Badges, Activities, & Beyond

35 Ways to Use Your Bandana!

Welcome, readers of Country Woman! We hope you enjoy these ideas for the versatile bandana – an outdoor essential. Girl Scouts has a long and storied history of getting every girl outdoors and fostering a lifelong appreciation of nature. To learn more about programming, camps, and other outdoor activities, visit

With all of the adventures girls go on, it is no wonder that the trusty bandana is a Girl Scout staple. Bandanas can be tracked all the way back to the late 17th century in South Asia and the Middle East. The word itself comes from the Hindi word, bandnu, which means “to tie.” Even the fashion industry utilizes this item throughout various fashion trends for style and to make a statement about important issues. This square piece of fabric is so fashionable and functional that we still use them today!

Here are 35 ways to use YOUR bandana:

  1. Handkerchief: Useful, and reusing is always in style.
  2. Blindfold: Let’s play a game, Baths and Moths, perhaps.
  3. Tourniquet: Being prepared for first aid when necessary is always in fashion.
  4. Dish Cloth: Think easy clean up after campfire cooking.
  5. Pot Holder: Didn’t pack a pot holder? No problem!
  6. Hair Cover: The bandana, the ultimate lightweight outdoor hat.
  7. Belt: Tie a few together for a colorful look or necessary accessory.
  8. Sit-Upon: A seat just for you, anywhere you go.
  9. Trail Marker: Pack a few on your hike and always find your way back.
  10. Sweatband: Perfect for the summer heat or a good workout.
  11. Carrying sack: Tie onto a stick for easy luggage on the go.
  12. Origami: Practice your skills. Try making a rose!
  13. Neckerchief: It’s a fun accessory or can protect your neck from dreaded sunburn.
  14. Bib: Protect your uniform from a messy lunch. Great for drool-y fur-babies too.
  15. Group Identification: Wear your colors with pride and stay organized at group events.
  16. Splint: Learn how to tie one and always be prepared for the unexpected.
  17. Games: Use as a prop for games like Capture the Flag.
  18. Collectibles: Collect all the paisley colors, then all the styles.
  19. Magic Tricks: Wow your friends with your magic skills.
  20. Dust Mask: Tie around your nose and mouth to avoid inhaling uncomfortable elements.
  21. Water Filter: Remove impurities while on the go (to make water safe to drink, take extra care first).
  22. Bookmark: Relax with your favorite book and always keep your place.
  23. Napkin: Handy and environmentally friendly. Take extra time to get fancy with it!
  24. Place Mat: In the spirit of formalizing your camp meal, add a place mat!
  25. Tie Things Together: No rope, no problem.
  26. Make a Doll: Never be without a friend. Here’s how!
  27. Pet Leash or Muzzle: Tie a few together, and help keep your favorite 4-legged friend safe, and yourself and others protected.
  28. Pet Accessory: Speaking of animals, let them get in on the fashion too. Doesn’t your dog look less aggressive in their neck wear? So dapper!
  29. Mini-Parachute: Let’s test some different items and send them flying!
  30. Hair Tie: Never be caught without a hair band ever again.
  31. Food Strainer: Drain the liquid out of various foods as you prepare a meal. Pshhh. Who says you can’t cook well outdoors?
  32. Gift Wrap: Especially after hearing about all the uses, everyone will want a bandana. Save on wrapping and give a bonus gift by wrapping with one!
  33. Ball: Instant game! Here’s how!
  34. Make a Purse: This one requires several bandanas and some cutting, but no sewing!
  35. Pillow: After all the bandana use, you are probably tired. Make a pillow to catch a nap with. Sweet dreams!

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