Sit. Rep. #97: Bandanas, Neckerchiefs, and Scarfs

Bandanas only today:

1- I think that this is one of the most useful items to have on your person and in your backpack.  I like 100% cotton, silk, or wool scarves.  I avoid blended material because some of the synthetic blends may melt when heated.  Scouts call them a neckerchief and wear the uniform one around the neck.

You can make bandanas from old sheets, T-shirts, or pillowcases.  (tie-dye or color your own.)  I like homemade ones because I get the size I want.  Just cut the old material with pinking shears to keep the material from unraveling.  Sew the edges if you like.

I usually have 3 (at least) when I go backpacking.  34″ square is my minimum size when I make my own.  I also like to mix the bandana material when I pack.  One each of cotton, silk, and wool.


1- Signal – Tie onto the end of a hiking staff & wave for attention, takes 2 for Semaphore signaling – should be 2 different colors
2- Neck Gaiter for cold weather
3- Tourniquet
4- Hot Pot Holder
5- Collecting wild edibles

6- Sunblock for the neck or face
7- Medical sling – think broken arm or hand, fold across the bandana to make a triangular bandage.
8- Sling – just like David used against Goliath
9- Wrist Strap for a hiking staff
10- Hobo pack

11- Cordage – strips or as is
12- Washcloth – dirt & sweat wipe
13- Towel
14- Sweatband – forehead or wrist
15- Padding a hot spot to prevent a blister or around a hot spot

16- Cleaning patches for a firearm
17- Bullet patches/wad for a muzzleloader
18- Gun/tool oil wipe cloth
19- Toilet paper – reuse at your own risk – wash out with lots of soap & boiling hot water
20- Mark a trail

21- Dishrag
22- Napkin
23- Eye patch (first aid or Halloween costume)
24- Pre-filter water before purification – use for both chemical and filtration purification
25- Coffee/tea filter – filter out the grounds from Cowboy Coffee

26- Clean glasses
27- Earplugs or muffs (keep the sand out and/or the noise down)
28- Dust Mask / Face Wipe
29- Wet and wear in hot weather, drape around your neck or on your head – evaporative cooling
30- Sneeze rag, handkerchief

31- Face mask – handy for a virus filter in a pinch!
32- Tie a pack shut when a zipper fails, tie things to your pack
33- Dog collar or muzzle
34- Horsecollar
35- Face mask with holes cut for eyes – think snow blindness

36- Drape loosely over face & head to protect from mosquitoes, gnats, flies & no-see-ums.
37- Spray with insect repellent to keep chemicals off of your skin and wear tied onto your person
38- Blouse your pants legs or shirt sleeves – keep the leeches, ticks, chiggers, or dust storm dust out of your underwear.
39- Wipe water/dew off of a seat before sitting, keep your backside dry
40- Field dressing for a wound – Triangular bandage

41- Bandage for tying a dressing on a wound
42- Feminine protection
43- Shred and use the fibers as fire tender
44- Char Cloth can be made from old / tired bandanas
45- With a green, limber forked tree limb – use as a fishnet

46- Soak up the moisture of the morning dew, squeeze out into a pot, cup, or canteen
47- Use as a scarf to keep cold wind from blowing down you neck
48- Tie a rock in the bandana and tie that to a short stick for an makeshift mace
49- Tie the rock into the bandana & use that to sling a rope over a tall tree branch – think bear bag
50- Heat a rock and use the bandana as a hot rock holder to pre-warm your sleeping bag or as a hand warmer – do not melt any material or burn yourself – be careful.

51- Toothbrush
52- Brace or support for a twisted ankle
53- Headband in cold weather to keep your ears warm

Carrying a bandana with you all the time means you will always have this wonderful, cheap, lightweight, and versatile tool in your pocket.

Semper Paratus,

PS: Let me know if you think of any more uses.

E: Do you know any famous people born on your birthday?
F: Nope.  No famous people born on my birthday – only babies.

Superior Campfires by Thomas Mercaldo

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