June 12, 2010
by Anderson Bowman
I doubt there is anyone who has not seen or heard of the television show “Survivor.” It is one of my guilty pleasures and when I was asked to test the Insect Shield UV Buff, you had better believe that I jumped at the chance. I am not a huge hat wearer, but there are plenty of ways to wear an item like this during the summer time in Texas. At the very least I can always use a sweatband while hiking, fishing or even mowing the yard and from what I have seen on television, there are tons of ways to use this interesting piece of cloth. What really sealed the deal was the fact that the version I was asked to test had insect repellent built into it. How could I say “no” to something that keeps the skeeters off and keeps the sweat out of my eyes?
When it finally arrived in the mail, I was surprised by the simplicity of the Buff. It is a simple seamless tube of Coolmax fabric. The ends are unfinished and unhemmed which I find strange, but other than that, it is pretty much what I expected. It is very stretchy and apparently “one size fits all” and luckily for me it stretched enough to fit over my head.
The plan at this point is to wear it when I am hiking and fishing because these are my sweatiest and most insect prone times. I might try it while I am trail running, but I cannot usually stand to keep any type of head covering on during the summer when I run. While the insect repellant is supposed to last through 70 washings, I plan on washing only when the odor reaches a point that is offensive to me or people close by.
One thing I can already tell you that I like about the Insect Shield UV Buff is that it fits in my pocket. I cannot remember if I have had a hat that I can stuff easily in the front pocket of my pants, but that is where I put the Buff after I took my first pictures of it and at the end of the night I realized that it had been in there all afternoon without me even knowing it. So first thing I learned is that the Buff is easy to carry when not in use.
Surviving the Bugs
By Anderson Bowman
August 22, 2010
This has been a long hot summer here in Texas. While I suffered through a severe winter, I had been very hopeful that the long hard freezes in this area would mean a severe decline in the biting bug population, but I was wrong.
The mosquitoes are out in full force as are the flies. There seems to have been no escaping the heat, humidity, and bugs this summer. Worst of all, I tend to be outside and active at the most popular times for most bugs, dawn and dusk. No matter if I was running, fishing, or hiking, the bugs and I shared a mutual attraction to the slower, cooler, dimmer parts of the day, but this summer I had a secret weapon.
The Insect Shield UV Buff was my constant companion on my morning trail runs, my hiking trips, and my fishing trips. While not a hat or head covering kind of person, the heat and humidity turned me into a serious headband kind of guy this summer.
Not only did the Insect Shield UV Buff keep the sweat out of my eyes, but from what I can tell, it kept the biting bugs away from my head and neck as well. There is nothing more annoying than sitting in the shade during the heat of the day waiting for the sun to go down a bit, and being buzzed by flies or bitten by mosquitoes.
This summer though, I can honestly say that I have had a small amount of relief from these annoyances. The Insect Shield UV Buff seems to have kept them away from my head and neck, but there were plenty of times I wished I had several extra Insect Shield UV Buffs to tie around my wrists and knees.
I have not washed the Buff yet, but that is not really my style anyway. When the cold weather gets here I will probably toss it in the wash, but so far this summer, I have simply wrung out the sweat and hung it to dry. Yes, I know this may sound nasty, but since I have not had to deal with bugs buzzing my eyes, nose, and ears constantly I really want the Insect Shield UV Buff to keep up its magic.
So, do I like the Insect Shield UV Buff? I have to answer with a yes. Not only does it keep the bugs off my head, but it keeps the sweat out of my eyes, dries quickly, and is handy for blowing my nose on. Yeah, I had to go there. The Insect Shield UV Buff is a really neat replacement for my bandana because it does dry much faster, is easier to get on as a headband (no tying) and keeps the damn bugs out of my eyes.
As the summer winds down I will be running more and more in the early morning hours, which is going to expose me even more to my flying and biting friends. As part of the big Buff experiment I will even wash it during the coming month, so come back in a few weeks and see how good I feel about the Insect Shield UV Buff at the end of the test period.