Bandanas are an accessory that don’t often provoke a second glance. They’re handy for keeping your neck and face warm during nippy weather and if you own a bike of some description they can be particularly useful for keeping the wind out of your face. However, the best survival bandanas are much more than meets the eye.
With COVID-19 the use of a survival bandana can keep you and the people around you safe from infection. It can also save you from a fine in some areas!
If you’re a serious survivalist, you’ll also know that bandanas can also come in incredibly handy if you ever find yourself in a dire situation. They can be used as an impromptu bandage. They can be used to fasten materials together. You can even use the fabric for burning either on a fire or as part of a make-shift torch.
Survival Bandanas – What Are They And How Can They Be Used?
Survival bandanas tend to come in a couple of different varieties. They’re either deliberately oversized, have important survival information on them, or have some combination of both. The oversized ones are designed to provide you with as much fabric as physically possible without being unwieldy.
This grants you the advantage of having plenty to work with if you’re in need of some fabric – without having the bandana get in the way. Printed information ones normally have tips related to navigation, bushcraft or first aid. It’s pretty common to see survival bandanas utilise both features.
They’re also commonly some form of bright or fluorescent color. This is so that they can be used to signal for help or perform any other task that requires a high visibility material. We recommend checking out Gear Exploit for lists of the best tactical gear.
What Use Does A Bandana Have For Survival?
The truth is, there’s actually a massive range of different use cases for bandanas in a survival situation.
Navigation is a key one. You can tear off pieces of your bandana and tie them to trees to use them as distance or direction markers. If your bandana is brightly colored, it’ll be a lot easier to identify than making “notches” on trees or utilizing other forms of markings. If you consistently tie them on your right hand side, you’ll know that you’re heading back to your starting location provided the fabric remains on your left hand side.
First aid is another potential application for a survival bandana. Provided there’s enough material, they can be used to fashion a sling. Bandanas can be used as a temporary eyepatch and even simply as a means of keeping sun off your face during particularly intense summer days.
If they’re kept clean, they can also be used for temporary bandaging. If circumstances are absolutely extreme, they can even be used as a makeshift tourniquet.
They can also perform a very rudimentary form of respiratory protection if you’re wearing one and you happen to get caught up in a dust storm.
Putting core survival skills aside, having a survival bandana is also useful for a few important quality of life improvements. They can be used for wiping up sweat and stopping you from getting drenched on particularly warm days, for example. You can wrap any fabric up tight around the handle of a tool to provide you with some extra padding and grip if you feel that may be useful too.
The fabric can be used as a pre-filter for water too, allowing you to quickly filter out sediment and other nasties before you pass the water through a real filter capable of dealing with bacteria etc.
You don’t need to explicitly buy a survival bandana for these uses, you could theoretically use a regular bandana. But you’ll run out of fabric VERY quickly, which is not an issue you want to encounter in a scenario where your life could be in danger.
There are an abundance of more specialised products out there that can be used in these scenarios. But you’re not alway going to be carrying bandages, a compass, a face mask and a paracord with you. These bandanas function as an excellent “jack of all trades”, so getting into the habit of bringing them with you means that it won’t be as big of a deal if you forget any other important supplies.
Best Survival Bandanas
Naturally, with any product in the survival or bushcraft niche, there’s a lot of competition out there. We’ve picked a couple of the specific items we feel rise above the rest to the point where they’re worth serious consideration.
Head For Survival Bandana – Survival Metrics
The “head for survival” bandana is possibly one of the best examples of a survival bandana on the market today. It’s brightly colored to ensure that it’s particularly easy to spot, even from a distance and in lower lighting conditions.
Covered all over in useful information, there’s a reasonable chance you’ll find a tip or two on this product that you haven’t stumbled across before. Even if you don’t, it doesn’t hurt to have some important reminders at hand in case you find yourself in a sticky situation.
This information details the five core components to surviving in the wilderness. Breaking down the basics of constructing a shelter, building a fire, finding a water source, navigating efficiently and of course signalling for help. It’s boiled down to make it as easy to understand as possible whilst still providing you with a great deal of information.
There’s also more than enough fabric with this particular item for you to use it several times over.
OEM – Survival Bandana
This is another particularly reliable survival bandana. Developed by OEM, this bandana is a little bit more navigation intensive. It’s designed to help you accurately get your bearings in case you find yourself lost. With important advice explaining how to locate the north star, you’re unlikely to be lost for long with this item in your inventory.
Despite the more navigation intensive focus, this bandana also has an abundance of other important, potentially life-saving tips featured on it.
It’s brightly colored to ensure ease of signaling if you’re using it to draw attention to yourself. There’s also an abundance of fabric to ensure you have more than enough if you find yourself having to tear it up for multiple purposes.
It’s manufactured entirely out of cotton and it’s printed at home in the United States.
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