Friday, September 13, 2013

The best of the $5 preps

Wow, Its been awhile. . . I'm sure everybody was worried if we were alive, and I just wanted to let you all know, we still are! Although my time is short today, I wanted to come to you guys about one of my favorite, and most important pieces of kit.  My Wool Shemagh.
I'm sure that a lot of readers will know that a Shemagh is a traditional Middle Eastern Headdress, that has been used for ages to protect the wearer from blowing dust, keep the sun off the neck, head and face, and as a wrap for warmth on cold desert nights.  Once I learned how to tie it around my head properly, which is not a difficult task with a little research on the Internet, this became one of my regular pieces of equipment, but we are going to repurpose it.  As I was reading around a year or so ago, I came across this list of 30 uses for a bandana by (Linky)
1. Signal (also see signal mirror)
2. Neck Gaiter for cold weather
3. Tourniquet (But for Snake Bites use a Sawyer Extractor)
4. Pot Holder
5. Collecting Wild Edibles
6. Sun block for neck
7. Sling (first-aid – also see medical kits for you BOB)
8. Sling (as in David and Goliath)
9. Sling (for a staff )
10. Cordage  (strips or as is)
11. Washcloth/Towel (Bathe out of a Collapsible Bucket)
12. Sweatband
13. Waist pack/pouch
14. Hobo Pack
15. Padding a hotspot
16. Cleaning Patches for Firearm
17. Bullet Patches for Muzzleloader
18. Gun Wipe Cloth (with oil)
19. Toilet Paper
20. Mark a Trail
21. Dish Rag
22. Napkin
23. Eye patch
24. Pre-water Filter (like Coffee Filters)
25. Clean Glasses and other lens
26. Ear Muffs
27. Bind a stone and toss a line over a limb
28. Dust Mask (in Urban Survival)
29. Wet and wear for Hot Weather
30. Sneezing
upon reading it, I immediately concluded that a shemagh would be better suited for all of these tasks. There is a lot of material to play with, but the shemagh does not take up a lot of room and is relatively cheap.  It is also 100% cotton.  I have used it as a makeshift air conditioner dust filter, a sweat rag, a sand/wind/dust wrap, a gear cover during sand storms, a cooling rag (when wet), and a number of other things.  I highly encourage anyone reading this to purchase one and give it a shot.
The every day uses, and uses during a stressful situation, such as a natural disaster, would be endless.  If any particulates remain in the air following an earthquake, building collapse, fire, etc. and you do not have a mask (I’d bet you won’t) you will have face and head protection.  If you find yourself without adequate shelter in the cold, one of these shemaghs could provide additional insulation. I would encourage you to read  ”30 Uses for a Bandana” as this is a very informative article and is completely relevant to this piece of equipment.  Shemaghs come in a number of colors too, so I have added an olive drab/black one for concealment, and a red/white one for visibility in my Bug Out Bag.  A word of caution: I would avoid traditional colors (black/white, red/white) when traveling to the Middle East for they have certain cultural connotations.  You can find them in non-traditional colors easily, such as tan/black, red/black, blue/black, etc to suit your taste and your environment.  They can be found on Amazon for a reasonable price.  Purchase one or two and you will be amazed how many uses it has, and you will add a few to your survival kit, guaranteed.

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