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10 Uses for an Oversized Scarf

by Kate Wood

Dec 4, 2014

© Elizabeth Hoffmann | Dreamstime

Tips / Travel

Whether you’re limited to a carry-on or carrying everything with you, it’s a huge help if everything you pack has more than one use — if it’s not vital, it’s got to earn its spot in your bag. One item that pulls its weight (and then some): an oversized scarf. Sure, it’s an accessory, but there’s way more you can use it for. Here are just 10 of the things you can do with a super-sized scarf.


Travel blanket

Whether it’s a pashmina or a pareo, use your scarf as a blanket to get cozy and comfortable on a plane, train or bus. Not so sure about the looks of that mattress? Now your scarf is a blanket you lie on top of instead of beneath.



Dust or smog got you wheezing? Wrap it around your neck multiple times, then pull one layer up to cover your mouth and nose. More sun than you anticipated? You can wear it as a head covering.


Support pillow

No matter how hard companies try to make them convenient, those u-shaped travel pillows simply take up too much space. Fold your scarf in half and roll it up to create your own ‘horseshoe’ pillow, or ball it up and stick it behind your neck to support your head.


Cover up

Need to transition to more modest dress (for example, if you’re heading into a church or temple)? A large scarf can cover your head or shoulders, or both. If wearing shorts is the problem, it can be used as a wrap to cover your legs.


Picnic blanket

Grabbing street eats always sounds fun, at least until you’re standing there holding a bunch of food with nowhere to sit. Find somewhere to park yourself, spread out your scarf, set down your grub and you’ve got an instant picnic.



Did you get a little overzealous at the local market? Put your finds in the middle of your scarf, twist up the ends, and tie them together to improvise a bag.


First aid

Accidents will happen … and a scarf can help you deal with them. You can use it to quickly make a sling or tourniquet. If you’ve got ice, you can use it to make a cold pack, and if you don’t, soak it in cold water and ball it up for the next best thing.



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