Your Coronavirus Mask: The Best Choice

by Shelli

The coronavirus pandemic has created an unprecedented demand for face masks. Protection from COVID-19 is on everyone’s mind. Many people are wearing face masks in an effort to reduce their risk of contracting novel coronavirus (COVID-19). That means face masks are in huge demand right now. This demands has led to creative solutions, one of which has been a sort of a do-it yourself coronavirus mask option.

Homemade face masks and face coverings, from hand-sewn cloth to bandanas are now recommended to wear in public. However, rather than piecing together one yourself, there’s a best choice option for a coronavirus mask that is versatile, easy to use, and is a keeper long after the need to wear one for coronavirus protection disappears. This best choice option is called a Buff! Using a buff as a face mask is easy. You can’t go wrong making the buff face mask choice.

My own story of using the multi-purpose Buff goes back many years. Every time I saw anyone wearing a Buff I’d yell to them, “great looking Buff.” Now when I see someone using a Buff as a coronavirus mask, I say to them, “great looking face mask.”  But it was years before I went from being an admirer of Buff owners to becoming one myself.

Finally, on a bitter cold night, December 24th, 2015, in Vancouver, B.C. I bought a Buff. Well I didn’t exactly buy it, Alaska Airlines bought it for me, but that’s another story entirely. The result was the same, though. I finally joined the Buff club and I absolutely love my buff!

How To Make A Buff Coronavirus Face Mask

And now, using it during the coronavirus pandemic, its usefulness has once again been proven. I never leave home without it!

I know what you’re thinking. A Buff is just a tube of fabric, wool in this case. I get it. This simple piece of fabric is just so versatile and practical, I’m embarrassed by how long it took me to finally get one. I primarily use it as a hat, a function it’s perfect for, or sometimes as a neck warmer. I’ve also used it as a pillowcase, a balaclava for skiing, a towel, and a placemat on which to make tea. Sometimes you’re just glad to have a decent-sized tube of wool.

What Is A Buff and Why I Use It As A Coronavirus Mask (And Always Travel With One)

It’s definitely one of my favorite and most used pieces of my travel essentials. My Buff is my incredible multi-use friend. Now more than ever! I always have one with me. Once you start using one you’ll quickly find uses for it that both I, and probably even those who created the Buff, never thought of! In my opinion it’s more useful and durable than a bandana. When you’re with other Buff fans, it’s fun to find 100 different uses for it.

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I reached out to some friends who are Buff fans to see how they were using their buffs.

One friend told me they’re useful in three particular situations:

  • Because they are thin, they can be worn like a hat under a bicycle helmet for extra warmth in the winter.
  • Worn around the neck, it provides a comfortable scarf that helps seal any gaps around his jacket collar.
  • In summer, he dips it in a stream or river and wears it around his neck to help keep cool.

Another friend sent me his favorite things about the Buff. The primary advantage of the Buff is the versatility of it over a standard bandana, scarf or hat. In addition to all its wearable uses, it can also be used as an:

  • Eye Mask
  • Facecloth
  • Microtowel
  • Face mask when traveling, snowboarding, or in the desert
  • Self-securing bandage/pressure pad

All of these can be achieved without the need of a sling, complex knot, or additional tying aid. And it’s reversible, too. Can you tell that my friend was a boy scout when he was younger?

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How To Use A Buff Face Mask

My cousin makes a great Buff model!

what is a buff

Here are some Buff uses I’ve learned about from friends or that I use myself:

