By Shaivyya Gupta and Lindsey Fout
Summer spells long hiking trips and impromptu camping getaways to soak up the best of what the season has to offer, am I right? We at LCT love to get out of our urbanscapes and into the wilderness to recharge our spirits among the sounds, smells and sights in nature.
If you are planning to go camping this summer (and you should!), may we suggest that you you carry along some bandanas? They hardly take up space and are supremely versatile in an outdoor camp setting.
Ahead we have listed ten ways to use a bandana on a camping trip-
1. Sun Protection
Fold a bandana in half diagonally and tie to keep the sun off your neck. If it is awfully sunny, you could also tie it around your head to protect your scalp and ears. This is especially useful for our longhaired friends- a bandana keeps your hair and sweat from getting into your eyes.
2. Campsite Sign
Use a bright, colorful bandana to mark your campsite in a densely forested area. Just tie it off a high branch of a tree so you spot it from a distance. This is also especially useful when you are meeting up with friends in a dispersed camping area.
3. First Aid
Sprains are a common occurrence while camping thanks to the irregular terrain, and an increase in general activity. A bandana can be used to hold a cold compress or ice in place over the hurt body part. You can also tie a couple of bandanas together to create a crude sling to support an injured hand or foot and keep it elevated.
4. Stay Cool On Your Hike
It’s easy to work up quite a sweat if you’re hiking on a hot day! Aside from hydrating regularly, you could also dip your bandana in water, wring it lightly to get rid of excess water and tie it around your neck or on your head. The wet fabric cools your skin by evaporation, regulating your body temperature. When the cloth dries out, just wet it again and repeat. This is a great way to stay cool throughout the day.
5. Extra Warmth In The Night
If you feel a bit of a chill at nighttime, try sleeping with a silk bandana wrapped around your neck. You’d be surprised at how a little extra fabric can keep the draft out of your sleeping bag and keep you warm and snug!
6. Strain And Drain
Forgot your coffee filters at home? You don’t have to forgo your cuppa joe or drink coffee grounds- simply use your bandana as a strainer for cowboy style coffee! Make sure to use a bandana you don’t mind staining!
A cotton bandana can also be used as a sieve for draining pasta water in case you forgot to bring one. Get someone to hold taut a big bandana and tip your pasta pan over it slowly. The water won’t drain away as quickly as it would through a regular strainer but at least you won’t be eating gummy pasta. Wash it (the bandana, not the pasta) in running water to remove the starch after you’re done and hang to air dry.
7. Too Hot To ‘Handle’
This one is pretty obvious but it needs a mention for haven’t we all clutched a hot handle absentmindedly at least once in our lives? Ouch!!! Do yourself a favor and keep a bandana at arm’s length while cooking. Simply fold it up a couple of times to protect your hands when grabbing hot kettles and pan handles!
8. All- purpose Towel
LCT’s cotton and silk bandanas are super absorbent AND quick drying which make them a perfect choice for drying freshly washed camp dishes. Tie to the outside of your backpack or hang on a branch once you’re done and watch them air dry in no time.
9. Pre-Filter For Water
Avoid clogging your water filter by straining the water through a bandana first to get rid of the muck and all the yucky bits! LCT bandanas are pretty awesome but they won’t filter out harmful parasites so make sure you use a proper filter before drinking/ using the water.
10. Foraging Tote
Perhaps you want to collect some pretty pebbles and pinecones as souvenirs to take back home. Or maybe you’re lucky enough to have chanced upon a stash of morels! Just whip out your bandana, carefully lay your bounty and tie the opposite ends together to make a DIY tote for your hiking treasures.
BONUS: Make Cords Or Ropes To Tie Loose Ends!
It would mean the end life for your bandana, but they are willing to take the sacrifice! Rip the stitched hem off around all four sides for a fairly strong cord. The rest of the bandana could be ripped into strips and tied together to create makeshift straps. If you want to avoid this scenario, just remember to pack some ties and ropes- they ALWAYS come in handy!
So there you have it- ten neat ways a bandana can come to your rescue on a camping trip. Kindly remember to follow Leave No Trace principles, pack it out, and never collect/forage where you shouldn’t be doing so.
Have we persuaded you that bandanas are a camping essential? Or have you always been in on the many nifty uses of bandanas? How do you use your LCT bandana on a trip? Let us know in the comments below!