Finding multiple uses for a single item is a key tenet of preparing for an emergency. Sure, you can use a knife to cut things—but if you're creative, you'll also use it to spear fish, strike a ferro rod, clean game, and even carve other tools. If you can re-purpose an existing item in your bug-out bag, you'll be able to lighten your pack and travel faster.

Survival bandana 3

A brightly-colored bandana could be useful for signaling for help or marking paths.

One such item that can be re-used in a variety of ways is a bandana. No, not the tasty yellow fruit with a similar name, we're talking about the square cotton rag that's also called a bandanna (with two Ns) or kerchief. There's probably already one of these in your pack, but if there isn't, you might consider adding one.

The following video from SensiblePrepper on YouTube shows 40 different uses for bandanas:

We especially liked the survival ascot, in case you want to look like European nobility (or like Fred from Scooby Doo).

Seriously though, the video makes some good points. A 100% cotton bandana can be extremely useful, especially if you buy one with useful information printed on it. You can buy bandanas with some of the following information:

An example of an instructional bandana designed for EMT use.

An example of an instructional bandana designed for use by paramedics.

Of course, we'd probably lean towards simply memorizing the information you need to survive, and sticking with an ordinary camouflage or solid-color bandana. However, we can see how the specialty pre-printed designs could come in handy.


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