March 17, 2004, 10:04 pm / Categories: Hiking
ACR Electronics, a 48-year-old company based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., likes to credit itself with saving more than 10,000 lives over the years. Indeed, its line of survival products has been used by soldiers, sailors, Apollo 13 astronauts and outdoor athletes since the days of the Eisenhower administration.
I recently stashed two of the company’s products in a small emergency gear pouch I bring on adventures. Alongside waterproof matches, a knife, a compass, fire-starters, duct tape, and a few other emergency essentials, I now keep ACR’s Hot Shot Signal Mirror and ThermaBlanket products.
The Hot Shot Signal Mirror ($11) has a unique sighting spot to help you align the sun and mirror correctly. Say you’re on a life raft with a rescue plane circling the area. With this mirror, you can line up the see-through red dot with the airplane and be sure that your signal reflection is being seen by the rescuers.
The 4.25 × 2.75-inch mirror comes attached with a loud signal whistle and a small buoyant plug so it floats if dropped in water. It weighs 1.8 ounces.
ACR’s ThermaBlanket ($5) is a metallized polyester survival blanket that can be used to prevent rapid body heat loss. While it’s no substitute for a sleeping bag, the ThermaBlanket is made to forestall hypothermia and keep you somewhat comfortable in emergencies. It also will help block wind and moisture.
The ThermaBlanket is about the same size and weight as a folded cotton handkerchief. It unfolds to a 7 × 4.5-foot blanket, letting you sit on top and wrap yourself in the metallic fabric. Like matches and a compass, this type of emergency blanket is a must-have for anyone who regularly walks into the woods and leaves the civilized world behind.
Contact: ACR Electronics Inc., 1-800-432-0227, www.acrelectronics.com
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