I’ve been wearing a shemagh in the woods for years, but as I’ve made my pivot in most of my hunting wardrobe away from cotton and synthetics to merino there a few holdouts. One such holdout, and one that soaks up a bunch of human odor was that shemagh. The scarf, 42″ square wrapped in some configuration on or about my head. During whitetail season in Pennsylvania I fear wearing it beyond the first few days lest a deer smell me and blow out of the area. We don’t have laundry at our camp so the best case scenario is washing in the river or our kitchen sink.
Enter North x North. They’re a Pennsylvania based company focused on the outdoor recreator, ethically sourcing their merino and sewing their products right here in the USA. The Merino Kerchief is patterned after a middle eastern shemagh, less the ornamental tassels. It’s more cowboy than peshmerga.
Launched on Kickstarter in 2016, North x North (NxN) specializes in multifunctional merino wool apparel. By pairing timeless designs with modern day merino, their apparel helps keep wearers comfortable regardless of the climate or weather. There’s over 100 different ways to use or wear. From in town to on the trail, NxN keeps comfort light and right on hand. Each of their products are made from 100% premium, ethically-sourced Australian merino wool and masterfully sewn in Pennsylvania.
Their website boasts 100 uses for the scarf, but most people are likely to only use a couple of them. I’ve detailed a couple of the uses I put my scarves to in a previous article. It’s one piece of my hunting kit that is always constant, and the Cayenne color from NxN is a nice addition to my gear that makes sure I’m never short on blaze orange.
This season I kept the merino kerchief with me during every trip. Sometimes it just wrapped my optics or was used as a makeshift optics cloth, or sometimes it was dipped in a stream or shot with water to keep me from passing out on my late August hunts for dove. But it was always there. The merino wool is incredibly soft, and outshines any of the previous shemaghs I’ve owned by far, and I’ve had it in my bag for months now without it attracting that field funk some of my other clothes have gotten.
Our merino kerchief put on the miles with us this year. It served as a satchel for berry and rose hip picking, a head scarf, a neck kerchief, and a bandana. We sweated in it, soaked it, wrung it out, and wore it again. It still smells fresh as a daisy and the color hasn’t faded from machine washing.
It’s light, not made of scratchy wool of yesteryear but that incredibly soft merino wool you’ve come to love. An awful lot of my hunting and outdoor gear is now merino rather than old poly propylene gear. I’ve been reaping the benefits of this change, with moisture wicking and better insulation. It cut the wind while glassing on a ridgetop in the Colorado River valley during our mule deer hunt. The kerchief protected my optics while my Outdoorsmans pack was otherwise crashing around the back of my pickup on many hunts. It also kept me from getting incredibly sunburnt on some adventures where I probably should have suncreened better.
The MSRP on the Merino Kerchief is $65 and goes to a small business based out of my home state of Pennsylvania. I’ve already purchased another to give it as a gift this holiday season. Right now if you order over $100 from North x North you’ll get free shipping.
Note: Heads up, this is a sponsored post. Meaning, the gear we tested we got for free. This in no way altered our objectivity in the testing,