The Shemagh or pronounced “Schmog” is a soft woven cotton scarf that has been around for many years and primarily used by cultures in the Middle East with the intent to use for sun, sand, and dust. The U.S. soldiers have also adapted to using the Shemagh while stationed abroad for proper protection in hot, aid temperatures as well as camouflage. It is another great add-on to your hunting and tactical gear as the Shemagh offers quality protection from extreme weather exposure while staying functional to work for your needs. Whether you work outdoors, hunt, or a tactical survivalist, the Shemagh will work for you with multiple users during all kinds of weather.
Here is a list of the Best Shemaghs
As many already know, the Shemagh is a traditional Middle Eastern headdress that has been used for countries to protect users from blowing sand or dust and to keep the sun off the face, neck, and head as well as warmth during the cold nights in the desert.
What is it used for?
- Sun Protection
Wear a Shemagh scarf to prevent your skin against sun burns, especially during extreme exposure to the sun. This will also help to reduce dehydration as this piece of cloth will allow your body to retain moisture as the skin is covered meaning your sweat will not evaporate from the heat.
- Cool Down Layer
Another addition way to protect your skin from sunburn is to wet the Shemagh before tying it around your head and neck as this will make your head feel cooler.
- Warm Layer
During extreme cold weather, wear a Shemagh scarf under a hooded jacket or hat to add on to extra warmth. When tied properly it will help you maintain the warmth needed when temperatures drop.
- Dust Protection
This will come in handy especially if you live in a dust storm prone or sandy region, as the Shemagh offers ultimate protection again grass clippings, saw dust and other flying particles as well.
During times you fall short of a needed pillow, you can wad the Shemagh into a ball or stuff it with grass leaves. This will also be helpful during a survival situation or even a long trip.
The Shemagh is useful as an emergency or extra bag and you can carry anything especially essential tools, food, and supplies by simply tying the corners and carry the items around the middle.
Although it is not recommended for long term use a Shemagh scarf is great for temporarily caring for an injury such as a broken arm while hiking or camping.
In survival situation, the Shemagh scarf is large enough to use as a towel or a solo blanket during a survival situation.
- Water Filter
During an emergency or survival situation, the Shemagh is usually made from 100% cotton and can be used as a water filter for both tiny and large particles. Though it should still be boiled before consuming!
If you’re out in nature or do not have instant access to proper bandages, this simple first aid bandage is great in helping keep wounds clean to prevent any infections.
- Fashion Accessory
As of late, the Shemagh has been in style as plenty of hipsters are wearing it. You can simply wear one around your neck without the need of covering your head.
The Shemagh scarf can also be used to cover dirty seating areas such as the park bench or if by some chance you need to sleep on the ground. It can also be used as a changing pad or to tie around your baggage to help you easily identify it. You can also use it as a kneepad to create padding to protect your knees.
How to wrap a shemagh
Along with the many other ways to tie a face mask, this is the basic standard of how to tie a Shemagh.
Step 1: Start with an open full square.
Step 2: Fold the Shemagh into half in a form of a triangle.
Step 3: Choose a point that is about 3 quarters along the folded edge and hold it onto your forehead as if you were to tie a bandanna.
Step 4: You will notice that one side will be longer than the other.
Step 5: Determine the shorter end and pull it towards your chin and up towards the back of your head.
Step 6: Take the long end and pull it across your face.
Step 7: Wrap it over your head towards the end at the opposite side.
Step 8: Meet the two ends together using two over handed knots.
Step 9: Lastly, adjust as necessary to meet your comfortability.
Here's a video on How to Tie a Shemagh
Shemagh VS Bandanna
While both basically provide the same uses in regards to protection as well as other multiple functions – choosing either or really depends on the user’s needs as well as where it will be used. If you plan on just needed a little protection while hiking in the woods or camping for the weekend, perhaps the bandanna will do its necessary job in protection. But if you need more adequate protection in the hot desert summer or for longer periods of protection – the Shemagh might be the better fit. Although the Shemagh does a better job for multipurpose use as it is rather thicker and larger at 42 inches than the standard bandanna at barely 36 as it can also be used for more things such as a pillow, bag, and even a bandage if needed.
