I have 25 reasons to store bandanas for various reasons. Here’s the deal, they are inexpensive and easy to store. I almost feel like the ideas below are similar to my duct tape list, but it’s how I roll with preparedness stuff. I’ve updated this list from years ago and added a few things.
I can take just about any item and my mind automatically thinks: “How many of these should I store and how many ways can I use them to survive an unforeseen emergency?”
We have to have an arsenal of different supplies because if the grid goes down, you have a flood, a fierce winter storm, wildfire, etc., can you just imagine how empty the store shelves will be? In case you missed this post, 100 Items That Will Disappear After An Emergency
I’ll bet you are visualizing how you can use bandanas right now. If not, that’s okay, but the next time you go to the store think of the things you need for day-to-day livings and how the shelves that are normally stacked to the ceiling become bare. No water, no food, no first aid supplies, the list goes on and on.
I went to our local hardware store a few years ago and stocked up on more than a dozen bandanas. The package says bandannas with two n’s, but I call them bandanas.
If you have some ideas to add to my list, please send them to me, I would love them. You can use bandanas for so many things, so let’s get started.
25 Reasons To Store Bandanas
First of all, lets talk about what a bandana is.
My research indicates that bandanas got their start in India and were used as headscarves. A definition of a bandana is a fabric in printed styles. Yes, bandanas do come in plain colors, but most of us view a bandana as having some pretty colorful prints that stand out.
When it comes to using your bandanas for various purposes it will be helpful to understand sizes. The smaller ones may be more limited when it comes to versatility. Most bandanas are square, and the most common size is 22″ square. If you were to look at a sizing chart you would consider extra small ones as 17″, small at 20″, medium bandanas are 24″, the large size is 28″, and extra-large would be 32″. You may want to purchase and store a variety of sizes so you’re prepared for any emergency situation.
Bandanas can come in a variety of fabrics from silk to cotton. Or course, the silk versions are more expensive and you’d think twice about using them in a situation where they could become seriously damaged. Most of us are familiar with the cotton bananas we see used so often.
Let’s Discuss the 25 Reasons to Store Bandanas:
- Use as a hat or scarf: we all need to protect ourselves from the sun’s strong ultra violet rays. Also protects from the wind.
- Make a protective mask with one of them: a bandana isn’t what you’d want to protect yourself for truly medical reasons, but could come in handy if there is a dusty wind or air full of thick smoke.
- Cold compress (wet one or add ice if available): we are told to use a cold compress in certain first aid situations.
- Make a splint with a paint stick (I learned this in my C.E.R.T. class): small splints can be held in place if properly secured.
- They make great eye patches (not just for Halloween): if you need a temporary covering for one or both of your eyes, a bandana tied around your head could make all the difference.
- Make some handcuffs (yes we may need them if we don’t have zip ties to protect ourselves): important, but hopefully one of the reasons to you’ll never have to use a bandana.
- Patch clothes that have a hole (choose any color): youth seem to love clothes, particularly pants, with holes. I could be a situation where you need to cover the hole for sanitary or cold weather circumstance.
- Toilet paper if nothing else is available: I would think this is a last resort scenario. There are a number of other options, but it could come down to this as the only choice you have available.
- Great for straining water or liquid food items: a bandana isn’t going to truly filter extremely well, but it could certainly strain out debris and dirt as your first line of defense. If you also have a water filtering system, this would keep it from getting plugged up, extend its usefulness, and make the liquid much safer.
- Cover your eyes to sleep: again, there are other useful options, but if someone isn’t feeling well, to be able to reduce the direct light they should be able to sleep much better.
- Put a few together to use as a last ditch effort for hot pads: if you’re having to cook over a fire, layering up bandanas may very well save your fingers and hands.
- Girls/women can make some menstrual items by layering them: in times past women often had to use clean rags during “that time of the month.” Having clean bandanas that could be washed later is a good temporary solution.
- Wash your dishes with one: nothing says a kitchen wash clothe is the only way to wash properly. The good things is, it can be thrown in the clothes washer later.
- Dry your dishes with one: see #13 above.
- You could gag someone with one if they become hysterical after a disaster (that sounds mean but it may come to this): this could happen at times, but a more likely senario is if someone is having a seizure and you use the bandana to keep them from chewing on their tongue.
- Blindfold (we used these for “Pin the tail on the donkey” at parties when I was young: if someone has damaged their eye(s), you for sure want a clean cloth to cover the damaged area until professional help is available.
- My son-in-law uses one to work out with, they make a great sweatband: keeping sweat from the forehead out of your eyes or a facial injury makes sense.
- Check out the one on the far right side, totally fluorescent orange (it screams emergency): you may be in a situation where you need to draw attention to your location. What better way than to tie a brightly colored bandana to a stick, tree branch, or other type of pole and waiving it to get the attention of others?
- Use them for a napkin or a plate to hold snacks: they are clean enough for napkin use, and strong enough to hold a fair amount of solid food.
- If you don’t have anything to start a fire, cut or tear them into strips to make a fire starter (store matches): well, there may be times that “single use” is the best answer to keeping warm or cooking a meal.
- Choose one color for your family and wear them on your wrist or neck, depending on the ages involved after a disaster or on a vacation as well: it could be that during an emergency your family get separated for some reason. Having the same bandana can help you and search parties identify family members.
- Tear some into strips to add to your 72-hour bug out bags to tie on branches if you go exploring in the mountains to keep track of where you are: a little bit of Hansel and Grettle, but just having something to tie tarps, tree branches, backpacks, and other items together could be a true life saver.
- They make great handkerchief: we’d all like to have handy a tissue when that unexpected sneeze comes along, but that isn’t always possible. If you have a bandana close by it can make all the difference in a messy situation.
- Awesome dust masks although I prefer N-95’s: as mentioned above, we need to be sure and protect our eyes, noise, mouth and lungs from dust and smoke. A bandana can be a great choice if other masks aren’t readily available.
- Compression wrap when needed for profuse bleeding: we talk about a cold compress above, but this is a compression wrap. We might need to wrap a swollen knee, ankle, calf, or arm. Just make sure you don’t “wrap” the injured area too tightly and possibly restrict the blood flow.
What are some other possible uses for a bandana?
I’ll list below some things to consider using your stash of bandanas for, I just won’t provide the same kind of commentary as above:
- Use as a towel.
- Hobo bag to hold small things.
- A grip to help hold things without injuring your hand.
- Tie up your hair.
- Tie together multiple bandanas to form a belt.
- Place mat.
- General purpose tie-down, like for a tent.
- A sling.
- Rag to cool down in hot weather.
- Glasses cleaner.
Please store bandanas, and spread the word to have others store a few for any unforeseen emergency that may come your way. May God Bless this world, Linda