I’ve lengthy been identified to have pet peeves concerning the particles hikers drop alongside trails, however one piece of litter has turn into extra annoying: the ever-present facial tissue.
A used tissue mendacity boldly in the midst of the trail may point out an individual who doesn’t know higher. However a tissue stashed below a rock demonstrates that anyone is aware of it must be carried out, and is making an attempt to cover the proof.
Whereas wearily choosing up the umpteenth piece of used paper alongside a path lately, I needed to marvel why hikers don’t use handkerchiefs, or that extremely versatile out of doors equal, the bandana.
Westerners know bandanas as a sq. of imprinted cotton materials used as neckwear or a hatband; a buddy says they’re additionally nice dinner napkins as a result of they by no means want ironing.
Bandanas are used to blow one’s nostril or wipe the sweat off one’s face. Typically the identical bandana is employed for each functions, although for some cause that appears to freak individuals out. We’re, in spite of everything, speaking about mountaineering, an exercise by which one can go days and not using a change of underwear or a shower. Additionally, girls — the lowly bandana can be utilized as a pee rag to keep away from leaving ugly wads of bathroom paper alongside the path. Dangling one’s pee rag on the again of a pack permits ultraviolet gentle to kill the nasties.
A bandana is normally cotton however may also be nylon, wool, microfiber, silk or fleece. It may be purple, navy blue, yellow, magenta or puce – you identify it. Bandanas can boast maps of the realm, cattle manufacturers, illustrations of edible vegetation, flowers or cloud formations. Some individuals could aspire to hold a bandana sporting lavender paisley delicately embroidered onto a chartreuse background – why not?
A bandana can be utilized as a muffler to maintain your neck heat, a shawl to maintain your head cool, a hat to maintain the half in your hair from being sunburned, or two tied right into a belt retains your pants up. It may be changed into a snare to catch small animals, a fishing line, a hammock for squirrels, a filter for ingesting water, or a necktie in your subsequent formal social gathering.
Bandanas can be utilized to tie down your hat so it gained’t fly away within the wind. They’ll safe your bottle of milk or wine cooling within the river so it gained’t get washed down into the rapids, or your mountaineering buddy so he can’t intrude whilst you ransack his pack for chocolate (which, by the way, was tied to a tree with a bandana so it wouldn’t fall over).
They might be used as an arm sling for a damaged clavicle, a tourniquet in case of bleeding, padding for splints when re-setting a bone, or a gag to muffle the screams as one re-sets the bone.
A number of bandanas could be tied collectively to make a tarp, a floor material, an air mattress for use with excessive haste, or possibly an impromptu promenade costume. They are often minimize into items and used to play checkers. They are often folded up and used to patch your denims. They are often unraveled (or raveled) and woven right into a macramé belt. They are often lined with foil and used to boil water.
Two could be tied collectively and used as a bikini backside whereas one’s pants dry. They can be utilized to carry your hair again whilst you hike, to carry your meals whilst you day hike, or to carry over your face whilst you maintain up a prepare.
If soaked with water, bandanas can be utilized to decrease the physique temperature of a heat-exhaustion sufferer, or twisted right into a “rat tail” and used to painfully snap somebody who’s stashing their used facial tissue below a rock.
All in all, a bandana is one thing no hiker ought to ever be with out. A bandana is reality, magnificence, and a bit little bit of Rit dye. And when you be a part of the ranks of bandana lovers, you, too, can sing the Chiquita Bandana anthem: “bandana, bandana, bandana is nice sufficient for me.”
Marjorie ‘Slim’ Woodruff is a contributor to Writers on the Vary, writersontherange.org, an impartial nonprofit devoted to spurring full of life dialog concerning the West. She is a Grand Canyon educator who additionally cleans up trails.