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Bandana

Something simple like a bandana can be used as a sling, an air or water filter, and even a life-saving tourniquet.

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A fashion statement to some, a bright neon bandana can come in handy in a wide variety of ways if you find yourself lost in the woods. According to Cody Lundin's book on survival, "98.6 Degrees," a bandana has some fairly obvious uses in survival situations, including as a signal to catch the attention of possible helpers, as a sling or as a hat to protect against the sun. Lundin points out that a bandana is helpful in both hot and cold conditions: Used to cover the neck, a bandana will hold heat in if there is a chill and reduce heat gain when it's hot.

What makes a bandana such a wise item to carry around at all times is the fact that its uses go well beyond the obvious. It can also be utilized as a filter to aid breathing in dusty or cold conditions, as a tool for straining water and a tourniquet for bandaging a wound [source: Lundin]. Perhaps best of all, this versatile item is cheap, light and easy to carry. And it looks good.

Click ahead to discover why being tidy is always a good idea.

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