Buff or a better bandana?

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Natch, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Natch

    Natch Scout

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    I've tried to buy a nicer bandana on Amazon, but they all seem to be the same cheap material. Does anyone make a better one? Would I be better off buying a UV Buff to keep the sun off my head hiking or rock climbing?
     
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  2. Bob_Spr

    Bob_Spr Scout

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    I have 6 buffs and probably a dozen bandanas (36''x36'' or larger). Depending on what I am doing, I wear one or the other or both. If doing something (like climbing, cooking, using a tool) where a dangling bandana is a hazard, I use a Buff. In the late fall and early winter, I use both. From a DIYer standpoint, I go to places that sell fabric (Joanne's, Hobby Lobby, WalMart, etc) and walk through feeling and looking at 100% cotton or linen fabrics. With a coupon, you can get a large piece (normally up to 60" by 60") for what most retailers on Amazon charge for a 20" by 20". If you get real industrious, you can buy quilt backing (100% cotton) that is 120" wide. Normally, it is either white or off white and you would have to dye it. Also look through the remnants. Last year, I found a piece of 100% wool 28" by 54" for less than $10.00.

    Bob

    edited to add - If you've not bought fabric before and don't know how much to get. Look at the end of the cardboard bolt the fabric is on. It should tell you the width of the fabric (example - 52 inches). The figure out how many bandanas you want. If one, tell the width (example - 52 inches) . If two, then two times the width (example 52 + 52 = 104). They will then use a calculator to determine how many yards or portions of yards.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  3. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    +1 on Buffs. I have one and love it .
     
  4. DarrylM

    DarrylM Guide

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    Some of the EDC fans favor Hanks by Hank. I've not looked into the brand at all, but some of the pocket dump pics I've seen, they look pretty okay.
     
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  5. DKR

    DKR Scout

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    [​IMG]
    (Cravat) Triangular Muslin Bandage, NSN 6510-00-201-1755

    works as a sunscreen, dew rag, Ranger rag and in a pinch can be used (in a pair) as a bathing suit.....

    Cheap enough....works much like a Buff -

    OTOH, the buff is multitasking...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  6. hlydon

    hlydon Scout

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    I buy fabric and use buffs. I tend to use jersey cotton fabric for bandanas. It is soft and stretches. Cotton probably isn't as good as polyester since it doesn't wick away sweat.

    Buffs are usually polyester. They tend to be light weight and are super easy to pack. They easily fit in a pocket.
     
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  7. Vader9900

    Vader9900 Scout

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    Bandanas from Tractor Supply are excellent and made in the USA!
     
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  8. CKjeep84

    CKjeep84 Guide

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    No affiliation or anything but check out SA FISHING. UV face mask/bandanas they have deals all time usualy buy one for $20 get 4 free.
     
  9. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    I have several from Buff Canada including a couple in Merino Wool. Good stuff. I still carry a bandana but it's hard to beat the functionality of a Buff.
     
  10. JonM

    JonM Tracker

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    I use a buff, a bandana from Fleet Farm, & a Hobo Hanky depending on the weather & what I'm doing. They all have their place outdoors. The Hobo Hanky is a monster bandana @ 42" x 42".
     
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  11. Natch

    Natch Scout

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    I guess I'll be getting a few different types of things. Thank you for the replies. Does the color of the buff make a difference in the summer in terms of heat or is it just preference? I have a military green and a grey one in my cart. I like the green, but thought it might draw more heat than the grey.
     
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  12. Katdaddy

    Katdaddy Scout

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    I have several Buffs. OD, black and some mixed colors. I notice no difference in the color as far as heat. They are my go to head gear for any warm weather activities. I have found that a hat traps too much heat on my head. The Buff keeps the sun off my bald head and wicks the sweat, without trapping all the heat.
     
