IF YOU HAVE NEVER USED A WILD RAG WHILE RIDING OR WORKING OUTSIDE, WELL, YOU JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE MISSING.
I don’t of know of anything else that has more practical uses then turns into your best fashion statement for a night on the town! I won’t leave the house when I’m with the horses or working outside without my silk rag. In the summer it keeps the sweat out of my eyes all day and in the high desert winters my neck is free from chill. Wet it and wrap it around your neck to keep cool while working. If your rigging breaks when you are out on trail a wild rag will hold your saddle on with no problem. It also makes a great tourniquet for man or beast. Silk is strong, absorbent, dries quickly and i find new uses for mine everyday . No authentic cowboy works without one!
Following is a great article from Frontier Legends Entertainment ~ because i could not have said it better!
The Essential Cowboy – The Wild Rag
If you have ever watched a western, you know that every good bandit covered their face with a bandana It goes by many names, “wild rag”, “bandana”, “kerchief”, “Mascada” and more. They were and still are one of the most valuable tools of an old-west cowboy.
Good wild rags are made of only one material … Silk. There’s a practical reason silk is preferred: it is the most absorbent of all natural fibers, giving it excellent wicking properties. It is also warmer than wool in the winter and softens with age.
Typically, wild rags are 36″ x 36″ or 44″ x 44″ square.
1. Tied around the neck. There are several ways to tie a bandana, so many in fact that I won’t go into them all here. I will tell you that a proper way to tie it around your neck is either with a slide (like jewelry that the rag ends slip into to hold the rag on) or a slip knot. Imagine you are riding your horse when you get hung up on a branch – you want that wild rag to slip off your neck and not hang you.
2. Breathing Apparatus. That “robber” look was actually a way that wild rags were worn. They keep your nose dust and snow free.
3. Keep your hat on. In the winter or high winds, the cowboy would tie the bandana over his hat and down across the ears to keep on his hat and keep his head warm and keep his hat from blowing away.
4. As a sling. Trail work is hard, and injuries happen. The “Rag” was a practical first aid kit, to create a sling or tie a splint.
5. Water collection. Drag your wild rag along the ground after morning dew and collect the moisture and wring it into your canteen.
6. Signal. A bright-colored wild rag could be used to signal others on where you are or mark a trail to get back.
7. Pot holder. Wrapped around a handle, it gave the cowboy a way to move a hot pan off the fire.
Of all of my gear, my Bandana is the most important. Why? because a true silk “bandana” can also be used as an accessory to make your outfit look better, but you didn’t hear that from me.
I will add a couple more things …
8. Silk Wild Rags are an excellent tool for filtering water out on trail or wilderness camping!
9. The lighter weight silk often used in summer works great as a fly or dust mask for both horse and human.