marshall trimble ask the marshall true west magazine

How did men and women keep their hats on when riding fast or in high wind?

Kenneth Williams
Deer Park, Texas

Those wide-brimmed hats could be difficult. The most effective way was to use a “Stampede String” to keep their hat on their head. They would punch a hole on each side of the crown and tie it under their chin. If they had a large, wide rag they could lay it across the crown and tie it under their chin. It’s also good to have a hat that fits snugly. We’ve found keeping your chin down makes it harder for the wind to lift off a hat, but that might not be a good idea when riding hard.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen; The History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or email him at

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