Monday, April 22, 2013

Travel Tip: Staying Cool & Dodging Flies

Do I look ridiculous? Yes. Do I care? No.

"Bring a Scarf." How many times have you seen that tidbit of What to Pack travel advice? It's a fashion accessory. It's blanket. Yada, yada, yada. Like many other traveling women, I carry a scarf for all those many reasons. I found a couple more good uses when we went on a bush walk around Australia's Uluru (Ayer's Rock).

Staying Cool
Uluru was hotter than Hades when we visited, hitting highs of  45°C (113°F). Even starting out on our hike at 7 a.m., the heat radiating up from the baked earth was getting to us. Scarf to the rescue! Wet it and wrap it around your neck. You'll be amazed at how much cooler just doing that makes you feel.

Dodging Flies
The flies at Uluru followed me around like I was a buffet that had been sitting out for hours. A cloud of them whizzed around me, trying to gain access to my nose, ears and mouth. I never really pictured myself hiking around this amazing landmass while wildly waving my hands in front of my face in a futile attempt to fend off airborne insects. I began to regret passing up the flynets for sale at the resort giftshop.  That's when I uncoiled the scarf from around my neck and draped it over my hat and around my head. The gauzy fabric was easy to look through and kept the flies out. Problem solved. Sure, I looked ridiculous, but all the other hikers were too distracted with their own fly swarm to pay me much heed. I bet this works great for sandstorms, too.

Other Uses
Just in case if this is the first time you've ever heard the Bring a Scarf tip, other uses are:
  • Jazz up your outfit with a scarf (the original use, so not exactly ground-breaking)
  • Keep warm by wrapping it around you
  • Cover up bare shoulders when entering a temple or cathedral
  • As a head scarf when entering a mosque so you don't have to use the loaner headscarf
  • Roll other clothes up inside it to turn it into a pillow
  • As a towel
  • Wrap it around your waist for privacy if you have to pee by the side of the road.
  • Emergency First Aid sling, bandage, or (God help you) a tourniquet
  • Wrap it around ice for an ice pack
  • Attach your small child to you 
  • Bundle up all your belongings, tie it to a stick and pretend you're a hobo
  • Superhero cape
If you forget to bring one, it sounds like it's time to go shopping for a souvenir scarf.

Related Post:
The Allure of Uluru (Ayer's Rock)

This post is part of Travel Tips Tuesday on Walking On Travels and Suitcases and Sippy Cups. Check them out for more great travel advice.


  1. Scarves are very popular in Germany year round. My family in the Philippines also use the wet scarf on the neck to combat the heat. It works!

    Multiple scarves are also helpful in packing light so you can have a different look without needing to pack a variety of shirts.

  2. Great idea! I wish I had brought one when we toured SE Asia, it was SO hot!

  3. Definitely a great idea! And yes, sometimes it doesn't matter how silly you look when bugs are crawling up your nose.

  4. Oh yes I always travel with a scarf too. Luckily I haven't had to use it though to protect me from bugs yet. Soon I'm sure as we will be camping soon.

  5. I don't often travel with a scarf, but I can see how the scarf is much more than a fashion accessory for the well traveled woman. :)Great tips!


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