A shemagh is a large square of cloth made from loosely woven cotton. It originated in the middle east, but has gained worldwide popularity, both among the fashionable and the practical. I tend towards the latter, and treasure my shemagh as one of my most useful woodland multi-tools. I often also pack a small bottle of Dr. Bronner’s or similar liquid soap, to wash the shemagh as needed. Following is an illustrated list of some of the many uses for this simple and inexpensive piece of gear.
Furoshiki is a Japanese art of wrapping various objects in cloth for carry, using a wide range in cloth sizes. Google yields lots of different methods. Below are nine.
Phew. That’s more uses than my Leatherman. You can pick up decent ones on Amazon for less than $20, which is cheap enough that I don’t feel terrible if I happen to ruin one. Though, one thing I don’t use my shemagh for that I see folks mention a lot, is as toilet paper. I use it for so many other things, that…no. No thanks. I’ve never had that much trouble finding something else, and Dr. Bronner’s only fixes so much.
Special thanks to Megan and Theo Normansell for her contributions to this article.