bandana can be one of the most useful items in your hiking and backpacking arsenal. On your next trip bring along 2 bandanas and experiment with them to see just how useful they can be.
Here are 10 good reasons to bring at least one bandana along on your next hike.
1. Wet the bandana and tie it around your neck to help keep you cool.
2. Role one up and tie it around your forehead to keep the sweat out of your eyes.
3. Tuck one under your hat to keep the sun off your neck and the bugs out of your eyes.
. Spread one out like a small table cloth for a picnic lunch. Place it on a log, boulder or the ground to sit upon so as not to get tree sap or bird poop on your expensive hiking pants.
5. Use one as a washcloth for clean up.
6. Make an arm sling in case of an injury.
7. Tie it around an arm or leg with sticks or hiking poles to form a splint if someone’s twisted a wrist or ankle.
8. Good to blow your nose on.
9. Tie it over your mouth and nose bandit-style to keep out cold air on a winter hike or dust on a windy one.
10. Press it on a wound to stop bleeding (put a sterile gauze pad directly on the wound itself first, though).
11. Wave it to flag down help if you’re lost. But you’re not going to get lost because you scouted the route ahead of time, right?
*To blow your nose*as a head cover*western style for dust and grit*wet, for escape from a smoky fire*headband*sweat rag*under cap for sun protection (aka Foreign Legion sun shade*tourniquet*sling*mark a trail*signal flag*diaper*washcloth*dish rag*napkin*eye patch*bind a splint*ice pack*pre-water filter*pot holder*cover food to keep bugs away*coffee filter*emergency toilet paper*sink drain plug*hand wrap for jar and bottle opening*hobo lunch box*hang flashlight from tent ceiling*neckerchief*tie up a pony tail*shine shoes*clean glasses and other lens*wrap a gift*canine bandana*table cloth*feminine hygiene*ear muffs*wrap up tiny or rattling pieces and parts*1st aid bandage*mark luggage at airport*blindfold for sleeping or surprises*temporary gas cap*wrap breakables in backpack or luggage*flag for lumber or building materials that are too long for trailer or truck*pillow cover*all terrain sitting cloth*waving down a taxi*wipe away a tear*distract a charging animal*disguise*whisk away pestering insects*muffle a sneeze*pad shoulders for carrying a load*pad a tumpline*self defense with a rock in it*bind a stone and toss a line over a limb*place mat*hot/cold compress*scarf/ascot*as a gag to shut someone up*bikini top/bra*watch fob*belt*bookmark*bib*salad spinner*window shade*whip*garrote*handcuffs*parachute for toy soldier*dog mussel*chafe protector*show your gang colors*flag football*lamp shade*alarm clock muffler*to show someone what paisley is*patch material for muzzleloaders*drink cozy*sunglasses retainer*…OK! OK! That’s enough!
Compass prevents one from getting lost in the field. Losing one's bearing in unfamiliar terrain raises the risk of anxiety and panic, and hence, physical injury. Maps that cover the relevant area in sufficient detail and dimension (topography, trails, roads, campsites, towns, etc.) and the skill and knowledge to use them are indispensable when traveling through the outdoors, especially when the place of travel lacks signage, markings or guides. Even a basic compass can help an individual find his way to safety.
Flashlights and headlamps protect against physical injury when traveling in the dark. A flashlight is also useful for finding things in the pack, observing wildlife in dark crevices and folds, and for distant signaling. Extra batteries and bulbs are highly recommended. Lamps using LEDs have become very popular, due to their robustness and low power consumption.
Extra food and water can prevent or cure hypothermia and dehydration, common illness that can be serious risks in the backcountry where immediate medical response is not possible. These items also minimize the likelihood of panic. It is not recommended that one eat food when there is no water, as the body requires water to metabolize food.
Extra clothes protect against hypothermia. Multiple layers of clothes are generally warmer than a single thick garment. By having the ability to simply take off a layer of clothes, one can avoid overheating, which can cause sweat and dampen clothing. Moreover, a change into dry clothes is the fastest way to become warm. Extra clothing is also useful for protection from the elements, including thorns, insects, sun, wind, and often cold. If necessary, they can be cut into bandages, used as a tree climbing aid, made into hotpads, pillows, towels, or makeshift ropes. For overnight trekking, one should keep one set of clothes dry for wear in the evening. One can wear the "day" clothes during the next day's hike when they are drier.
Sunglasseshelp prevent snowblindness. Sunlight, especially when reflected in snow, can seriously limit visibility, and jeopardize one's ability to travel safely.
A first aid kit usually contains items to treat cuts, abrasions (blisters), punctures and burns. Additional items might address broken fingers, limbs, cardiac conditions, hypothermia, frostbite, hyperthermia, hypoxia, insect and snake bites, allergic reactions, burns and other wounds. If applicable, include any personal medications.
A knife is useful for opening packages, building shelter, shaving wood for tinder, eating, field surgery (after sterilization), cutting rope and clothing, etc.
Matches (or a lighter) and fire starter (typically chemical heat tabs or canned heat) to light a campfire is useful for preventing hypothermia and to signal for aid. In an emergency, a fire increases one's psychological will to survive.
A whistle is a compact, lightweight, and inexpensive way to signal for help. Although a person cannot shout for a long period, he can whistle for extended amounts of time. Moreover, the sharp sound of a whistle travels over longer distances than the human voice, and provides a much more distinct sound. Although environmental factors such as wind, snow, and heavy rain may drown out a voice, the sound of a whistle is clearly distinguishable in the field.