Why You Need a Shemagh in your Preparedness Gear
What is a “Shemagh“?
Wikipedia tells us:
A Shemagh, also known as a Keffiyeh, ghutrah, ḥaṭṭah, mashadah, chafiye, Sudra and cemedanî, is a traditional Middle Eastern headdress fashioned from a square, usually cotton, scarf. It is typically worn by Arab men, as well as some Kurds and Jews.
For decades, keffiyeh have been issued to British soldiers who now, almost exclusively, refer to them as shemaghs. Their use by some units and formations of the military and police forces of the former British Empire and subsequent Commonwealth dates back to before the Second World War. Shemaghs are currently worn by special forces worldwide.
The Shemagh is essentially a big bandana, usually a square measuring 42 or 44 inches on each side. They come in many colors. I personally have them in green, khaki and white, which should cover all seasons (for some quick head camouflage).
What can you use a Shemagh, or a regular bandana for? Almost anything.
I keep one in each of my family vehicles, camping kits and even carry one daily in my backpack for work.
I’m bald, so this comes in very handy. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been caught, unexpectedly, outside in the sun, for long periods of time. This can be a life saver, even more so, for us fair skinned folk.
Some Shemagh uses:
- Sun Protection for bald heads… or necks, for those of you with hair!
- Cooling (soak with water and drape or tie it to your person)
- Sweat Band
- Dust Mask
- Face covering (conceal your identity, like a ninja)
- Diffuse Light (put over flashlight or battery lantern)
- Water pre-filter (remove sediment that could clog your water filter)
- Water acquisition – Tie around ankles and walk through plants covered with dew. Wring into water container (or mouth)
- Signaling flag
- Trail marker
- Tie to luggage or bag to make it identifiable
- Hot pad or pot holder (metal or other cookware gets hot when you use it with fire)
- Food cover (keep bugs off your food)
- Arm Sling
- Use to secure a splint in place
- Eye covering or eye patch
- Scarf or Neck Warmer
- Handkerchief (you may have a runny nose or sneezing)
- bag for food collection or to help carry items
- Tie around sticks or branches to make a bundle (easier to carry)
- Knife Wipe Cloth
- Gun Wipe cloth or tear it up to make gun cleaning patches
- windsock (check wind direction)
- Tie down loose gear (on vehicles, belt or backpack)
- use it to replace a busted backpack shoulder strap
- Hobo pack (pouch on end of a stick)
- improvised diaper
- improvised toilet paper (yuck)
- Blindfold (I’m not even going to ask….)
- Bullfighting cape (joking…or am I?) “Olé!”
The list of uses, for a shemagh, or a good bandana, could go on and on, and would only be limited by your imagination. This list is just a sampling of, why you need a shemagh in your preparedness gear!