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  13. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    A triangular bandage will do things a Buff can only dream about :D Like become a tourniquet, a sling, a swath, provide additional body warmth (when pinned together in pairs.) sun shade, water filter etc. A Buff makes great head and face gear, but fails at many other tasks.

    That said I like both, and usually have the triangular around my neck with an antler slide, the Buff in a pocket if I’m not wearing it.
     
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  14. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Any color except black, hot in the sun and you wouldn't want to be mistaken for a lone wolf ISIS reject at a distance especially in the woods.
     
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  15. backlasher

    backlasher Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  16. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    I'm partial to silk wild rags, but I also own and use neck gaiters.
    With a wild rag you can loosen it up to ventilate if need be.
     
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  17. Natch

    Natch Scout

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    How is that bandage different from a shemagh?
     
  18. lowtidejoe

    lowtidejoe Supporter Supporter

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    Buff UV and bug protection on top of multiple use
     
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  19. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    It's a triangle, not a square
     
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  20. Chris keating

    Chris keating Tracker

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    I have a merino buff for fall early spring, warm the carotid blood rest of u is warm, buff and a good wool toquebdoes wonders for warmth. I personally haven't messed with the uv stuff, I'm still looking for a quality shemagh..
     
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  21. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    i like buffs but i also like hobo hanky's. the customer service is outstanding and the products are pretty great as well. haven't used them much but do like them!
     
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  22. UAHiker

    UAHiker Supporter Supporter

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    try a hobo hanky, made in usa
     
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  23. Ol Grizz

    Ol Grizz Scout

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    I have (and use) two Buffs, one in black and the other in coyote. Good gear and am hoping to add a Merino to my tiny collection.

    I make my own bandannas in various sizes and shapes. Best source I have found for fabric is jersey knit 100% cotton bed sheet sets (queen or king size if possible), either from WalMart or Target. Almost any color, even camo, is available. I usually buy them on sale. You get a flat sheet, fitted sheet, and 2 pillowcases. Lots of options for all sizes. And because they are jersey knit (like a t-shirt) the cut edges usually do not fray or unravel. They are thicker than a regular bandanna but thinner than a shemagh.
     
  24. will62

    will62 Scout

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    I use both and have a couple of triangular bandages in my bag when I am out.
     
  25. Alex Blain-Laider

    Alex Blain-Laider Tracker

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    I've got a wool Buff and two cheap generics -one poly and the other cotton. I like them all for times when the sun is low, and my "boonie" for when the sun is above or rain is falling.
     
  26. Macrosill

    Macrosill Scout Bushclass I

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    Please excuse my ignorance but what is a buff? The best I can find is a tube of cloth.
     
  27. Natch

    Natch Scout

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  28. Max Capacity

    Max Capacity Supporter Supporter

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    i just wish they would make a larger diameter Buff. I've got a 17.5 to 18 inch neck and they are a little tight. Also +1 on the Wild Rags or silk bandanas.
     
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  29. ROCK6

    ROCK6 Scout

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    It often depends, but I actually like both. For lightweight, I like the silk cowboy scarves (mine are 34x34"), but the synthetic (polyester microfiber) buffs are really light and quite versatile in a different way from a regular square bandana. For colder temps, the merino wool buff is mandatory for my kit.

    I've spend the last few decades always carrying around a couple cotton military cravats; very handy for numerous tasks, but I still prefer the square cut bandana. The Shemagh are nice, but large and much heavier; excellent for hot and dry climates. Another option is the awesome (but expensive) merino wool kerchief from northxnorth: https://www.northxnorth.co/shop/merino-wool-kerchief This is really an amazing product; 42x42", it's basically a cold-weather Shemagh with all the same versatility.

    ROCK6
     
  30. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Supporter Supporter

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    Since the subject of buffs got brought up, I have a buff that just has the buff logo and another that has "Buff UV". I thought they all had UV protection so what's the difference?
     
  31. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    I live in Buffs....it is the second thing I pick up in the morning after my wallet. I probably have 40.
     
