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Shemagh vs gamcha

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Hanzo, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    I have several bought as well as homemade shemaghs and like them a lot. The homemade ones fold down much smaller than the purchased ones. They are all excellent.

    As of a year or two ago, I discovered the gamcha. They are they traditional cotton bath towels in India. I like the gamchas a lot too.

    Tale of the tape. They are both folded down to about the same size. The gamcha wins as it is a bit smaller packing.


    And the gamcha is larger. This particular one is slightly narrower but twice a long. I think it is more useful overall.

    Marck, stg58, CATO and 2 others like this.
  2. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Sorry I didn't crop out the crap around the edges. ;)
  3. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    @Hanzo so pardon my ignorance... these are 100% cotton?... and they are used for ???.... and they are good for???? and they are better than ??? I know I've seen them wrapped around folks necks, faces and heads.... old fart that's too lazy to google :0)
    Ganado and Hanzo like this.
  4. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Both the shemagh and the gamcha are cotton. The shemagh aka keffiyeh is a scarf. Think bandana on steroids. Keffiyeh - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The gamcha is basically a thin bath towel. Gamucha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I have and like both. But like the gamcha better. It is at least twice the size of a shemagh, but folds down smaller. It is much longer so you can do more things with it than a shemagh, besides dry your body. It is big enough to use for clothing (lava lava), a scarf, a light weight sheet, a belt, etc. Long enough to use a cordage, a hammock chair (I have not tested this so cannot attest to the strength), etc. I think it is too short to use as a hammock though. :(

    I also have a wool version of the gamcha. It is a shawl and not a bath towel. But very thin and light and in Hawaii, is enough for a lightweight blanket on most nights. And on colder nights, gives an added layer. I have stayed warm during our winter nights with the very thin shawl and a Kifaru woobie. Or with a thin wool blanket. Many times just by itself. I folds down to not too much larger than the shemagh, if I recall correctly. Maybe a bit bigger. Will do a comparison another day.
    tulianr likes this.
  5. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Thanks @Hanzo ... looks very handy... I'm still using my oversize cotton bandana :0)... not big enough to be as versatile as your Shemagh or Gamcha... Bear
    Hanzo likes this.
  6. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    It's all good. It gets the job done. I like oversized but small. Does that make sense? Oversized for use, but small for packing and carrying. I guess I want it all.

    Sometimes, size isn't the thing. For example, I think the gamcha and probable the shemagh are too big to use a ass rags... just saying. But there's enough there to cut an ass rag out. Just gotta remember which piece is which. :eek:
    Brokor likes this.
  7. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    In Hawaii it seems a Pauncho would be good to have on a trip on the trails.

    Someplace I have a picture or three of such, mountains, rain, all wet.

    Pauncho provided by Chief's Qtrs, I bet they still wonder where it went.
    Hanzo likes this.
  8. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    I like and use ponchos too. But usually only in the heaviest downpours. Usually don't mind getting a little wet. Always used the USGI, but the Golite is so light and packs sooo small... I traded some robustness for convenience.
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    "I like and use ponchos too. But usually only in the heaviest downpours." Hiked on both sides of the ridge in Oahu, rained most days. Always got wet going in to work but that was fine for I was dry upon arrival, for the most part.
    Now the Desert Region of the Big Island is another deal, plenty of water and sun block for me.
    Hanzo likes this.
  10. PapaSasquatch

    PapaSasquatch Monkey++

    It's a trendy tacticool apparel item that bumps you up to operator tier 3 status if you have one and it'll probably go out of style. otherwise, it's practical use by those downrange in AFG is probably quite useful. It's funny to see pics and AA reports tacticool nerds post of a carbine course they took where they wear one to 'complete' the outfit they chose.
    3M-TA3 and Hanzo like this.
  11. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    When we were young, and poor, with young children, living in a Rain Forest, we used Plastic Eliminator Bags as Ponchos. That was carried on for years, as our children grew up. Then the Cannery started burning out Trash and Landfilling the Ashes, and the Trash was delivered to the Burn Barrel in Eliminator Bags. Our local neighborhood Bears started a routine of feeding off the stuff in the Bags, and we quit using them for Ponchos, right quick. Didn't want the Bears to think of our Kids, as walking LunchBoxes!!!!
    Hanzo and vegasrandall like this.
  12. Nukashima

    Nukashima Monkey

    I'll be getting a large 'camo handkerchief' soon - they can serve multiple purposes, one of the more important is breaking up my head and shoulder sillouette. There are some disadvantages to cotton wear, but one advantage is that it doesn't present an acoustic signature, unlike most synthetics.
    Hanzo likes this.
  13. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Any pieces of cloth or fabric can come in handy. When I was much younger (several decades ago), I had a couple of sniper veils. One was camo. Good stuff since netting is also a handy item. Lost the camo one. Washed the dirty plain one and it was a handy scarf when it got a little chilly recently.

    By the way, Happy New Year everyone!
  14. wastelander

    wastelander Bad English, bare with me

    I don't get either of these. I mean, a piece of cotton cloth is useful, not saying anything about that. I have a big grey one my wife stitched the edges on in my backpack. Cost me.. I dont know, a buck tops.
    Hanzo likes this.
  15. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey Site Supporter

    In some areas they are used as an ID factor. Still can be if you have a group and want to be found by your friends and not shot by them.
  16. wastelander

    wastelander Bad English, bare with me

    Oh yeah, the same argument could be applied to anything you can wear openly.

    Sent using Tapatalk for Android
  17. permacamo

    permacamo Monkey

    The thing I am interested in is the warmth. How well would they keep my neck and face warm in a MT winter when it is around 10 dgrees or so? I was looking at buying one the other day and this question popped into my head.
    Hanzo likes this.
  18. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Shemagh is tacticool. Most folks never heard of a gamcha.
  19. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Good enough.
  20. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    No clue, except my guess is better than nothing.
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