WHEN YOU’RE OUTSIDE, especially in the desert or bright snow conditions, protecting yourself from the bright sun should be among your top concerns. Overexposure to sunlight can do a number of detrimental things to you: It can cause sunburn or sun poisoning with symptoms including blistering, swelling, nausea, dizziness, headaches, fever and chills, as well as dehydration. Eyes, too, can get sunburned from extensive UV-light exposure, causing Keratitis (including snow blindness). Symptoms of an inflamed cornea include eye pain, redness, blurriness, tearing, sensitivity to light, eyelid twitching, seeing halos, headache and temporary vision loss. Sunglasses, hats and the like exist to prevent damage to the eyes.
But if you find yourself outside without any of these, you can make a bandanna visor. Lightweight and easy to pack, bandannas or handkerchiefs can be used to make a visor to shade your eyes and face. Even if you aren’t stuck outdoors for a long period of time, you could still find use for a bandanna visor anytime you forget your shades at home
Fold the bandanna in half diagonally, so it looks like a triangle.
Roll the folded edge over twice, keeping the folds tight. You can roll the edge over more times, according to your preference, as long as most of the triangle remains unrolled.
Take the top triangle piece and pull it back over the rolled edge.
Tuck each triangle end into the center of the bandanna.
Fold the top layer back over to where it was before, making sure both corners are tucked inside. Next fold the bottom edge over one more time. Make sure the corners stay tucked in tight. Keeping the rolled edge (the visor) out, tie the ends of the bandanna behind your head. Adjust the bandanna visor to preference.
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2015 print issue of American Survival Guide.