Article courtesy of the Rocky Mountain Bushcraft team: Jason Schwartz is an axe-wielding, modern day mountain man. He’s also a Red Cross certified Wilderness First Aid Instructor, music aficionado, and known to some of the locals as the “Bear Grylls” of his area. Leah Klocko oversees the country music landscape of Pittsburgh as a radio personality when she’s not editing articles about testing a new bushcraft knife or surviving in the wilderness.
The plain cotton bandanna is often forgotten as a simple, yet essential, piece of gear in wilderness packs. The vast array of tasks it can perform is only limited by your imagination. Below is a list of some of the things it can be used for:
Handkerchief (if you get stuck out in cold weather your nose will run like a faucet!)
General purpose rag
Emergency toilet paper
Neck or Face scarf
Patching material for torn clothing or backpacks
Strainer for silty water
Protection while grabbing hot pot handles
Bandanna (who would have thought?!)
A typical cotton bandanna only weighs an ounce, so for a small amount of weight, you get a lot of function. If you need to clean and re-use it, just rinse it in a stream, lake or river. To sterilize it or to remove grease, boil it in water for a couple of minutes and you're ready to go.
Also, carry your bandanna in a zip lock bag or other waterproof container to keep it dry until needed.