In praise of buffs

I know this will get me into trouble with you know who, but so what! I like buffs, or neck gaiters as they used to be called, somewhat inelegantly. I hate getting my neck cold. I was reminded of this yesterday when I took the dog out early in the morning when it was still frosty and foggy. I could have taken a scarf, but a buff does it much better.

A (very) long time ago you couldn’t get buffs and I used to use a short woolen scarf. Then Rohan came up with a variation on the scarf theme: a scarf with windproof poly-cotton on one side and a kind of fleece on the other side. It was a bit of a faff to keep in the right place but it was good for keeping the wind and chill away.

Later I spotted a Meraklon neck gaiter from Field & Trek (back in the days when they were a proper outdoors retailer). This was an improvement on a scarf, but could get quite warm. Fast forward to about five years ago when I discovered the micro-fibre buff. This is just right for keeping your neck warm most of the time, with enough wind resistance to take off the chill. The only downside is that they can get a little smelly after a while (why don’t they do an antibacterial one?).

I also have a fleece one, which is great for when it’s cold and excellent for skiing. The windproof one is too warm most of the time, so I’ve hardly used it. I’ve never really worked out how to use them as a hat, though.

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4 thoughts on “In praise of buffs”

  1. You can never have too many buffs, that’s what I say. I got another one today, as it happens. Must take me into at least double figures :o)

  2. Buffs are genius, and as you say they repalce all sorts of halfarsed accessories.
    Under a helmet, over your face in sub zero temperatures, over you head to ward off cold or UV rays.
    At work in manky environments they’re great as well.

    Plus, they brighten up the otherwise dull appearance of the average UK hiker :o)

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