  32. 66drifter

    66drifter Scout

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    if i had to choose one or the other it would be a BANDANA without a doubt

    A GOOD COTTON BANDANA

    one of those above suggested 42 inch square ones

    much more versatile

    Dale says it best

    http://survivalistprepper.net/98-uses-for-a-bandana/

    I Found
    “98 Uses For A Bandana”

    Why?
    I have no idea…Because I wanted to I guess.
    As ridicules as some of these my be, there are quite a few different uses for a bandana. Not all of these are for survival but in a tough situation you would be surprised how fast you turn into McGuyver. The reason for this post is to show that even the simplest thing such as a bandana can have many different uses.

    Plus, I wanted to see if I could get to 100…almost!
    Bandanas have been around for so long, and for a good reason, there are so many uses for this little square piece of material. Some of my ideas are funny, some are very helpful. But over all, this list gives some of the many uses a bandana has.



    So here we go…
    1. A wind/dust mask
    2. Hobble a pack animal
    3. Soak in water and use as a neckband to keep cool
    4. Whisk away pestering insects
    5. Tuck under back of hat to keep sun off
    6. A backpacking strainer for pasta
    7. Pre-filter water
    8. Gather wild blueberries in it
    9. Mark territory in the woods
    10. As a blindfold to sleep past dawn
    11. To tie extra stuff to a backpack
    12. Trail marker
    13. Cover your face for a daytime nap
    14. Tie together and twist for a rope
    15. Emergency repair for a strap on a pack
    16. Dry feet after fording a stream
    17. Plug nose after encountering a skunk
    18. Occupied sign on an outhouse
    19. To check wind direction
    20. Tie around head to keep hairpiece from blowing down the trail
    21. All-terrain sitting cloth
    22. Sending smoke signals
    23. Distract a charging animal
    24. Flag a passing motorist
    25. Flag down a taxi
    26. Cheer at a parade or sporting event
    27. Tie to the car antenna for easy spotting
    28. Tie to luggage for easy spotting
    29. Scarf or neckerchief
    30. Handkerchief
    31. Headband
    32. Tie together for a belt
    33. Add a piece of cord for a halter-top
    34. Emergency swim trunks, two for a bikini
    35. Makeshift hat (knot at each corner)
    36. Mask for robbing stagecoaches and banks
    37. Earmuffs
    38. Hatband
    39. Pocket protector
    40. Hobo pack
    41. Apron
    42. Shine shoes
    43. A patch
    44. Tuck in chest pocket of tux for a rustic look
    45. To lead a line dance
    46. Blindfold for Pin the Tail on the Donkey
    47. Tie skis together to carry
    48. Kite tail
    49. A flag for capture the flag
    50. Slingshot
    51. A net to gather minnows for bait
    52. Mark home base line
    53. Relay baton
    54. To wipe sweaty hands when the chalk bag is empty
    55. Parachute for Barbie or Ken
    56. Plug sink drain
    57. Bib or lap napkin
    58. Placemat or tablecloth
    59. Open a stuck jar
    60. Cover exposed food
    61. Coffee filter or tea strainer
    62. Salad spinner
    63. Potholder
    64. Scrub dishes
    65. Moisten and wrap biscuits, pancakes to keep from going stale
    66. Polish fruit
    67. Blow your nose
    68. Muffle a sneeze or cover a cough
    69. Clean eyeglasses
    70. Bookmark
    71. Cover a book
    72. Wrap a gift
    73. Give as a gift
    74. Dog collar
    75. Muzzle a dog
    76. Fill with catnip
    77. Cat cape
    78. Disguise your voice on the phone
    79. Doll blanket
    80. Make into a doll
    81. Fly swatter
    82. Garden hose repair
    83. To handle a hot radiator cap or check the oil
    84. Replacement gas cap
    85. Car window shade
    86. Decorate the Christmas tree
    87. Stuff to make a pillow
    88. Polish the car
    89. Blanket for the Chihuahua
    90. As a sling for an injured arm
    91. Wrap a sprained ankle or wrist
    92. To secure a splint on a broken arm or leg
    93. Warning flag
    94. Surrender flag (make sure it’s white)
    95. Emergency diaper
    96. Wrap around snow or ice for an ice pack
    97. As a strangle to capture the “bad guys”
    98. As handcuffs to tie up the “bad guys”
     
