View Full Version : Is it just me?

10-23-2004, 06:18 PM
For a while now I have been seeing this more and more and I find it very strange. I will be out grocery shopping, browsing through my local hiking store, or just in the mall and I see these people. They are decked out in like they are on a hike, minus a pack of course. All leather hiking boots, zip off pants synthetic pants, cool max shirts, of course their high priced shells. They all seem to have this wise old sage from the back country look starring off across the produce department or trekking their way across the parking lot. Granted they may be stopping off to do some errands, but with a full shopping cart? Is that just a little wacky or is it just me? :eek:

10-23-2004, 06:54 PM
Makes me want to grab that nice shell while they're looking over the produce and give it a bit of a work out. :D

10-23-2004, 07:58 PM
Sounds like me, except my hiking boots are too valuable to use for anything else but their intended purpose -- so I go through a few pairs of "approach shoes" per year as my day to day wear. As soon as the weather starts getting cold, I'm wearing the same stuff I use for climbing/hiking/skiing, except it's usually just my wind proof fleece or my shell in bad weather and normal everyday pants, and a fleece hat or my Mountain Hardwear baseball cap. As for "the look', I guess I'm guilty of that also, because as I walk through life, I'm thinking of just getting by and on to the next trail/route/run, etc.


10-24-2004, 09:28 AM
That mist sprayed over the vegetables can soak right through cotton and make for a miserable shopping expedition. Hence a new product line for extreme shopping:

The North Face - "Never Stop Exploring The Produce Aisle"

When you start bringing your snowshoes, crampons, and axe you know you've gone too far!!!!


10-24-2004, 09:33 AM
Next time look closer - If the expensive jacket is patched with duct tape, the pants have rips from the puckerbrush, and the boots have 2mm old rope for laces, say hi. it might be one of us just salivating at new gear :D
BTW, I can't always afford to buy regular street clothes in addition to suits, work clothes and hiking clothes, so I have to "crossdress" DON'T ANYBODY EVEN GO THERE!!!!!!

10-24-2004, 10:45 AM
I love my gear.
I often wear my Limmer boots to do lots of errands because my bad feet feel great in them. Same with the Merrell's at work.
I wore my brand new "sled dog" hat to sleep the other night. Just trying it out. The house can get a little chilly because I am not going to turn the heat on until the pipes are in danger of freezing. Great training for winter camping.
My co-workers laugh at me every night when I am gearing up to leave work. I do however get the last laugh when we all walk out the door and they are shivering and complaining bitterly about how much they hate winter. No hats, light jackets, reebok shoes, clogs, and gloves that could be used as "evening attire".
Some of these people live in rural areas and cell phone service is not reliable. I carry my minus 30 bag in the truck all winter and extra clothes.
I carry my crampons to work all winter and I have an extra pair in my truck. They are very handy when the hospital maintenance crew has not properly cleared our walkways of snow and ice. I have taken my very last fall in that hospital parking lot. Several staff have fractured an extremity slip/sliding away trying to get to their vehicles. I now own the nice velcro studs. Easy on, easy off.
My purse is a Mountain Smith fanny pack that I wear with the shoulder strap and my work bag is a North Face day pack.
YES INDEED! Love that gear and highly recommend it.
I can get quite chilly in the frozen section of the Big Y if not properly attired. :D

10-24-2004, 01:58 PM
since getting into hiking & buying all the gear, etc. i do notice when i see someone wearing clothing that is linked to the sport. i often wonder: are they a hiker, rock climber; etc? or are they just wearing it cuz it's cool, functional, comphy or like to have the best stuff? sometimes, if i'm standing in a grocery line i've been know to ask "do you hike"?. a lot of times the answer is no but sometimes i meet a fellow hiker. my hiking clothes, especially the tops are so comfortable i wear them all the time even around the house - i'm sitting here right now with one of my zip tops on; so if i have to run an errand out the door i go. the clothing fabrics are just so darn comfortable you can't blame folks for not buying the stuff even if they never saw a trail in their life! unfortunately i can't wear the stuff to work, although on casual fridays i've slipped in a few prs of hiking pants i have that don't have knee zips! :cool:

10-24-2004, 06:11 PM
I can think of no better way to start breaking in a new set of leather boots than wearing them off the trail in between hikes. Isn't the rule 50 miles of break-in before multi-day hikes?

