Archive for June 2014

Jun 18 2014

Going Camping? Pack a Sarong or Two

about sarongs and pareos / Crafts / Home Decor / uses for sarongs - 4 years ago -

Use your sarong as a clothesline

Use your sarong as a clothesline

Sun protection

After you’ve successfully filtered and enjoyed your morning coffee you pack up and hit the trail. The sun gets hotter and hotter, and you start to wilt. A flash of inspiration: you reach into your backpack, take out your sarong and drape it over your head and shoulders. You suddenly have cool, lightweight protection from the sun.

Baby Cover-up

At noon, you meet up with your friends, bravely hiking with their two-month-old baby and their lively five-year-old. You all settle in for lunch, grateful for the break. Baby wants lunch, too—right now—but your friend is shy to nurse her in public. Another fishing expedition into the backpack. Another brilliant use for the sarong:  a lightweight, effective breastfeeding cover-up. Baby is fed, and peace descends over the picnic lunch.


After lunch, everyone except the baby takes a quick dip in the lake to cool off. This delightful dip generates wet clothing and towels that you don’t want to stuff back into your packs. The five-year-old alone seems to have gotten several towels wet. You again reach for the sarong, spread it diagonally, and twist it into a rope. Securing each end with a twist-tie from the lunch food, you hang it between two trees and drape the wet laundry over it.

Everyone takes a little siesta, and when you’re ready to hit the trail again, you find that the wet things have dried and you’re ready to be on your way.

Happy camping with your sarongs!

Jun 13 2014

Sun Protection with a Sarong

about sarongs and pareos / Crafts / uses for sarongs - 4 years ago -

Use your sarong at the beach

Use your sarong at the beach

Heading for the beach this summer? Trying to travel light? Remember how, last summer, you lugged all manner of paraphernalia on the long path from the parking lot to the beach, picking your way carefully among the loose rocks and slippery dry dirt, and arrived at the beach tired, achy, and grumpy? You resolved not to make the same mistake this year, but as school ends and beach weather begins, you may be wondering how you’re going to keep that noble resolve.

Lose the Umbrella

One awkward, unwieldy item in last year’s burden was your beach umbrella, right? The one that kept getting blown over by the wind once you finally made it to the beach. Tip for this year’s excursion: Lose the umbrella.

Sarong to the Rescue

Of course, you still need sun protection. Even with the new 70, 80, and 110 SPF sunscreens, you can’t sit in the sun all day. It’s intense. Warming, life-giving—yes;  and still, intense. So you get down to the beach and you find that there’s not a bit of shade to be had. Here’s what you do: Look around till you find two sticks. Surely there are some twigs, branches, or stick-like materials of some sort around. Plant them in the sand and secure them with stones around the base. Then—ta da ta da ta da—unfurl your sarong.

Very Clever

Dig around in your beach bag for the two rubber bands you always keep there. You do always keep two rubber bands in your bag, don’t you? Attach two corners of the sarong to the sticks. Bring the rest of the sarong out as far as it will go, and place some rocks, shoes, or such along its edge. Can you see it? You’ve just created a little tent to shelter you from the sun. You still have a view out the sides, diffused light coming in, and a pleasant breeze wafting through. The only thing you don’t have is the hot sun beating down on you mercilessly.

When you get back from the water and remember that you ditched your towel, too, the sarong can always double as a quick-drying beach towel. Pretty clever, wouldn’t you say?

Jun 5 2014


about sarongs and pareos / Crafts / Home Decor / uses for sarongs - 4 years ago -

SG-300-Ppl-DfnIf you’re planning a trip this summer, consider the sarong as a faithful travel companion. You may be wondering how you’ll fit everything into one suitcase. With airlines charging for bags these days, we’re all trying to pack lighter. Tucked into otherwise wasted spots in your bag (yes, that’s singular) this summer could be at least two sarongs. And you may not wear either one in the usual fashion.

A Sarong’s Not For You?

You may feel that wearing a sarong, or pareo, is not for you. It simply doesn’t fit  your own image of yourself, and previous urging have not swayed you in the slightest. I understand. Don’t wear it. Pack one or two anyway. They have myriad uses, some of which may not have occurred to you. Modesty, for example.

Modesty? Really?

Possibly modesty isn’t the first thought that enters your mind when you hear the word sarong. You may picture a lovely Balinese woman in an exceptionally becoming, tightly wrapped sarong. But imagine this: you’re in a foreign country,  dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, standard apparel for summer travel. In your wanderings, you come upon a hauntingly beautiful house of worship. It somehow captures your heart. You’d dearly love to go in and experience this piece of local culture. But the sign clearly indicates that visitors must be covered up. It says so in three languages, and in case any doubt remains, there are sketches that make it perfectly clear that shoulders, upper arms, and legs have to be hidden. You don’t even come close to meeting these requirements, and there’s no time to dash back to your hotel to retrieve more appropriate clothing. And today’s your last day here.

Made It!

If you have a sarong tucked into your tote—they’re so lightweight you may have forgotten it’s there—you’re in luck. With a little practice, over there under the tree, you can drape it over yourself in such a way that all “objectionable” areas are covered. Whew! You made it! You step into the cool, peaceful interior in time to hear the beautiful melodies of this culture’s worship. For years afterward, you’ll think of this visit as the highlight of your trip.

That’s how a sarong has saved many a day for travelers, and that’s one reason to pack a couple of sarongs this summer.