Geocaching Bandanas, Uses and Tips


We’ve already gone over what we keep in our geocaching kit or backpack. Some thing else I never geocache without? A bandana! Some people think they may make you look like a “hippy” or a “gangster”, but for me they just make someone look like a serious geocacher!

A bandana is useful tool for any geocacher, and not just a fashion statement. Here are some of my favorite uses:

1. Sweatband – This is the use that most people, including us, use a bandana for. Fold the bandana corner to corner and tie to the back of your head. This will keep the sweat out of your eyes so you can focus on what’s important; your geocaching.

2. Sun Protection – Worried about getting sunburnt on the top of your head or around your neck and you don’t have any sunblock? You can fit a bandana over the area needing protecting to help prevent against burning.

3. “Air Conditioning” – Is it hot out? Use the same process as creating a sweatband, or a full head covering, but dose the band in water first. As the water evaporates from the bandana it will cool your head, which will keep you cooler in the process!

4. Warmth – Getting a little chilly outside? You can use a bandana as extra insulation for protection against the cold!

5. Gear Wrap – Have a fragile piece of equipment like a cellphone or GPS that you’re worried might get broken in your backpack? You can wrap it in a bandana for extra padding and protection.

6. Suppress a rattle – I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate repeating noises; so rattles or creeks from my backpack while I’m geocaching can drive me nuts. You can use a bandana to stuff into spaces to stop things from rubbing, scrapping or just making a racket in general.

7. Edibles Wrap – Find some berries or a wild mushroom (BE CAREFUL, not all mushrooms are edible) that you want to save for a later snack or meal? You can wrap them up in a bandana for easy carrying.

8. Signal – If you ever have the unfortunate event of getting lost while geocaching, you can use a bandana as a signal to would-be rescuers so that you are easier to find.

9. Trail Marking – Worried you might not be able to make it home because of a split in a trail that you might not remember? You can tie your bandana around a tree to mark your way. Conversely you can cut the bandana into strips and tie multiple markers along your path.

10. Fire Starting – Need to start a fire but are lacking of dry kindling or paper? Bandanas are made of cotton and can be cut into strips to set under your fire material for easy lighting.

11. Eye Patch – Your eyes are important! If you end up getting a stick in the eye or other damage to your eyes, it’s important to protect against infection. You can create a makeshift eye patch with a bandana until you can find an eye doctor.

12. Arm Sling – If you break or sprain an arm, you need to immobilize the limb to protect against further damage and for the comfort of person who’s been injured.

13. Dust Mask – In a dusty area, or did your geocaching buddy have to many refried beans for lunch? You can fold the bandana into quadrants and breath through the rag. It won’t stop anthrax, but it should help in a pinch.

14. Bandage – Has someone sustained a laceration? It’s important to stop the flow of blood and to keep the area clean. You can use the bandana to apply pressure and to wrap the wound until you can find a better source of first aid.

15. Ice Pack – If you’re geocaching during the winter and get hurt, you have a natural ice pack around you; all the snow! But applying snow directly to an area of the skin can cause frostbite quickly. Wrap the snow into a bandana and hold it against the affected area instead.

16. Tourniquet – Tourniquets should only be used as a means of last resort. They cut off critical blood flow to areas and can cause serious damage in and of themselves. That said, they can also be extremely useful if you have a wound where it will not stop bleeding and there is a risk of bleeding to death.

17. Miscellaneous – Have a strap on your pack that broke and need a short term fix? You can use a bandana to tie things together.

18. Washcloth / Towel – Need to clean your hands in the field, or dry your feet after stepping into a stream? Boom; a bandana is your answer.

19. Water Filter – It won’t remove microbes or small things in the water, but as a basic filter, you can use a bandana like you would a paper coffee filter to keep the big things out of your drinking water.

20. Napkin – Eating your meal on the move? Wipe your face with your bandana (should still be clean).

21. Snot Rag – This is the other use that most people think of when they see bandanas; there are no Kleenexes in the woods.

22. Toilet paper – Likely to be the last use of your bandana…ever. But better than using that leaf that may or may not be poison ivy!

23. Fly Swatter – Blackflies and mosquitos bothering you while you’re in the woods? Wave your bandana to keep them off your face.

24. Dog collar – Geocaching with your four-legged friend? Need to be able to see them easy in the woods or want to make sure they are protected during hunting season? A brightly colored bandana tied around the dogs neck will do the trick!

25. Hand protector – Need to grab something hot, or something with thorns? You can fold the bandana into quadrants and use it to protect your hands against the known issue.

Looking to buy a bandana(s)?

  1. Darcey

    I never knew there were so many uses for bandanans! Way to you! Sounded like Bubba Gump and all the things you can make with shrip…love it!

  2. mrspumpkin
    mrspumpkin11-26-2012’ve really got me convinced to put one in my geo bag. Many ideas I would never have thought of.

  3. Robyn Broyles
    Robyn Broyles11-30-2012

    I also always bring at least one, sometimes several bandanas! In my book (under the link) I have a diagram of how to make a little bag out of a bandana with a few well-placed knots. It makes a great simple swag-bag. I also use them to wrap up my long hair, which otherwise is always getting tangled in tree branches. You can get bandanas for a buck apiece at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, and probably other stores too.

  4. Jody Heneveld
    Jody Heneveld12-04-2012

    We are new to Geocaching but see it is such a great new sport. We have added an entire sports portal to it at We are still under construction but please take a look and see what might be helpful to add. We would love to get your blogs out to a bigger audience, as they are wonderful. Thanks, the UBsports Team – Questions shoot me an email

  5. For real
    For real03-13-2013

    Don’t use bandannas. They get torn down by people watching their neighborhood.

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