50 Bandana Uses For Survival, Normal Stuff, and Otherwise Different…


The many bandana uses makes it a great preparedness item, right?

I keep an assortment of varying size bandanas with a variety of prints. My most common use during the summer is a forehead sweatband.

Here’s a list of the many uses for a bandana. I came up with 50 potential uses. Add your own in the comments below:

Bandana Uses

Forehead wrap to absorb sweat.

Head cover (shade from the sun).

Neck scarf / gaiter.

Nose & Mouth filter.

Camouflage your face.

Hide your identity.


Tie things together.

Towel (all purpose rag).

1st-stage water filter to strain out sediments.

Strainer (general purpose).

Hold small objects (hobo bag).

Marker or Flag.


Weapon (fill with rocks, tie into bundle, throw, sling, or wield).

Wound dressing for emergency.

Kindling fire-starter material, or to make ash cloth.

Grip (wrap for a more secure grip on things).

Pot holder (for a hot pan handle).

Dish rag.



Tourniquet (twist tight with a stick).

Pressure Bandage (apply pressure – stop bleeding)

Coffee filter.


Pillow (fill with leaves, etc. and tie closed).

Gag (to silence someone).


Eye cover (while napping).

Feminine hygiene.


Hair tie up (ponytail, etc..).

Shoulder pad (extra cushion under backpack straps, etc..).

Emergency flag for broken-down vehicle (tie to antenna, hang out window).


Tie-down (general purpose).

Toilet ‘paper’.

A sporty neck wrap for your dog…

A sling for a broken/injured arm.


Belt (may require several bandanas!).

Pocket pistol wrap (reduce ‘printing’).

Emergency socks.

Soak in cold water to cool down.

Wrap cell phone (protect screen from scratches in a bag / pocket).

Covid face diaper.

Clean your glasses.

Counter-pressure for headaches (tie tightly around forehead)

Bikini top.

>> Rothco, Large, 27” x 27”
(view on amzn)

>> Made in USA – Military Army Trainmen Paisley 22″ x 22″

Factoid: The popularity of the bandana and kerchief was at it highest point in the 1970s, 80s and 90s depending on one’s location.

What are some of your ideas for uses of a bandana?


  1. Could use the same color on the arm or neck or some other place to identify your ‘group’.

    1. Yes, like they did during the Spanish Civil War? Was almost the only uniform for the irregular troops.

  2. In addition to wrapping an item to prevent scratching, or imprint, it will also silence it if you need to be stealthy. Kneeling on them as knee pads. Draping them over a plate of food to keep flies away.

  3. -You listed bikini top; I’ve seen them worn as a bikini bottom, as well. (Two for the top, another two for the bottom.)

    – Papa S.

      1. Used for a bikini?

        Might be worth an online search…..

        Just curiosity….
        Of course

      2. NRP & Blue,
        The way I understood it, the top was optional anyway. Just depends on the young lady, I suppose. LOL

      1. The 80s were a bit foggy for me,,,
        cant remember a lot of it, i just remember something about commenting on a girl wearing a bandana bikini, then i remember waking up with her the next day at a friends pad,,,,

  4. Bandana and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice is supposed to deter tear gas effects.

    Don’t know, never had the excuse to try it. Just something I read awhile back.

    They also work well for pinata smashing.

    Once again,
    never tried.

    1. Ya mean I coulda used mine as a coffee filter??
      Now, ya tell me. Z
      That would have been handy this past weekend.
      I broke down and and made a store run for instant coffee.
      (I had to fill up the truck and get ice for the coolers, anyway)

  5. They make great mouth gags, for when you have family or politicians over but don’t want their BS spewing everywhere and staining the carpet.


  6. Dog leash, dog muzzle, horse blinders, horse hobbles, egg carrier, cat swaddle, goat rope, puppy tug toy, and fanny snapper.

  7. I was going to mention that the Crips wore blue bandanas while the Bloods wore red bandanas down in SoCal around South Central L.A. back in the 1980’s.

    The best practical use for the bandana I remember was its use as a filter to breath through in event of deploying your fire shelter and taking cover beneath it. I folded the bandana 2 times and poured water over it prior to covering my mouth and nose with the bandana. Doing the above steps prevented my upper airways from becoming scorched due to being in or around superheated air.

    This trick was taught to us prior to going on the fires by veterans that actually had to deploy their fire shelters. During those years, I had to deploy my “poptart outfit” 3 times. Not a good feeling to go on the ground breathing through a wet bandana.

  8. We were told a story in church of a fireman who wore a red bandana over his nose during 911 and he brought many people out of the buildings before dying in one of them. She passed out bandanas to everyone in honor of him. I have kept it in my purse since then and used it many times in an emergency.

  9. Consult your Boy Scout Handbook for more uses, such as making a sprained ankle bandage from one. Besides, the handbook is a good, illustrated, text on outdoor skills and first aid.

  10. Makes a passable improvised shepherds sling. Not so much accuracy, but I won a lot of one dollar bets that I could throw a rock farther than some jock. Accuracy’s probably going to improve with practice.

  11. How about as a slingshot when dealing with giants. Also could be used to wave and signal surrender. Or as a decorative wristband accoutrement.

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