Oct 20, 2008 at 9:12 pm #1231648
most absorbent? easiest to clean? compressability?
odor resistant? uv protection? and of course the lightest? more uses bandanna/ packtowel/neckwarmer?/??????include size for big headed folk please. i love your feedbackOct 20, 2008 at 9:31 pm #1455455
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I find Handi-Wipes, available at the supermarket in packages of 6, to be lighter, more absorbent and much faster drying than a pack towel. They're also a lot cheaper! They can be washed and dried with the laundry and last for at least a season. I bought a small-size pack towel last summer and used it on a trip. After a day I went back to the Handi-Wipes because the pack towel stayed permanently soggy. Even on Washington's Olympic coast (fog and drizzle), the Handi-Wipes dried in an hour in the tent vestibule. I also found Handi-Wipes much more effective in wiping down the inside of a tent than a pack towel–you can wring and shake more water out of the Handi-Wipes than you can a pack towel.
I've never used my bandanna as a towel because cotton is so slow drying. I take one primarily because the manufacturer of the anti-glare coating on my glasses insists that they be cleaned with a 100% cotton cloth to avoid scratching. For that reason, my bandanna is basically a one-use item–I have to keep it clean.Oct 21, 2008 at 4:32 am #1455476
If you buy your packtowel from an internet, non-camping source, they're about a thousand times cheaper.Oct 21, 2008 at 9:08 am #1455501
te – waParticipant
you got that right Joe.
trader joes, safeway, dollar store – all places Ive seen something very similar to the MSR style pack towel. exept in all cases, under $3
i use a bandana simply for the reasons for pre-filtering water – and well, it would just look silly to wear a pack towel on your head. Handi Wipes are also disposable, which is not very responsible imo. a bandana can last years. and it wont leave little fuzzy hairs stuck to my beard.Oct 21, 2008 at 9:22 am #1455504
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Thanks for handi-wipe suggestion. I have these all around the house, and never once thought … duh!Oct 21, 2008 at 10:11 am #1455514
Great tip indeed, Mary! Never would I have guessed these would hold up to the wash.Oct 21, 2008 at 7:34 pm #1455608
I've used Handi Wipes with my kitchen set, but normally have to replace them every 2-3 trips. They seem to get holes pretty fast in my experience, even handwashing them.
I find bandanas a lot sturdier, and usually faster drying than a pack towel. I look for thin, cheap ones.Oct 22, 2008 at 5:24 am #1455676
Inaki Diaz de EturaParticipant
@inaki-1Locale: Iberia highlands
I second the recommendation for handi-wipes. I've been using them for a few years now, I find them better than pack towels in all aspects: lighter, equally or more absorvent, quicker drying and so much cheaper. I usually squeeze several seasons out of each. Only problem is when the hostel showers are communal :)
it'd look odd as a bandanna though but you might be setting trends, you never know…Oct 23, 2008 at 12:22 pm #1455856
Bandanas win on versatility. Head & neck-wear, pot grabber, dish cloth, sling/swath, bandaging, etc. If you get the thin cheap ones they dry quickly (I've even had 'em dry quicker than a pack towel!). I'll have a total of 2 or 3 bandanas per trip. Maybe a small square of packtowel for mopping up the tent if bad rain expected or dogs along. My cent-Nov 4, 2008 at 10:12 am #1457544
@pstriflerLocale: OH, PA, VW, VA
I'm surpised nobody mentioned the Buff yet! Made of coolmax, they dry much faster than a bandana, and have many more wearable configurations. I use mine basically as a sweat catcher on my forehead, but pull the flaps (a portion of the fabric) over my ears to keep them warm. It can also bea worn as a beanie, a balaclava, and a neck gaiter. Doubled up like a rubberband it fits perfectly over your wrist for storage. Very versatile piece, and one I would replace immediately if ever lost.
PNov 4, 2008 at 10:15 am #1457545
@pstriflerLocale: OH, PA, VW, VA
Buff picNov 4, 2008 at 12:21 pm #1457558
i use a car chamoix thing. one of those super absorbent, ring em out type pieces of cloth. i just cut it down a little smaller than washcloth size.
