I like to rock a bandanna on the trail.
There I said it and I admit it. I find it the most comfortable piece of headgear second to a great beanie in the winter. To me nothing is more comfortable.
I don’t think headgear gets a whole lot of press, and the bandanna sure doesn’t get a whole lot of love. Sure you see them referenced for brow wiping, tourniquet usage, covering a festering boil, and secondary uses such as those. However I find that they work great on the melon and have more uses then just a back up to a first aid kit that has been poorly stocked.
I’ve worn ball caps and boonies while hiking before; I’ve gone cover less as well and personally nothing beats the bandanna. The others either don’t breath well or it gets soaked with sweat and become slimy, discolored, and disgusting to put back on.
As a hiker with a spinal cord injury (SCI) and resulting nerve damage I have to work harder to the do the same thing as a fully able-bodied person. This means I work sometimes twice as hard and my body needs to cool off twice as fast. I’ve ruined ball caps because of the salt and sweat deposits left after a hike so I’ve found a terrific replacement and here is why.
The bandanna can be worn in three useful ways and if you have more then one you can incorporate it in a multitude of ways.
It can be worn on the head (in two forms) and around the neck or both. Protecting your head from the blistering sun while allowing heat to escape and around the neck to cover it from the suns rays and when you pass by a lake or stream it provides a nice cooling effect when dipped and tied. Lastly tied around the wrist and used to wipe the brow allows you to go without a cover and still pull some color into your outwear. Sometimes this is nice if your entire head just needs to not have anything on it.
I mean come on now! The cost is next to nothing (can you say cheap and plentiful). Machine wash that puppy and BAM! it’s ready to go. (See my enthusiasm?) Besides it can be used to tie stuff up to when one is not showing off their awesome head decorations.
Let’s face it, sometimes you want to look decent and put together. I know my wife does. I have to convince her that she’s still cute even if she’s not color coordinated. Bandannas help somewhat with that issue. I know when I wear mine I feel like I’m a 80’s band lead rocker, minus the awesome hair, leather pants, sex appeal, and overall musical talent. My wife keeps trying to convince me that when I wear the bandanna I’m not Jon Bon Jovi, and my disillusionment needs to go down in a ‘Blaze of Glory’. I refuse to hear that.
They can come in a multitude of colors and designs. However make sure you pick the right ones for you and others.
It’s lightweight, dries fast and keeps the sweat out of my eyes. When you sweat a lot (see above) and sometimes get caught hiking after going to work which means you put some type of styling product in your hair to make it super cool (see above pic) it has a tendency to get in your sweat. If that sweat gets in your eyes it might sting a little. If you see a grown man huddled in the fetal position crying like a 10 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert it’s because he forgot his bandanna. (it’s not me, seriously it was a guy who looked like me. He is my evil crying twin) I’m just saying it’s useful.
In the end I think it’s plain to see. Wearing a bandanna allows everyone to see how you can match the great outdoors with being a fashionista or something like that. You of course have to wear it properly.
Covering the head and tied in the back is acceptable on sunny days.
Around the neck to cool you down, good too.
Around the brow as a headband, nice.
As a pirate looking for buried treasure…..not cool. Even if you’re this guy.