Do you have a Buff in your survival equipment?

Do you carry a buff (aka bandana = cylindrical, flexible fabric, typically used to protect face and neck from cold) as an essential part of your outdoor kit?  It certainly ticks three important boxes for survival kit, being lightweight, compact and multifunctional (including some life saving uses).  For years I have used buffs  in mountain environments where they provide vital wind protection for neck and face.  They are also essential on our Arctic Survival expeditions.  If you try dog sledding, snowmobiling or just going out in windy conditions at Arctic temperatures you will soon be risking a frozen face without one!

Most buff owners know that the garment can be configured in different ways to make a cap,  a balaclava, a head band, a scarf, a wrist band and so on.

Discussions with our Arctic instructor, Toby, led me to think further about other uses for a buff and what an incredibly versatile piece of kit it is. For example, it can be used as a sling for an injured arm, a bandage or even a tourniquet (though tourniquets should be used only with medical training to prevent extreme blood loss).  A buff could also be used as a crude water filter, a small foraging bag, or a bag for soaking and leaching tannins from acorns.  It could even provide glare protection if you have lost your sunglasses. The list goes on. Let me know if you have used it for any other survival applications.

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