Tag: Clothing

Gear Filter: How to Avoid Going Broke Buying Adventure Gear

Mark Shipman's Garage via JustGetOut.net

Mark Shipman’s Garage via JustGetOut.net

Our ancestors went camping with little more than a breechcloth and stick. Nowadays you can’t get out without your Osprey Stratos pack and MSR Hubba Hubba.

There’s no upper limit to how much you can spend on adventure gear. The big question is how much do you really need?

The Last Whole Earth Catalog gives us the answer with a handy little “gear filter.”

As Dan Schiller suggested in Popular Photography, the CATALOG will bankrupt you if you can’t distinguish between what you need and what you wish you needed.

Start extravagant, and you’ll never finish. Get the cheap tool first, see if it feeds your life. If it does, then get a better one. Once you use it all the time, get the best. You can only grow into quality. You can’t buy it.

Most of the stuff in the CATALOG can be borrowed free from a library.

Good advice. Start with a Jansport pack and pair of comfy sneakers and try a six mile hike on for size. If you start doing this every weekend move up from there. And don’t be afraid to beg, borrow or even rent gear for your next adventure.


501s: John Wayne, Henry Rollins, Marilyn Monroe and the “Australopithecus of Cool Jeans”

Somewhere around 1972 the Los Angeles Times’ California Magazine ran an article about Levis 501s and the people who wore them – prospectors, cowboys and Bing Crosby who had a tuxedo custom made by Levi Straus so that he could wear jeans at his favorite high-end watering holes.

I was hooked. And even though I thought “shrink to fit” meant that you had to wear your jeans wet until they fit you, I’ve been a Levi’s fan most of my life.

This video simply makes me want to go back for more.

[Via Kottke.org]

Socks That Last Forever

Vermont Darn Tough Sock

Usually I don’t like to use the words “darn” and “socks” together in a sentence, but “Darn Tough” is how Ric Cabot describes the socks his family has been making for over 30 years. Outside Blog has just endorsed Darn Tough in their Gear Army section. I like the fact that these socks are made in Vermont, and will be adding them to my gear list.

When you shell out $14 for a pair of socks you hope that they will last the better part of a season. Over the years I’ve picked up a number of high-end socks and I haven’t been disappointed. Smartwool socks are velvety-soft and have lasted me through a good year of regular use. Hot, dry, wet, cold they’ve handled it all.

Wigwam socks are the best. They are a little scratchier than Smartwool but they feel more indestructable. I’ve had my Wigwams for about two years now, and wear them daily. They still fit great. Made in Sheboygan where the median family income is $47,000 (compared to $72,000 for the Southern California area where I live), which also gives me an incentive to pay a little extra over the tube socks which don’t last or perform nearly as well.

Super Tip! Prevent Lost Socks!

If you’re going to shell out a lot of bread for socks, use these clips. They’ve made my life infinitely easier. Unfortunately the Sock Cop web page is down…has the business expired? Too bad for humanity if that’s the case. These clips are ideal for keeping pairs of bulky wool socks together through wash and dry. My only beef is that they are a little tough to pinch open and sometimes break. An alternative is the Sock Pro – if you’ve tried these, please let me know how well they work in the comments section below.