From the India scarf wrap, to the Hijab wrap, to the Rice Farmer’s wrap, the Shemagh is a tremendously versatile piece of kit.
The Shemagh (pronounced “shamay” or “schmog “) is a soft piece of woven cotton cloth, kind of like a giant heavyweight bandana. U.S. soldiers also use it extensively when in that region or in other hot, arid places. There are various ways to tie one of these handy dandy little things, and a simple search on YouTube will lead you in the right direction.
For those of you out there that think that wearing one of these makes you a terrorist sympathizer, just stop. You’re dumb. It’s a piece of clothing. That being said, there are MANY ways that this 3×3 piece of cloth can offer you everything from protection from the environment, use in First Aid to a survival tool.
1- It can be used as a tourniquet. If you don’t know how to use/tie a tourniquet I suggest you take a first aid course.
2- It can be used as a face shield to protect you from sand, high winds, cold etc…
3- It can be used as a filter to help protect you from things like smoke and tear gas. It’s not full proof, but better than no protection at all.
4- Can be used as a rag. Do I really need to explain what a rag is?
5- Last resort bandage. You’re all out of pressure bandages, or you don’t have bandages and need to stop bleeding. Fold and apply direct pressure.
6- Makeshift rope. I wouldn’t rely on this to support too much weight, but in a pinch you should be able to utilize the shemagh as a make do rope. Good for quick egress etc…
7- Can be used as a sling for an injured arm or several could be used to apply a field splint.
8- The Shemagh could be used as a disguise. You’re in country and need to blend in with the natives, wrap it up and act naturally.
9- Some of the available colors and patterns out there can be used to aid in camouflage, breaking up the natural pattern of your silhouette.
10- Sun Protection. Great for when you’re stranded in mid-day heat without shade.
11- Towel. Small, lightweight, fast drying, but thick enough get the job done.
12- Belt, Do I have to explain this concept?
13- Pillow, do I really have to explain this one too?
14- Blindfold. You don’t want the enemy to see where you’re going once they’re taken prisoner. Cover their eyes with the shemagh.
15- Net. You can utilize the shemagh as a make shift net to catch fish in a pinch.
16- Signal Flag.
17- Trail Marker. You can rip it into shreds and use the pieces to mark your trail just in case.
18- Sling. Like David and Goliath, grab a smooth stone, spin it and chuck it. This is actually not as easy as it looks. Believe me, I tried. It takes practice.
19- Water Filer. Your Shemagh can be used as a water filter. Fold your Shemagh several times and pour water through, The Shemagh will help filter out any debris and turbidity which will leave a much cleaner liquid the other side which can then be boiled or drunk straight away if collected from a rain catcher like a tarp or water barrel.
20- Two shemagh’s can be tied together for a hasty rifle sling.
There are many applications for such a simple and inexpensive piece of equipment. Plus, you can look “Tacti-Cool”!
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