This post will start a series on prep things you should carry every day – Every Day Carries (EDC).
I’ve never carried a bandana, and didn’t quite “get it.” However, lately I’ve been reading a lot on what people carry every day in their pockets. A bandana seems to be on 85% or those lists. Why? Because they’re so useful! Wilderness survival guru Dave Canterbury considers them a “must have” item.
Most bandanas are about 2 ft by 2 ft and are usually 100% cotton. The first thing you’ll notice about carrying a bandana is how it disappeared and becomes totally unnoticeable in your pocket. Definitely no burden to carry.
If you’re racking your brain trying to come up with creative uses for bandanas, stop. We’ve done it for you (or at least got you started). Some are boring, mundane uses, others are more survival-related. Here are a few ideas:
- Sponge (soak up dew, moisture and squeeze into your mouth)
- Napkin when eating
- Padding for sensitive items (sunglasses, electronics)
- Head covering
- Covering your eyes during a nap
- Cowboy-style for protection from breathing in dust
- If soaked with water and worn over your mouth, provides some protection from smoke inhalation
- For making char cloth
- Hobo-style bindle
- Keeping small things (nuts, bolts, spent brass, etc.) organized
- Cleaning rag
- Improvised weapon (tie a weight onto one corner and presto–flail–or use as any other flexible weapon)
- Soak with water and wrap around your neck/head to cool you down on a hot day
- Pre-filter for water filtration
- Signal (wave to attract attention)
- Concealment – many people who pocket carry their CCW (concealed carry weapon) will place a bandana on top of the gun to further cover it and disguise the outline.
- Snot rag (duh)
- A wick for a Molotov cocktail (let’s hope you never have to do this one)
- Cover and protect your hand when climbing or if you need to punch through glass
- A pot holder
- Write notes on it you have a sharpie or other permanent marker
- Pack it with ice and use it as a cold pack.
- Some basic cordage/tying needs–tie something to your pack or belt.
- Shining cloth for shoes, chrome, etc.
- Sweat band
- A patch for torn clothes or packs
…and of course there are a million more uses. For the versatility, price ($1-$3 or so) and weight, a bandana is a no-brainer. If you haven’t tried out carrying one, give it a shot. You’ll like it!