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  33. 2stoves

    2stoves Scout Bushclass I

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    I have and carry both a buff, normally either around my head or my neck, and shemagh which is either around my head/neck or around my waist as a carry all. My buff material will depend on the weather. Smart wool in cold weather and stretchy poly material in the summer.

    Below are a few uses for the shemagh.

    Shemagh Uses
    • Dust Protection. Cover your face on motorcycles, trucks, and chicken buses.
    • Sun Protection. Great for when you’re stranded in mid-day heat without shade.
    • Towel. Small, lightweight, fast drying, but thick enough get the job done.
    • Ground Cloth. Keep your butt clean & dry when sitting on the ground.
    • Warmth. Wrap it around your neck as a scarf to keep warm.
    • Bag. Put stuff in middle, tie corners together. Instant hobo sack.
    • Sarong. Wrap around your waist for modesty. Shorter than a normal one.
    • Sweat Rag. Great for hiking, running, or other sweat-inducing activities.
    • Arm Sling. Sprain a wrist or break an arm? Temporary immobilization.
    • Emergency Bandage. Help stop bleeding & protect the wound.
    • Pillow. Thick & soft enough to ball up & use for bus rides/camping trips.
    • Weapon. Twist big rock up in the middle. Swing away. Instant self-defense tool!
    • Concealment. Often used to hide my items in questionable neighborhoods.
    • Rope. Long enough to be rolled up to tie things together.
    • Water Filter. Fold multiple times & filter debris out of water before boiling.
    • Pot Holder. Take that boiling water you just filtered off the fire.
    • Keeping Cool. Soak in cold water and wrap around your neck.
    • Signal Flag. Large enough to wave and get someone’s attention.
    • Blanket. Decent for covering your upper or lower body.
    • Eye Mask. Sleep during the day or in a hostel when lights are on.
     
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  34. whipcracker

    whipcracker Tracker

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    Cowboys know what's good and BP learned from Maj. Burnham well.
     
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  35. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Guide Bushclass I

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    Thin poly buff in summer(mostly used as head sweat band), fleece buff( worn neck gaiter style) in winter, small personal size pack towel in pocket all year. Merino skull cap in winter and in pack all year long. Outdoor Research "billed cap" all year.
     
  36. SoreFeet

    SoreFeet Scout

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    I looked at those hobo hanky's website. I ordered two of their "big ass bandanas. They're nice! And you have to grin at the name! :)

    20170427_155327.jpg

    http://hobohanky.com/buy.html?m
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  37. Keithturkjr

    Keithturkjr Tracker

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    Its usually not too terribly cold when I go out in the woods. It typically stays above 20 F. So I don't really consider myself an authority on cold weather stuff.

    I have noticed when its cold though that some of the lighter weight stuff isn't as warm. Like a little fleece beanie just doesn't have as much coverage (ears, neck) as a full blown watch cap. By the time I'm willing to put a beanie on top of my ball cap those little fleece things are out of their depth lol.

    I rarely need a scarf here in the south, but I know that a full size scarf has a certain bulk to it, and that bulk can stuff in around the collar of a jacket and keep the heat from escaping out the top of the parka thus making the parka warmer than it would be on its own.

    Dressing for the cold is kind of a personal thing. You've gotta do what you want to be happy with what you did lol.

    As far as bandanas go, I've been around them a lot. I've tried wearing them, and the square ones are usually too small. The military triangular bandage fits heads a lot better. But it doesn't keep sunlight from getting behind my glasses, so I stick with my ball cap.

