I actually remember the first time I saw someone wearing a Buff about a week before embarking on the Appalachian Trail. Although all of my gear was ready to go, I immediately ordered a Buff when I got home to complete my hiking outfit. Over 5,000 trail miles later, I still use the same Buff when I hit the trail.
Ok, Buff makes different models of headware, but they are commonly called “Buffs.” A Buff is a multifunctional headscarf that can be used a bunch of different ways like as a headband to restrain fly away hairs, a neck protector against the sun, or (my favorite) a quick ear cover to gain warmth.
I, like many other women hikers, run cold pretty much all the time. I wear my Buff while I hike as a headband which I can quickly adjust to cover my ears if I get cold. I love the convenience of having a versatile headscarf at hands reach. My Buff is definitely not limited to trail use. Buff carries a bunch of different models, patterns, and designs that can be used as casual wear as well.
My Buff may be a small part of my backpacking setup, but I always make sure I don’t hit the trail without it. Being able to cover up my ears easily adds just a little comfort to my outdoor experience.