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Emergency gear: 4 ways to cover your head

In an emergency situation, you will find some form of headgear useful if you need to bug out. A cap or a hat will help cover your head from the sun (reducing the the risk of sunstroke and glare) and the rain. So what options do you have for your Bug Out Bag?

1. Baseball cap

The baseball cap is an obvious choice for most of us. You probably have one or more lying around your house. Wearing a baseball cap will not make anyone look twice at you – it doesn’t attract attention and it does the job. The main drawback to a baseball cap is that it doesn’t provide a lot of protection. Baseball caps are usually not waterproof and they don’t cover the back of your head well.

If you prefer a more “tactical” look, you can get a military-style flat top hat, which are now widely available in many colours.

Buy a Military-style Fitted Flat top Cap

2. Boonie hat

If you are more likely to be in the wild outdoors than the urban jungle, boonie hats are a good bet. Boonie hats have a semi-tactical look, are durable and can be flattened for easy packing. They provide good all-around protection from the sun and rain. However, you’ll definitely look out of place in the city.

Other similar options would be a fedora-style hat (if you can pull off the look) or a cowboy / Stetson hat.

Buy a Boonie Hat.

3. Shemagh

Used for centuries in the desserts of the Middle East, the shemagh (also known as keffiyeh) is a traditional headdress fashioned from a square cotton cloth. The shemagh protects from direct exposure to the sun, as well to protect the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand. In an urban emergency, the shemagh can be used to cover both your head and your face (e.g. from dust and smoke).

A shemagh also has the benefits of a large bandana or sarong – you can use it as an emergency sling, towel, and more. If you think a shemagh is too risky, then a large bandana would do as well – just learn how to tie a bandana properly.

Buy a Shemagh “tactical scarf”.

4. Hoodie jacket or sweatshirt

In most urban areas, hoodies won’t get a second look. You don’t need to buy, pack or carry a separate item to protect your head. Obviously a hoodie jacket or sweatshirt won’t work in warmer climates or seasons.

Buy a sweater with a hoodie.

Overall, you should choose which headgear to wear according to your surroundings and environment. You do want to protect your noggin, but not at the expense of standing out in a crowd. Our advice: stay away from military-looking, or “tactical” outfits in general.

Learn to assemble your own Bug Out Bag.

  1. gonewiththewind on Thursday 17, 2011

    I wear old levis and a comfortable sweatshirt and look like everyone else around here. I could easily wear a baseball hat anywhere or even a boony hat if it was sunny. But a shemagh would make me stand out like sore thumb. If the S ever HTF I would not put a shsmagh on. Especially if there was a terrorist attack.

  2. Coldman on Thursday 17, 2011

    There is another alternative, called a Thermal Poncho, which has a hood and mouth protector. It is inexpensive light, folds up to the same size as a rescue blanket but is 3x thicker!