    The marvelous bandana has a million and one uses and all of the uses I know of make it a nasty stinky stanky thing, so gross lol.

    One of its best and most important uses is in 1st aid. You can take any kind of bandana and wad it up into a ball, place that ball directly onto a wound then tightly tie a triangular bandage around it. Its a incredibly effective "compress" bandage and can stop some pretty extreme bleeding. But it needs to be kinda clean.

    So I use a small camp towel about the size of a bandanna for most those standard dirty bandanna sort of things, and my military triangular bandage stays clean in a ziploc bag with the rest of my 1st aid kit.

     
  38. lodge camper

    lodge camper Scout

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    i do the 'mandana'(popularized by will season two bigbrother, lol) which is just a short sleeve cut off of a white t-shirt. fits my big head, comfy, and i have like 50 of them and i just switch if too sweaty
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  39. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Scout

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    Neck Gaiter
     
  40. backwater-otter

    backwater-otter Tracker

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    I like both. Buff is good for out on the water when I'm fishing/kayaking because it's better for sun and getting wet. I try not to wreck my buffs or get them crazy dirty. Bandanas on the other hand are more multipurpose. No qualms with using them as bandages, hot pads, grease rags, towel, etc. I carry a bandana in my back left pocket everyday. Shemaghs are nice too, I keep one in my bag.
     
  41. Robert Highhawk

    Robert Highhawk Tracker

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    I use silk wild rags year around. Warm in cold weather and cooling in hot. Lots of ways to tie them. Try them, can't go wrong.
     
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  42. Butler Ford

    Butler Ford Supporter Supporter

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    I sew up my own bandanas, preference being linen. I hate buffs, feels like being buried alive.

    BF
     
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  43. hooliganwithheart

    hooliganwithheart Tracker

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    Merino Wool Buff for last 2-3 yrs, not enough holes in it to be replaced just yet. And always have a bandana or two with me.
     
  44. sdjsdj

    sdjsdj Guide Bushclass I

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    Been using a Halo brand "doorag" for cycling. Expensive, $25, and worth every penny.
     
  45. motman241

    motman241 Scout

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    Wait for a JoAnn Fabrics or Hobby Lobby coupon (40% or 50% off), buy a yard of fabric, cut to size/shape, and stitch the edges.
     
  46. TRYKER

    TRYKER Scout

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    DON'T WANTA SEE YA IN DA BUFF !!!
     
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  47. Woods Walker

    Woods Walker Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    EMS makes one and it is a bit larger than most unless they have change anything. Ok quality for under 4 bucks. Used one for a few years now.

    http://www.ems.com/ems-traditional-print-bandanna/18151500023.html?emssrcid=PPC:gooPLAs:149576155965custom3normal&brand&product_id=18151500023&adpos=1o1&creative=79867067325&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=Cj0KCQjws-LKBRDCARIsAAOTNd64qnsXdVxQNPdsZOw0zRNaJYjYGu6YW4oPz5hBmH1CnKyQe3zVVugaAlLOEALw_wcB

    I also have one of those buff things (if we are talking about the same item). It's like a big sock with the toe end cut off. Works multiple ways. A bandanna always looks cool but a buff can look crazier. Crazier is kinda fun.

    [​IMG]
     
    SoreFeet likes this.
  48. tabasco_joe

    tabasco_joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Being more conscious of skin cancer I lean toward a buff. Most bandannas do not block significant UV.
     
  49. CheapskateLurch

    CheapskateLurch Tracker

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    I like my buff, not as versatile but way easier and lighter, which is what you need for the big miles.
     
  50. Timex

    Timex Scout

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    I have a forest green merino wool BUFF for cold weather. I use it along with a good wool hat or my Outdoor Research winter hat. It seals off the neck/throat area from cold wind. Can be used as a watch cap for sleeping. Lighter than a wool scarf.
     

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