10 Ways to Use a Shemagh Tactical Scarf

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The Shemagh (pronounced Shmog) has been used for years by people in the Middle East who wrap it around their head and neck as protection from both sun and sand. U.S. soldiers also use it extensively when in that region or in other hot, arid places. 10+ ways to use a shemagh scarf! Inexpensive, comes in different colors, useful year-round! | via www.TheSurvivalMom.comWhile it is extremely useful for those purposes, it can be used in numerous other ways as well. Here’s how to use a shemagh tactical scarf in 10 different ways.

The Shemagh (pronounced Shmog) has been used for years by people in the Middle East who wrap it around their head and neck as protection from both sun and sand. Click To Tweet

As a cool down

Instead of just using it to prevent sunburn, wet it before tying it around your head and it will actually make you feel cooler.

As a warm layer

Wear a shemagh scarf under a hat or hood for extra warmth in cold weather.

As dust protection

Even if you don’t live in a very sandy or dust storm prone region, it makes great protection from sawdust, grass clippings, or other flying particles.

As a bag

Tie the corners and carry anything in the middle.

As a pillow

Wad it into a ball or even stuff it with leaves or grass. It makes a good substitute pillow whether you’re in a survival situation or a long car or bus ride.

As a sling

While it may not be best for long term use in this capacity, a shemagh scarf great for an injury acquired while camping or hiking.

As a bandage

Again, use it for simple first aid while out in nature or otherwise distant from civilization.

As a towel

It’s large enough to easily fill in for a towel or even a small blanket in a survival situation.

As a water filter

While any water filtered through a scarf should still be boiled if possible, it’s good for filtering both small and large particles

As a fashion accessory

Wear it around your neck without covering your head. It is, after all, a scarf, and it comes in several different fashion friendly colors!

BONUS uses for a shemagh scarf!

Use it as an emergency changing pad.

Use it to cover park benches or other dirty seating areas.

Tie it around the handle of your stroller to help you identify it in stroller parking areas.[aweber-form]

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I'm the original Survival Mom and for more than 11 years, I've been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more with my commonsense prepping advice.

23 thoughts on “10 Ways to Use a Shemagh Tactical Scarf”

  1. I’ve always kept an oversized bandana/shawl or two tied to the straps of my 72 hour bag. Something larger in this shape looks even better. But I would caution about cotton in cold climates. Cotton traps moisture and holds it against the body. That’s no problem in heat but it can lead to hypothermia in very serious cold and also exacerbates chafing and other rashes and can interfere with wound healing. Th e hypothermia is the real problem, though. I know someone from Alaska who’s always reminding us that, in winter anyway, “cotton kills”.
    I’m sure somebody makes these in lightweight wool, linen, microfiber, or my new favorite fabric…bamboo rayon. If you’ve never experienced bamboo fabric, go to J Jill and get some socks or real clothes @ Soma. Wow.

  2. I picked up a Shemagh at our local military outlet store. It comes in handy when working around on the property or garden. I keep it wrapped around my head and neck to keep the sun off. It also makes for a great scarf around your neck in the winter. My husband always uses his, former military.

  3. My son who has been deployed twice to Afghanistan brought me a Shemagh. I use mine when I fly. It fits in my laptop bag. I can use it as a neck pillow or as a lumbar support or if it gets chilly on the plane I wear it as a scarf. I don;t usually wrap it around my head on planes because it freaks everyone out.

  4. I used it as a temporary sling for my baby when my arms get tired. It is not comfortable for extended use but very handy for those times when my arms just can’t hold her up anymore.

  5. I gave one each to my husband and son for Christmas. We fell in love with them. I ended up buying 5 more for other family members. It’s really kept me warm during these extreme cold spell here in the south!

  6. I wonder if it is a good idea to look like someone from the middle east in a shtf situation.

    I remember in the post 911 hysteria, some “good americans” killed a cab driver simply because he looked arabic and they wanted revenge.

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  10. I keep one on me all the time these days. Recently at a long-term hospital waiting room thing, my fiance was able to use my shemagh (rolled up) as a pillow, and once in a theater it became a very light blanket to ward off a chill.

  11. When on extended camping trips, I’ve folded my shemagh diagnally (triangle) and then tied it as a loin cloth (big diaper..lol) and wore it that way,while I washed my clothes and then hung them in the sun to dry. My buddy thought it was funny,said he had never seen them used that way before.

  12. I carry a large piece of blaze orange cloth from a re-purposed T-shirt in my daypack. A couple weeks ago, I cut streamers off it to mark a trail for some scouts who were following behind. There are so many uses for a shemagh – everyone should carry one.

  13. Well hey Twin Sister! I’ve sisters, but no twins. You are my first! I really enjoyed you posts, and pins. My husband and I are prepared for tuff times as well. You tips and ideas are terrific! I’ve never seen them from a woman’s point if view. I just thought “what would my contribution be in thus situation” then kicked in to overdrive. Learned new tasks, hone bread baking, quilting, cooking in Sun ovens, etc. I’ve needed a mentor, but had no idea how to find one. Stay in touch! Glad to have you as my twin!

  14. I’m wondering how thick these are, as a rule. We live in West TX and I’m wanting to buy something for my husband to wear outside around his neck in the heat. It gets well over 100 degrees here. I don’t want to purchase anything to cause him to be hotter.

  15. I have been taking a ‘sarong’ — similar to pareo — with me on my (mountain) walks for decades. A friend brought me two from Indonesia. I think they are made of viscose mixed with cotton. I have mostly used it to sit on or to wrap around me for a bit of extra warmth, but it could also have been used for the things mentioned in this article as well as a sling to carry my small dog should he be injured.

    I guess the advantage of a nicely coloured sarong or pareo over a (tactical) shemagh is the way people will perceive you when you wear it.

  16. So you are aware there is an americanized version of the shemagh avaialoble from a company called hobo hanky. They carry solid colors and even a version like a giant bandana. Their web site has lots of ways to use it and includes historical info on kerchiefs, which are what our ancestors carried! Apparently a large square of cloth was useful in all cultures, not just arabs. Think of the kerchiefs cowboys wore around their necks. http://www.hobohanky.com

    1. Thank you for sharing this! I saw your comment a few weeks ago and placed an order with Hobo Hanky. They are wonderful! The original is similar to a gauzy fashion scarf, but very strong. It is perfect as a head wrap or shawl. The deluxe has a tighter weave and feels a little more sturdy – great for camping trips. Every mom needs at least two of these for everyday use: shopping bags, aprons (turn up one corner for a pocket to collect eggs or hold a phone), picnic blankets, library bags, lightweight shawl, superhero cape, ninja mask, park bench cover, etc.

      Best of all, these kerchiefs are distinctly American looking and the owners have EXCELLENT customer service.

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  19. I took a trip to Europe this summer and my Shemagh kept me cool, and during sporadic rain kept my glasses clear. However, a member of the fashion police was along and even relatives feel I shouldn’t wear it because it makes me stand out. Is there a situation NOT to wear a Shemagh, and I’m talking common sense. No I wouldn’t wear one to a wedding or other formal affair. Anyone else?

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