Ten Uses for a Bandanna in the Backcountry

June 16, 2009

From our friends at Adventures in Good Company

They're fun.  They're simple.  They're cheap.  And they're versatile.  Pack a bandana or two on your next camping trip and you'll have more tricks up your sleeve than MacGyver.

   1. A hat, for keeping the hair out of your face.

   2. A sweatband. Tie it around your forehead and look like a sushi chef. Amazingly effective for sweaty activities.

   3. Pee wipe. Don't knock it until you try it. Especially in an environment with little foliage, using a bandanna is a boon to feminine hygiene. Simply tie it on the outside of your pack and it will quickly dry and be ready the next time you need it. If you try this, make sure you bring 2 bandannas of different colors.

   4. Necktie. On days when keeping yourself as cool as possible is important, soak your bandanna in cool water and then drape it around your neck. A lot of blood passes through your neck and this will help cool it off before it gets to your brain.

   5. Arm sling. Hopefully you won't ever need it for this. But sometimes keeping an arm elevated and immobile is essential. You either need a very large bandanna or tie two together.

   6. A halter top. Say you want to catch some extra vitamin D without the risk of getting arrested. Fold each bandanna into a triangle. Tie two ends together, wrap the other ends around your chest and tie them together, and then tie the tops together behind your neck. If your bandannas aren't big enough, improvise. It may not be high fashion, but it works.

   7. A wash cloth.

   8. A towel. They're amazingly absorbent and dry quickly, as mentioned before.

   9. An emergency coffee filter. This is not one of their best uses, but if your coffee addiction is acting up and you're out of filters, then desperate times call for desperate measures. (Better solution-bring enough filters)

  10. An emergency maxi-pad. Not great, not nearly as good as moss, but if it's all you got....