Bandana Survival Uses

Why Every Prepper Should Own A Bandana

The list of possible bandana survival uses is almost endless. Bandana’s make a great addition to anyone’s survival kit and every prepper should have one if not several.

Bandanas are inexpensive, lightweight and extremely multinational. If you’re not currently carrying one as part of your (EDC) Every day Carry survival kit then you should seriously consider doing so.

Bandanas weigh only a few grams, made of cloth and sized at about 22 inches square. If you carry one in your pocket you will hardly notice it. Whilst you may not notice you’re carrying one you will definitely appreciate it and its uses if you find yourself in a survival or emergency situation.

Some bandanas are manufactured and designed specifically for the emergency preparedness market. Such bandanas usually contain a number of survival and emergency tips printed onto the bandana itself. This is great because it’s there as an easy reference in an emergency situation.

A good example of a survival bandana is the one I own myself, the UST Survival Bandana

The key to effectively using a bandanna for survival and emergency preparedness is to know its uses, some of which you may want to practice others will come naturally.

Below I will go into more detail regarding specific bandana survival uses. I have broken them down into the different types of survival categories a bandana can be used for.

Survival Clothing

Head Cooling
By soaking the bandana in water and wearing it on your head to remain cool.

Sun Protection
Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by tying the bandana on to your head and leaving enough to hang down the back of your neck to protect it.

Head Cover
One of the most common day to day uses for a bandana to cover your entire head.

To keep the sweat out of your eyes.

Repairing Clothing
If you’re also carrying a survival sewing kit you can repair any torn clothing by using all or part of a bandana to patch them up.

Self Defense

Use at your own risk but in an extreme SHTF situation in a lawless society, you may have to resort to some or all of these methods.

Stop your enemies from using their hands.

Keep your enemies quiet.

If your prisoner escapes or you let them go you won’t want to let them see what you have or what you’re doing.

Molotov Cocktails, we have all seen them on the TV right? Whilst it may sound a bit extreme If you’re in a SHTF situation, a bandana can be used a wick for a Molotov cocktail.

Flail Weapon
Tie a rock onto one corner so you can then swing it around to do some serious damage.

Fold a bandana into a strip and then grab the two corners, place a stone in the center and then swing it around. You can then release one end of the bandana to send the stone flying towards your enemy. (this is one you may want to practice in an open field)


Use a bandana to make a sling for a broken arm or dislocated shoulder.

To stop the loss of blood from a severe wound. Tie the tourniquet around the injured arm or leg, several inches above the injury on the limb closer to the heart.  Use a common square knot to tie it tightly above the bleed.

Eye Patch
A skill that would have come in very useful for the Walking Dead’s Carl Grimes is to fold the bandana into a square shape to place over your eye. Then use the second bandana to tie around your head securing the eye patch in place.

Cold Compress
Soak a bandana in cold water and use as a cold compress for headaches or injuries like sprained wrists and ankles.

Splint Binding
Using a piece of wood or branch or any other suitable material for a splint you can use a bandana to secure the splint to the broken limb and keep it straight.

Bandanas can be used as bandages either as a whole or by tearing into appropriately sized strips.

Personal Hygiene

Wash Cloth
Use to clean those hard to reach areas 🙂

Dry your self off and then hang the bandana out to dry to reuse.

Toilet Paper
No description needed here, I hope 🙂

Nappy or Diaper
After using up all the disposable’s in your possession fold a bandana into a triangle and use as a nappy or diaper.

Note* It would be a good idea to have more than just the one bandana in order to carry out all of the above personal hygiene tasks.


Make a Fire
You can use a bandana as tinder to start an emergency fire.

Food & Water

Collecting Wild Edibles
Gather nuts, berries and other wild edibles in a bandana for easier carrying.

Water Filtration
Use a bandanna for very basic water filtration to remove larger particles, ideally, you would then boil the water to remove the majority of the remaining contaminants. Or like me carry with your water purification tablets to do the job.

Coffee or Tea Filter
A bandana can be used as a tea bag or coffee filter.

Other Bandana Survival Uses

Dust / Face Mask
After wetting it slightly tie the bandana around your face cowboy style and it will act as a dust mask or protect you from smoke inhalation and other nasties that you want to reduce the effects of breathing in.

Gear Carry
A bandana can be used to carry loose items or be made into a waist bag or pouch.

Using a brightly colored bandana on the end of a stick or branch to use as a signaling flag or a point of reference to return to.

Trail marking
Tear a bandana into small strips or pieces and use to mark your trail so you don’t get lost going round in circles like they did in the “Blair Witch” movies.

Tear a bandana into long strips and then twist or tie the strips together to make cordage/rope.

Bandana Survival Uses Summary

Whilst this may not be an exhaustive list of bandana survival uses I hope it demonstrates what a great bit of kit it really is. If you have any great uses I have missed your welcome add your ideas in the comments section below.

Recommended Reading

UST Survival Bandana Review

Research Credits

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