that buff looks kinda interesting thoughNov 5, 2008 at 8:45 am #1457656
@jasonklassLocale: Parker, CO
I usually use one of the el cheapo disposable towels mentioned above but if you want a real towel (one that you can actually dry off with after a swim or something), you might be interested in this one I just tried out:Nov 5, 2008 at 9:00 am #1457662
Buff 30 bucks. Bandana $1.50 wins again.Nov 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm #1457697
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
I'm with you. I have a drawer full of pack towels that get used on canoe trips, but on long backpacking trips, I always end up using a bandana. They dry faster and do as much drying as a pack towel. Never found a pack towel that dries as thoroughly as a bandana. I prefer oversized bandanas and buy a bunch when I find them. My head is too big for regular-sized bandanas.Nov 5, 2008 at 1:17 pm #1457699
I use triangular bandages for the same reasons. Cheap, dry quickly, larger than most bandannas and in a pinch can be used for medical purposes.Nov 5, 2008 at 1:45 pm #1457702
I know I put a link on here to a cheap source of towels. Oh well, guess it got modded.Jan 23, 2009 at 10:42 am #1472343
I presume the Wicksilver towel is made from the same fabric as the Discovery Trekking Outfitters towel.
I'm 99% sure the fabric is Malden Mills Polartec Power Dry with X-static silver fibers. I'm wearing a t-shirt of the same fabric as I sit here typing! Quick drying and no stink.
I found the fabric in "army T-shirt" color at Mill Direct Textiles for $5.99/yd plus shipping. Since the t-shirts only cost me $9 each with free shipping I haven't bought any yardage yet.Jan 28, 2009 at 8:27 am #1473475
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
I don't like it that if I wipe down my tent or something my bandana gets dirty. Then I have to wear a dirty bandana. I use a small square of an old pack towel I found in a hiker box. I also use a small strip of the same towel as a pee rag, which is another subject. Hose off, dry off, put it in the mesh to sanitize in the sun.Jan 29, 2009 at 8:13 pm #1473952
Sooner or later I am going to be excommunicated from here
I use the Buff or something similar ( IE it not cotton) as a wrist warmer/bandanna/sweat band and very occasionally as a grunge filter/pot lifter and whatever i need at the time. Oh, yes, I like it around my neck with some clothing combinations.
Rather than the Handi-wipes I use two Super Chux (note SUPER) , provably very similar stuff
One for the tent, one for the kitchen . The tent one gets used for my ritual sponge bath .
Also I have a Scotch Brite (3M) mini towel , about 1 foot square , to dry myself with . A few dollars from the supermarket. Next to the sponges,Chuxs and the like).
This one feels better than the purpose made versions I used before.
That is 4 thingos compared to the that some use.
FrancoJan 29, 2009 at 8:49 pm #1473960
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Here is what I use:
Cold weather – MSR Pack towel @ 1.6 oz. It has insulating properties which do come in handy.
Mild weather – Handiwipe @ .3 oz.
Hot weather – Bandana @ .9 oz often worn around neck after soaking with water.
Cold weather – no bathing for me.
Other weather, a swim if water is available.
Don't really need a sponge anymore, since I just boil water. I only need to clean my spork and maybe my cup if I let coffee dry out in the bottom.Jan 31, 2009 at 6:10 pm #1474367
@vickrhinesLocale: Central Texas
first criteria: will it burn?
If not, it is a pot lifter.
Second, does it absorb water?
If so, it is a towel
Does it block the sun?
Then it's a head cover.
In cold, wet weather, a cotton bandanna is less versatile, but most of the time, it is the best – especially in the extra large size. IMHOJan 31, 2009 at 7:16 pm #1474380
I use my shop towels instead of bandana and packtowel.Feb 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm #1479446
you know, I went back and forth with myself on this very topic. When I gave it some thought, I've NEVER used a packtowel, but I've ALWAYS had a bandana with me as my preferred headware and subsequently used it for everything from a towel to a pot-potholder to a cleaning rag and I've never really needed anyting else. It's not as effective for using as an actual towel or a cleaning rag for dishes due to it's absorbansy (if that's a word…), but I've been using bandanas my whole hiking/camping life. Bandanas – 4 for $1.00 or about 2-3 bucks for a super fancy uber cool printed one. packtowel – almost 20 bucks for the MSR version! Around 10 bucks is the cheapest I've found quality ones. If I'm going to actually USE a camptowel rather than my bandana, I want a pretty quality towel that's going to trump what I've been using my whole life; but I'm just not willing to spend the amount of money for a quality towel for the same reason. I've found the really cheap ones (I've found a few packtowels for around 3 bucks) don't work much better than my bandana anyway and look pretty stupid wrapped around your head… ;-) All in my humble opinion…Mar 14, 2009 at 9:53 pm #1485669
@bumpassLocale: The Far Left Coast? : /
If you go on eBay, you can get a generic version of the "Buff" for 5.00…it is very versile….I'm quite impressed.
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