  • Dust Protection. Cover your face on motorbikes or other open air vehicles.
  • Sun Protection. Great for when you’re stranded in heat without shade.
  • Towel. Small, lightweight, fast drying, but thick enough to get the job done.
  • Ground Cloth. Keep your butt clean & dry when sitting on the ground.
  • Warmth. Wrap it around your neck as a scarf to keep warm.
  • Bag. Put stuff in the middle, tie corners together. Instant hobo sack. Or instant pillow.
  • Sweat Rag. Great for hiking, running, or other sweaty activities.
  • Arm Sling. Sprain a wrist or break an arm? Temporary immobilization.
  • Emergency Bandage. Help stop bleeding and protect the wound.
  • Weapon. Twist a few rocks up in the middle. Swing away. Instant self-defense tool (which I hope never to have to use)!
  • Concealment. Can be used to hide gear/tech in questionable neighborhoods.
  • Water Filter. Fold multiple times and filter debris out of water before boiling.
  • Pot Holder. Take that boiling water you just filtered off the fire.
  • Keeping Cool. Soak in cold water and wrap around your neck.
  • Signal Flag. Large enough to wave and get someone’s attention.
  • Eye Mask. Sleep during the day, or anyplace where lights are on.

These are only a few of the Buff’s many uses. This simple piece of fabric is just so versatile and practical! So if you don’t have one yet because you’re worried about what people will think when they see you using yours, get over it, get one, and find out what you’ve been missing.

This is my favorite fun Buff video for you to watch!

Final Thoughts

Remember, coronavirus face masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. If you wear a face mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

Hot off the presses: This book, The Covid Survival Guide: What the Virus Is, How to Avoid It, How to Survive It, might save your life or that of the loved ones around you.

Here are some helpful articles to read:

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Nicholas Artis April 13, 2020 - 11:48 am

Great idead but, AQmazon are out of stock and don’t know when or if they will have stock again

Shelli April 13, 2020 - 12:00 pm

Thanks for reading, Nic. The last time I checked, Amazon had the one I linked to in stock. Like you, I hope they receive more Buffs soon.

Simon April 13, 2020 - 1:37 pm

I did exactly the same for my ‘face mask’. Though not a ‘Buff’ brand.

Shelli April 13, 2020 - 1:39 pm

Thanks for reading, Simon. What Simon Says makes sense!

Joshua Kane May 13, 2020 - 9:22 pm

According to the website, these garments alone are not to be used as a covid19 mask — it would be appropriate if a layer of filter material were place over one’s mouth and nose (with plenty of overlap for chin, cheeks, and bridge of nose – just make sure it goes fast enough up to block micro-droplets) and then the Buff was used to hold this in place. Many buffs are made of super thin material that is not effective at catching these droplets and it seems a bit misleading to unequivocally recommend them as being appropriate for the stated purpose.

Shelli May 13, 2020 - 9:48 pm

Thanks for reading and adding to the conversation, Joshua.

Ron May 15, 2020 - 3:55 pm

Perhaps folding the buff so the fabric is doubled might get closer to providing you and other people protection.

Shelli May 15, 2020 - 5:19 pm

Could be, Ron. For sure the Buff has plenty of material to work with. Thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment.

Robyn May 25, 2020 - 7:12 pm

Love my Buff too – actually my 4 Buffs! (they’re breeding) Always wear one when cycling as it keeps ears warm and keeps the sun off the back of my neck. If you add a cuppla drops of eucalyptus oil, or any anti viral essential oil to your Buff, it would add extra protection from the nasties. I do this on board planes.

Shelli May 25, 2020 - 7:19 pm

Thanks for the laugh, Robyn. Much appreciated! Great idea about the essential oils! Enjoy those bike rides and your travels.

Steve July 16, 2020 - 12:25 pm

Messing around with my Buff after watching ol’ Henry above and made some modifications to the folds to get a 4 layer mask, which I think would work alone but I’m no expert for added protection you could always add a coffee filter or a think tissue within one of the folds maybe??

Shelli July 16, 2020 - 12:28 pm

Thanks for reading, Steve, and good question. I’d check those articles I linked to at the bottom of the post for more compete suggestions on added protection. Stay safe!

Nine Awesome Travel Accessories You Should Pack For Your Next Trip August 8, 2022 - 2:38 am

[…] range of ways, and take up almost no space. They have so many uses I had to write a full article on WHY a Buff, and even got my cousin to model the Buff for all of you! Buff […]


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