There are some survival items that are so useful and versatile that every Prepper MUST own one. Paracord is one of them and a Shemagh is another. This item is similar to a bandana but it is much larger. Roughly 42" x 42", the Shemagh originated in the Middle East out of sheer necessity.
The people needed a scarf to shield their faces from the constant winds which had fine sand particles in them. Most of their face and neck would be covered with this large scarf leaving only the eyes exposed so that they could see where they were going.
That is why the Shemagh is larger than a bandanna. Just like a bandanna, you can use it for a variety of purposes. In this article, we will look at 10 ways you can use a Shemagh.
1. Use It As A Towel
When you are in the wilderness, your Shemagh can act as a towel. It's absorbent and big enough to dry you well. It is important that you always hang your Shemagh out to dry completely when you are done using it as a towel.
2. Use It As A Water Strainer
If you need water and all you can find is murky water, the first thing you can do is use your Shemagh as a strainer to sieve off the bigger impurities. Once the water passes through the material, it will be filtered to some extent. You can then boil the water to destroy all viruses, protozoa and other contaminants. Finally, add a water purification tablet to the cool water and it should be potable.
3. Use It As A Tourniquet
This is one way the scarf can be used for first aid. If there is a bad wound and you can not stop the bleeding in the limb, you can fold your Shemagh in half to make a triangle. Grab each end of it and spin it in circles so that it is like a rope. Tie the rolled-up scarf tightly around the limb to stop the blood flow.
4. Use It As A Knee pad
If you are on stony ground and you need to kneel down to read a map or start a fire? Fold up your Shemagh till it is relatively thick and kneel on it for some cushioning.
5. Use It To Collect Dew
If you desperately need water and there is none, the Shemagh can be used to wipe the dew from leaves and the grass. You will need to do this in the early hours of the morning. If there is tall grass around you, you can just wrap your Shemagh around your knee and walk through the grass for a while.
Once it is soaked wring it out over a container. You will get several drops of water. If you keep doing this, you can get enough water for a sip or two to prevent your body from further dehydration.
6. Use It For Feminine hygiene
Pretty straightforward. If you don't have a sanitary pad with you in the wilderness, a Shemagh will double as one. Do remember to wash it very well and if possible, soak it in boiling water to kill all bacteria after use.
7. Use It As A Pillow
No pillow? No Problem simply roll up or fold your Shemagh and use it as one.
8. Use It As An Eye mask
Trying to sleep in the day and it is too bright? Use your Shemagh to cover and protct your eyes
9. Use It As A Sling Or Splint Tie
Another first aid Shemagh use is if you need to treat a fracture using a splint then you can use it to tie around the fracture and the splint to immobilize the limb and provide support. If it is an arm fracture, then you can use it just like a triangular bandage to make a sling.
10. Use It As A Foot wrap
If you lose your boot or shoe or injure your foot, you can wrap the Shemagh around your foot and manage to hobble around. Do try and get help soon. This is not a permanent solution. Overuse will cause the shemagh to tear due to friction. Things will get more difficult for you if this happens. So, get help quick.
These are just 10 uses of many. Get a Shemagh and practice using it. The next time you are out in the wilderness, if you need to use a it you will know how to use one effectively.