The Gentleman's Guide to Camping
It’s one thing to pull off suave and stylish in the bustling urban setting; it’s another thing completely to brave the mud, marshes and pitching gear, and still come out a fashionable man. It doesn’t help that, while cheap tents for camping are in abundance, staying thrifty in terms of the outfits you’ll be sporting is seriously taxing.
Just look at North Face. Their profit margins are fantastically high because of the fact that offer ‘speciality’ gear. It’s pricey stuff, and as soon as your budgeting belt tightens up, the options are slim and, frankly, often hideous.
But have no fear.
Let’s start with dispelling some myths; you don’t need to go after the specialised gear to enjoy a comfortable camping experience. Start from the bottom up.
Wellington boots - or galoshes, or whatever you like to call them - have had a recent surge in popularity, thanks to the Hunters phenomenon, which has given fashionistas free reign to incorporate the old wellies into some chic ensembles. Thrift shop for something in your size, and be ready to tailor your palette to them. If the only kind you can find are fluorescent yellow, work around that; sport an array of bright colours.
Hiking boots are also a nice option, especially if you know you’ll be heading to some more mountainous zones, and often old hiking boots come cheap, with the added bonus of an authentic road-worn look. They’re not as waterproof as galoshes, though, so check out the weather and the area before you arrive so you can make an informed decision.
Trousers need to be comfortable and durable, and, since they are likely to get dirty at some point, either a dark brown or blue. Check your existing wardrobe; are their any old jeans that you wouldn’t mind staining? If so, save up those Benjamins and put them towards some decent stools or a cooler.
Finally, the overcoat. You might have assumed a blasé dismissal of employing raincoats since it’s summertime, but do not make this mistake. The only thing predictable about weather is that it is unpredictable. Prepare thyself. No matter how stupid you may feel wearing a hand-me-down macintosh, you’ll look far more laughable soaked to the bone sporting a scraggly mess of hair.
If you do go for the raincoat, go all out. Get it in a bright colour, get something that will fit nicely with a decent lapel, wear it with pride. Vintage large-buttoned raincoats are a fantastic choice, available in light oak browns and creams, and if you’re lucky, you could find one in a thrift shop.
The best way to make something enviable is to exude confidence while you sport it. Style is not a trend; style is an attitude.
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