Buff headwear is awesome, and if you’re mostly in hot countries they’re practically useless.
Buy one, three or six with your eyes confidently closed.
It’s the cool factor, the design and the fashion accessory that works for me, the last person on earth to give much credence to coolness and fashion.
Training in minimal survival – meaning you get learn and manage to get along without the auxiliary luxuries and additions. You are always prepped to go low key local. You learn to manage without accessories. Everything you wear, carry and use must be fully practical and blend.
And you cut to an absolute minimum and details that are not strictly vital for survival.
So you can see why such headwear
were totally off my radar.
I’d seen people wearing them and always wondered what they were doing – wear a Buff in Iraq and you might look totally cool and you might as well have a sign saying kidnap me.
Headwear and scarves like Buff are a dangerous
giveaway in hostile environments.
Sure they’ll cover your head – for whatever good that does. I mean what am I doing wearing a headscarf?
Yes they offer 100 UV protection but really, what is that about? Any hat, cap or piece of material will do that. That struck me as feature exaggeration – something you see so much of in feature marketing.
I really really liked them but I needed
a practical justification for wearing one.
Sure you can use them as a face mask in dusty conditions but then I’ve travelled and worked through the dustiest conditions imaginable – try one of those nasty dust storms you get in many parts of the Middle East where you can barely see the end of your bonnet and you’ll know what I mean.
The only people wearing masks to protect them from the dust are Westerners (and western trained soldiers) – I can’t remember having seen a local giving a rat’s ass about breathing in dust.
Yes sure, some people have asthma and allergic to dirt (and I quote). Find me a Taliban, Qaeda, ISIS or any other insurgent type with asthma or an allergy to dirt and I’ll eat my head!
Allergies are a luxury if not an indulgence.
Wear a mask to protect you from the dust or a sweatband and your a siren of vulnerability and foreignness. Come get me, it says.
Sweatband? Never used one in the sweatiest conditions and never felt the need for one.
Wear a Buff around your neck in a hostile environment the way some journalists, soldiers and NGO peeps wear Arab headgear and again, all you’re doing is emphasizing yourself as foreign and a target.
So you can see why I never wore things like Buffs and never considered them strictly practical – and even considered them dangerous.
And in hostile environments they are.
Buying my First Buff
Still, I ended up buying one from a bike shop in Cyprus because the guy did me a great favour and I wanted to pay without paying him (I paid 20 euros for what was listed as 11 euros – paying without paying).
And there’s a load of cool ways to wear a Buff:
So, bought one, stuck on my head and totally fell in like.
Nothing practical, mind you. It was summer and in Cyprus and wearing a Buff ‘pirate’ style was just adding heat to my already hot head.
I mean what AM I doing here? Giving my head 100% UV protection from Kuwait’s scorching sun? Hardly.
Adding an extra layer of heating insulation to my already hot head? More likely.
But doesn’t it just look the business.
A Valid Excuse for Wearing a Buff
A year and a half out of hostile environments and one softens up.
Still, with my habitual minimal junk thinking it had to be useful, practical and necessary and I needed an excuse for wearing it!
And in fact I found out they’re great for holding in earphones and help dimming out the wind noise while riding. So there’s a practical application for a cool looking accessory. Thank f&^# for that!
Finally, one valid excuse for wearing it.
Granted, Buffs are useful in cold weather as a scarf, headdress and a way to stop cold air working into sleeves by wrapping one around the wrists over jacket sleeves.
But I spend most of my time in hot environments and I want to wear a Buff now that I like them so much.
So I’m going to have to do with the cool factor of Buffs.
They’re just such a great, colourful accessory.