Types of Shemagh
The Shemagh is traditionally worn by Arab men for practical reasons as the design is believed to originate from Mesopotamia. Now it has been adapted into more styles to suit the needs of the users wearing it.
- Arabian Style
The original Shemagh was purposed to be used as a head covering in Arab nations. It is meant to wrap around the neck and head as well as over the month and nose to prevent blowing sand. The Shemagh is traditionally folding into a large triangle that is placed over the forehead and wrapped around like a turban or draped down towards the back and shoulders.
- U.S. Army Style
The lightweight cotton Shemagh is used to prevent soldiers for risk of overheating in hot desert conditions while fighting in the Middle East. It is also called black army scarves to wear around the neck and prevent sunburn as well of blowing sand during sandstorms.
- Fashion Style
The Shemagh has made its way into fashion that comes in a variety of sizes, textures and colours as many women style it as a shawl or draped over the head as well as a scarf.
Top 5 Best Shemaghs
If you find yourself having a hard time choosing which Shemagh would work best for you and your needs, we’ve got the top 5 best rated Shemaghs for you.
1. ROTHCO Shemagh Tactical Desert Scarf
With high graded 100% cotton woven pattern, this Shemagh comes in various colours which include foliage green, desert tan olive drab, and coyote brown. This multi-purpose Shemagh will easily meet all of your needs as the one-size fits comfortably with the lightweight and durability of the scarf that measures at 42 x 42 inches.
2. Tapp Collections: Premium Shemagh Scarf
These top premium shemaghs from Tapp collections features long tassels that not all shemaghs offer –which makes it an attractive detail to the cotton garments. Weighing at just 4 ounces, the one-size-fits-all Shemagh is a standard 42 x 42 inches that will provide your face and neck will ultimate protection.
3. Fox Outdoor Tactical Shemagh Desert Head Scarf
The shemaghs are available in 15 colours that make great options for tactical and survival wear to face the harsh elements. This is another standard 42 x 42 inches of 100% cotton fabric material that will keep you comfortable during all weather conditions.
4. Mato & Hash Military Shemagh Tactical Desert Scarf Wrap
Available in 16 colours, these shemaghs come in gold, black, desert sand, olive drab, pink and black, amongst many more to suit your preference. What sets this Shemagh apart from the other standard head wraps is that the patterns are stitched rather than simply being printed onto the fabric.
5. Military Shemagh Scarf
With more than over 45 colours and combinations, these Shemagh scarves have a woven pattern that are not in the boring printed black fabric. The 100% cotton fabric offers both moisture cooling properties during the warm months and warmth during the colder season.
The fabric is lightweight at barely a few ounces, which means you won’t feel overly bulk when you use it and the soft comfortable material will allow you for an all-day wear. These shemaghs are available in a one-size fit that measures 43 x 41 inches for solider outdoor protection.
Can You Dye a Shemagh?
Dyeing a Shemagh wouldn’t seem necessary especially since there are plenty of colours and pattern combinations to choose from. If you have a white Shemagh that you want to dye, you can purchase a machine dye at your local hardware store and wash the shemagh in the machine and add salt to the dye while repeatedly washing it. Finish off by washing the head piece with detergent a few more times to get the residue from the dye out.
As Shemaghs are available in a number of colours, it is recommended to avoid traditional colours such as red and white or black and white while travelling through the Middle East as they have certain cultural connotations.
Where to Find a Shemagh
You can find a high quality shemagh at most outdoor and tactical shops as well as Amazon for a fairly decent price. Make sure to grab one or two and see how many uses it has as well as a great addition to your survival kit.
The Shemagh is truly the multi-purpose head scarf that can offer a great use of potential along with your tactical gear. It will offer year-round protection for your face, head, neck, and ears against the sun and cold weather.