What’s in a mask, anyway?

As someone who took CBRN classes back when it was just called NBC, and has had the joy of fumbling with those BS canteen cap straws through the old M17 mask, you know that I have some decent stuff set to the side for the who-knows-what. However, not wanting to start burning through the small stack of sealed filters for my M40s, or wear my shop respirator to the local produce stand and look like Bane from Batman, I sat around and coughed up an ersatz bandana mask.

Basically, using about a three-foot length of 550 paracord, a stack of coffee filters, and an oversized bandana, it is simple and wears well. Just fold the filters inside, knot the two ends, pass the cord through in a horizontal line with the two ends loose. To put on, slip it over your head with the horizontal paracord to the back around your neck and pull the loose ends tight across the top of your scalp, then tie in place. Pop a cap on to help keep in place and remember that glasses/shades are your friends these days.

Boom. The bonus of using a single piece of cord wrapped A) around the back of your neck and B) over the top of your head, holds the mask tight both horizontally and vertically and keeps from having your ears rubbed raw. If you don’t have paracord, a shoe/boot string works just as well. 

The above is slightly more engineered that your typical expedient mask but involves no sewing or real skill to make, and most guys have the three ingredients around the house.

For reference, here is the Marine Corps guidance on making facemasks from an old skivvy shirt:

Meanwhile, in the Army…

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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