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It may not be much to look at, and it may be rarely found in the west, but the sarong is a low-cost, powerful, versatile survival tool. All you need to do is think outside the box!

What is a sarong? According to Wikipedia, a sarong is “a large sheet of fabric, often wrapped around the waist and worn as a skirt by men and women throughout much of south and southeast Asia and on many Pacific islands.”

A sarong is made out of cotton or rayon, which means it’s easily packed flat for carrying in your Bug Out Bag. So what can you do with a sarong? Here’s just a short list :

– towel (it dries quickly)
– blanket / sleeping mat
– pillow / pillowcase
– sling
– bag
– bandage / tourniquet
– shelter
– rope
– clothing (scarf, skirt, robe) >> Learn how to tie a sarong the “manly” way
– water strainer
– placemat
– napkin
– signal flag (if colourful enough)

I keep a sarong flat-packed in a zip-lock bag in each of my Bug Out Bags – you never know when it might come in handy.

Here’s a video of how to tie a sarong. Bonus tip: how to hide your mobile phone in a sarong.



  1. […] shemagh also has the benefits of a large bandanna or sarong – you can use it as an emergency sling, towel, and […]


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