Buckaroos in the Great Basin country of Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon have always worn “wild rags” or neckerchiefs to keep out the cold winds. Buckaroos prefer their wild rags to be 30”x 30” or 34”x 34” or even larger silk squares. The scarves come in all colors and patterns.
Wild rags are most often made of real silk because silk is the most absorbent of all natural fibers and naturally wicks away moisture. It is warmer than wool in the winter and softens with wear.
"Cowboy Bob" Lemen from Minnesota cautions about knotted scarves: "It makes a very pretty knot, but should never, ever, be worn in an actual 'cowboy' situation!" His point being any hard knot will not loosen and if a rider is "hung-up" by the scarf on a saddle horn or other piece of equipment, they could choke to death. The same goes for any gear that a rider wears or has on their saddle. Always be aware of the very real danger of being hung up and of being dragged.
To tie the wild rag in traditional buckaroo style use the following steps.
Click on larger views with written instructions:
Below we have it one more time from a different view.
Larry Bute, chronicler of the buckaroo, illustrates the knot below in a detail taken from his illustration Cowboy Knots.