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[CDT-L] 44 Bandanna Uses for a Homeless Wanderer

Greetings from Western Montana College, Dillon, Montana, where I am now on 
the way back to Rawlins WY to complete the Colorado gap of my thru-CDT hike 
99.  I reached the Canadian border on August 02 at Chief Mountain Port of 
Entry in Glacier National Park.

While hiking up the Scapegoat Wilderness recently, approaching one evening 
Wisdom Pass, I came upon the camp of CDT southbounders Bill Gurwell 
(bgurwell@webbworks.com) and William Emerson (wemerson@hotmail.com).  We met 
and talked into the night as the biting horsefilies retired into cold 
darkness and the moon shone brightly.  In the chilly morning before parting, 
we shared some hot coffee prepared on a wood-burning stove (No-cup Emerson 
drank his from a plastic bag), snapped some photos and compared the weights 
of our packs.  Mine weighted the most: 20 pounds plus food and water.  
Gurwell's weighted less: 15 pounds, although for the moment, at least, 
missing a stove.  Emerson's weighed only 10 featherweight pounds.  With 
solemn conviction Emerson intoned "ounces become pounds, grams become 
kilograms."  He shook his head dubiously on learning that my pack contained 
no less than six (6) variously colored bandannas to his one (1) white 

Most experienced long distance hikers accept the spartan regimen of 
traveling light for the duration of their trip.  The pack load of a homeless 
wanderer, however, must serve yearlong beyond a single hiking season.  
Except for a possible blanket cache hidden in the desert, both winter and 
summer gear may be carried at all times.  Therefore a summer pack may 
contain a few surprising extras such as an unbreakable one-inch wood chisel 
digging tool, a pocket diamond matrix whetstone, barber's scissors, candy 
gifts for children or Tarahumara Indians, wool socks and wool mittens, a 
down jacket and six bandannas.

Bandannas are used for different purposes and some of them alternately, as 
much for variety and souvenir memories as for the daily laundry routine, 
drying on the back of the pack.  The four main functions detailed below are 
kept separate.

Mudder Rag:
01. Wash/dry feet after fording a creek
02. Clean muddy shoes
03. Wipe mud/rain off ground cloth
04. Wipe up spills of all kinds
05. Plug sink drain

Hip Pocket Handkerchief (100% cotton):
06. Shade head/eyes/neck from burning sun
07. Muff ears from freezing sleet
08. Forehead sweatband hiking up a hill
09. Clean/dry eyeglasses
10. Wipe a tear
11. Blow a nose
12. Muffle a sneeze
13. Cover a cough
14. Cover face to take a forest nap after lunch
15. Neckerchief to dress up going to town
16. Washcloth
17. Towel
18. Pad shoulders carrying a load
19. Pad elbow resting on the ground while eating Roman style
20. All-terrain sitting cloth
21. Pillow stuffer
22. Filter dust/smoke/bright lights
23. Filter water coarsely
24. Apply hot/cold/medicinal compresses
25. Bandage/sling/tournequet
26. Suppress rattling of jumbled items
27. Collect loose items such as spare change, butterfly cocoons, cotton 
balls, cafe salt/pepper, laundromat detergent
28. Forget-me-not reminder for clothes drying on a bush
29. Flag a passing motorist
30. Distract a charging wild animal
31. Whisk pestering insects
32. Coax a spider out of a corner
33. Capture a caterpillar or an assassin bug for non-violent removal 
34. Bind a stone to toss a line over a tree limb (killick bend works as 
well, if you know knots: a timber hitch with an under turn up into the V)

Dinner Napkin:
35. Thermal insulator for hot handles/bowls
36. Bib/lap napkin
37. Wash/dry inside of pot/bowl/spoon
38. Tablecloth
39. Cover exposed food
40. Conceal indigestible fruit pits
41. Carry out/store leftovers
42. Open a stuck jar

Meditation Cloth:
43. Cover bare feet in half-lotus position

44. Give them away or wear them out

With good wishes for all.  Willis Whoa

The Four Noble Truths:
1) Life=Woe 2) Fault=Ego/Desire 3) End=Bliss 4) Path=Whoa
"Whoa dispels Woe"  http://profiles.yahoo.com/williswhoa

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To:            "cdt-l@backcountry.net" <cdt-l@backcountry.net>