BandanaBandanas are indespensible.

They’re a scarf, a hat, a personal cooling device, a neck protector in hot sun. They’re a washcloth, a towel, a cleaning rag. You can wear one by itself, or under another hat.

I used to think they were not cool. Something only a hick farmer would wear. (No farmers aren’t hicks, or not cool, either. That’s just the stereotype.) So I never had any.

But this year our robotics team used them as a fashion accessory to help make our team stand out and issued us each two, one red one and one blue one, to be used to show which alliance our team was currently on. If that doesn’t mean a thing to you, that’s okay, just know that I ended up with two of them after the competitions were over.

I started carrying one with me on my bike this summer. I perspire a lot and it’s been a hot, muggy summer so far. Having it handy to wipe the sweat out of my eyes has been indispensable. Recently, on a ride, my bandana got so soaked with sweat that I decided to rinse it out in the restroom at a park we stopped in. Not only did it feel great to wipe my face with the cool cloth, when I was done and had rinsed it again, I put it around my neck. Instant air-conditioning! The more I rode, the more it cooled me!

I’ve tried sweat bands before, but they are only so effective. Once they get soaked, rinsing them leaves them yukky and they loose their elasticity. Don’t rinse them out and after a while they are disgusting. Bandanas are much better than a terry sweat band. And you don’t need to buy wrist bands either. Just wrap a bandana twice around your arm and tie. Voi-la!

They’ve been so handy, I think I’ll pick up some more. I just hope someone doesn’t think I’m in a gang or something. What color should I get so that no one thinks I’m a Crip or a Blood?