – asking if they were just glorified foil blankets- apparently not, he informed me they were actual sleeping bags made out of several layers of foil-and importantly they were designed to be re-usable, i.e. they didn’t tear after one use.
 
After researching Blizzard Survival Products, I decided to go with just a foil bag – one piece of kit instead of two that did the job of both ‘bivy’ bag – it’s fully waterproof, and sleeping bag – it’s insulated – having three layers of foil I could see how it would work like a down jacket – trapping pockets of air.
 
I figured the bag would last one week maybe two at most – planning to ask family or friends to post replacements ahead of me along the route. To my surprise the bag lasted over a thousand miles before it started to show signs of abuse, the bag is designed to be used in emergencies – and be reusable for the next emergency you encounter.

I used it nearly every night for six weeks – packed it away wet, sat on like a cushion during food stops, this thing was abused – and it lasted. 
 
In my opinion, anyone looking for the lightest possible sleeping system on the market today, that is actually still practical to use should look no further than a Blizzard Survival bag.

Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service Extrication Team and Trauma Teams routinely use Blizzard Bags

Rob, Extrication Team & Trauma Team Medic

The crews use a Blizzard Blanket at the earliest opportunity, this could be putting a blanket on a casualty whilst still inside a vehicle which has been involved in a road traffic collision or on a casualty who has been rescued from a house fire.  

 

PerSys Medical has been supporting Hampshire Fire & Rescue Extrication and Trauma Teams by supplying the teams with Blizzard blankets. The blankets are currently used by HFRS and are issued on all appliances and CO-responder cars in our IEC medical bags.

The teams are going to be using the Blizzard Blankets in competitions throughout the country and at the World Rescue Challenge in France. The teams will also use the blankets at the United Kingdom Rescue Organisation (UKRO) Challenge in Derbyshire. The UKRO challenge involves every fire and rescue from the UK and will be a great opportunity for other organizations to see the Blizzard Blankets in use.

The Blizzard Blankets are a great design and assist us in part of our medical treatment. Keeping a casualty warm is very important and has lots of medical benefits. The crews use a Blizzard Blanket at the earliest opportunity, this could be putting a blanket on a casualty whilst still inside a vehicle which has been involved in a road traffic collision or on a casualty who has been rescued from a house fire.

We as a team really like the design of the blankets and they have shown us that they are the best blanket on the market for assisting in keeping a patient warm. The Blizzard Blanket is simple to use and when vacuumed packed is very small which is great when it comes to stowage.