Thanks to Hollywood, armed robberies, and inner-city gang culture, bandanas have gotten kind of a bad rap… That’s a shame, because they’re the Swiss Army knife of survival attire.
Most people don’t know how valuable this $1 item can be. It might even save your live some day, but only if you know how to use your bandana properly.
Bandanas can be used in all kinds of weird and innovative ways, and this makes them a must for every pepper’s EDC kit.
After all, it is imperative to allocate space to items that are extremely useful, so it just makes good sense to choose something that can fit multiple roles.
Are you uncertain how to use a bandana in almost any situation? Read on to develop a new appreciation for these multipurpose items that do not require a lot of space in your bag.
1. You Can Wear a Bandana as a Mask
There are many occasions when you may need to put on a mask, and a bandana can definitely fill this role.
It won’t act as a filtration system in the same way that, say, a gas mask would, but it will keep your lungs from being directly exposed to smoke, dust or anything else undesirable that is in the air.
As an added bonus, you can use a makeshift bandana mask to reduce any bad smells.
Photo by benuski
2. They can Filter Water
After the SHTF, you could find yourself looking for any source of water, including one that is as dirty as the lake in the nearby image.
You will need to have water purification tablets or at least a filtering straw to safely drink dirty water, and you will also want something to help your remove the large pieces of sediment and debris.
By using your bandana, you can strain these larger items out of the water before you move forward with the purification process.
Another perk of having a bandana handy is that you could use it as a coffee or tea filter.
Photo by Avi
3. They can Protect Your Neck and Keep You Cool
Wetting a bandana and laying it across the back of your neck is a good way to cool down on a hot day. You can also cover the back of your neck with a bandana as an improvised form of sunblock.
Additionally, if you treat a bandana with an insect repellent and place it over your neck, this will deter mosquitoes that could be carrying West Nile or another disease.
Photo by KOMUnews
4. They can Tie Things to Your Bag
Putting together a bug out bag is a lot harder than most people realize because you have to make room for the most important stuff without making the bag too heavy to carry.
Fortunately, bandanas are extremely lightweight, and they can be tied to the outside of the bag. You can use this as a way to attach other small, lightweight objects to your bag to increase your storage space.
Photo by Benjamin Thomas
5. You can Gather Foraged Food in a Bandana
When you’re foraging for wild blueberries, nuts and other edibles, you will need something to place them in to transport a larger portion back to your shelter.
As you are unlikely to give up space in your bug out bag for a container, you can use a bandana to serve this purpose.
Just make sure that you are well-versed in the type of berries and nuts that humans can safely eat before you begin foraging for a naturally growing food source.
Photo by David Sorich
6. You can Use a Bandana to Mark a Trail
A ribbon or even some spray paint or chalk might be more traditional, but a bandana can fill in nicely as a trail marker.
This is something that could save your life, especially if you find yourself looking for food and shelter in unknown woods after the SHTF.
This is also a compelling reason to keep multiple bandanas on hand. With as small and lightweight as bandanas are, there is no good reason not to add several to your bug out bag.
Photo by Andrew Malone
7. To Wrap a Sprained Ankle
An injury to your ankle could slow you down, and this is something you will want to avoid during an apocalyptic situation.
Fortunately, you’ll have a bandana with you, and you can use this to wrap your ankle. The added support of the bandana should make it easier to walk.
You can also use a bandana to provide support for a wrist injury.
Photo by Shane Adams
8. Bandanas Serve Several Medical Purposes
Wrapping an injured ankle is only one of several medical purposes for a bandana. For example, in an emergency situation, you could use a bandana as a tourniquet.
If it’s not big enough, tie two of them tightly together and then use them as a tourniquet. Other medical reasons to have a few bandanas on hand include creating a makeshift bandage, plugging a bloody nose, making a sling and even creating a sanitary napkin.
Photo by U.S. Army Europe
9. Makeshift Eye Mask for Sleep
It may be necessary to sleep in shifts after the SHTF, and this could even mean that you will have to try to rest outside in the daylight.
Fortunately, a bandana can easily be tied around your eyes to create a makeshift eye mask to block out the light. Make sure someone is on watch if you do this, though, because remaining alert is imperative for staying safe.
Alternatively, you can use a bandana as a blindfold or to tie hands together if you need to keep an intruder or other bad guy safely immobilized.
Photo by Mirko Tobias Schafer
10. Create a Rope or Clothesline
If you have enough bandanas, you can tie them together to create a rope or a clothesline. Be sure to make the knots really tight if you will be using the rope to support a lot of weight.
This isn’t something you would want to do if there was any actual rope around, but in an emergency, it could be a lifesaver.
A clothesline will also always be necessary as you must find a way to wash and dry your clothes. Not only will this make you more physically comfortable and less smelly but it will also help extend the useful life of your clothing.
Photo by Lastonein
Wrap-up (Get it?)
As you can see, bandanas are definitely worth some space in your bug out bag. Or better yet, they will be tied to the outside of it! A few of the other practical purposes for bandanas include serving as a makeshift dog collar, protecting your head from the sun, allowing you to safely open a hot radiator cap and tying a couple together to make a belt. The uses for this handy item seem practically limitless, so make sure to stock up on some now while you can still go to your local store.
Photo by Steven Depolo