Act like the natives.
There is a reason that some cultures survive in the most challenging environments.
They have figured it out and they are the experts because it is part of everyday life for them and it has been for years. So maybe it’s using only a parang in the jungle or a shemagh in the desert. There is a survival advantage to these items in many environments and should be considered for purpose and not by reputation.

A shemagh is a traditional Middle Eastern headdress. It’s design is simple and uses are many. A piece of cotton cloth, larger than a bandanna. It is used in the Middle East for protection. The shemagh keeps the never ending dust out of their nose and mouth and also keeps the sun off their necks, head, and face. Besides its main purpose it can be used for;

Pot holder
Sling for a weapon or first aid
Trail marker
Dish rag
Sun protection
Dust mask
Cool you down when wet
Toilet paper
Collecting wild foods/ insects
Wrap to keep gear from rattling
Char cloth
Collecting dew
Ice pack

There are also plenty of more situational specific uses for a shemagh

Now here is the awful part.
Yes shemagh a are associated with the Middle East
Yes a lot of Americans get a concerned about this.
It is a survival tool.
It is not uncommon to see United States military wearing them.
Or the British armed forces.
It has become a fashion accessory for the hipster community in the US
On a website someone commented ” they are more like leather boots. Everyone wears them because they serve the needs of a soldier, not because its a symbol”

I have and use a shemagh.
I have used it in 50 mph winds in the desert.
I have worn it for warmth.
I have soaked it down to cool my body through evaporation.
I used it to wrap my body while my clothes dried after a rainstorm so I wouldn’t upset strangers in the back country.
I have improvised a pillow with one and grass.

Can a shemagh save your life? Maybe.
Can a shemagh serve many useful tasks that provide comfort, a sane mind and safe many frustrations. Yes and I believe that can save your life.




One thought on “Shemaghs

  1. I appreciate the link. The Shemagh is used by members of the UK Cadet Force, I myself have found it extremely useful keeping temperature regulated on long tabs (where it is worn like a scarf for warmth) or explosive platoon attacks (where it is soaked with water to cool off).

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