I used to think these things looked stupid especially on people that were using them as substitutes for medical masks during COVID.
I remember going on our first hiking trip last summer and my hair kept swinging into my face and irritating the hell out of me.
Michael handed me a Buff and he never got it back.
Since then, I’ve somehow amassed a collection and I will wear one when I’m training, hiking, working around the house and even going out because I think I look cute in them.
A Buff is on my packing list for the JMT and it’s not just for cute photos!
The top reason for me to pack and wear one is to keep the hair out of my face. I have bangs and long hair that will just be impossible to stand during hours of hiking.
The Buff also works well as a sleep mask. I like to minimize any light when I go to sleep and sometimes Michael will want to keep reading on his phone and I’m sensitive even to electronic screen lighting.
It is great for wiping sweat, dirt, etc and will wash and dry pretty quickly as well. If we have to filter and treat particularly gross water, a buff can be used to filter out large sediments and foreign objects before passing through for treatment.
It can protect my neck in strong sunlight if I wear my sunhat.
And once again, it won’t help you during COVID but it will work well as a face/nose guard if it’s particularly dusty.
A full sized Buff will also convert into a beanie to keep your head warm.
They’re really light but every ounce counts on a thru hike so I will probably still end up with just one full sized Buff on the trip.
Now there are many Buff products with different material (UV protection, Insect repellent, warm/cold weather specific materials) and also great designs to choose from.
I also own different sizes – there’s the full buff, the half buff, the headband only.
The Polar Buff is fleece lined and is fantastic in the winter when converted to a Beanie!
The only challenge for me now is to pick which color to take with me. I love them all, it’s going to be like picking a favorite kid.