10-24-2004, 06:29 PM
I think its mostly fashion when I see folks sporting back country garb around metopolitain Montreal. But hey, why not? If it keeps you warm and dry on Mt. Santanoni in february it's sure to be efficient waiting for the bus on any windy corner in the NE. I like wearing my winter camping clothes when I'm in town cuz it brings what I love doing best into my day to day life.

10-24-2004, 07:13 PM
I have 2 sets of cloths, work (kakis, dress shirt, etc) and hiking cloths. When I am not at work I don't wear the shirt and tie. So I have two choices wearing my hiking cloths or walking around in the buff. Since I am not allowed to embarass my family I keep the hiking cloths on.

10-24-2004, 08:54 PM
So maybe I'm the odd one (won't be the first time) but my hiking stuff is for hiking. After searching out what works for me and spending my money I want it to last as long as possible. I have enough clothes to wear elsewhere.

(oh, and those who are wearing the hiking fashion around town - they're saving the jeans and sneakers for hiking :D )

10-24-2004, 10:58 PM
I thought we wore sneakers on the Bradley Pond Trail so all the water wouldn't ruin the hiking boots. I see the same things in stores quite often many times I sense it is to impress others. It is sort of like some of the conversations overheard at places like the AMC Huts.
One time I will never forget at Zealand hut a group was talking on the porch. You know how some will speak with a volume intended to be overheard but still muted enough not to be obvious. The comment was "the mountains here are nice but smaller than the Alps, I was so impressed looking those mountains I left my cashmire sweater on a rock."

10-25-2004, 06:50 AM
My wife will no longer shop with me if I wear my gaiters to the supermarket.

Jay H
10-25-2004, 07:16 AM
I am constantly shopping in bike gear (helmet, gloves, cycling attire) because I bike there, but there are a lot of times I'm coming home from hiking or paddling, that I still have my gear on. Though, I admit I would remove the gaitors or my spray skirt/PFD. :)

Jay :p

10-25-2004, 08:38 AM
I agree with you all. Breaking in boots, stopping off to pick some stuff up after a hike, and the fear of hypothermia in the frozen food aisle ;) . Part of my thing is that I am jealous of the gear (I know I am sad and pathetic) that they have on - I am a low budget hiker/climber. I am glad it is not just me. Thanks for the humor as well!

Mr. X
10-25-2004, 09:38 AM
Semi releated to the topic.

I find it hilarious when I see people over dressed. I was looking for moose while visiting Sandy Stream Pond in BSP a few years ago. We ran across a woman that was obviously in no shape to hike (really, just take my word for it) decked out in full gore-tex super gaitors with hood on taking pics. I think it was like 55į and sun-a-risen. Now mind you I bit my lip almost till it bleed trying not to laugh. Hey, she was enjoying the moment, so was I and thats all that counts I guess.

10-25-2004, 09:52 AM
I think the phenomenon of "dressed for a winter assault on Market Basket" is partly due to the push that manufacturers like NF and Columbia,and now HH,are making ,to sell to average retail customers. I guess you can't blame them,'cause that's where the money is. REI and EMS are going the same route also. Look at the folks you see in those stores next time. It's a diferent breed than you would see a few years ago. Every other college kid on Comm. Ave is spoting a NF jacket these days.

On the other hand,I'm worried about myself...
I've become "fleece dependent" :o
I'm afraid to wear a cotton tee shirt outside! :eek:

"This supermarket practices LNT principles-please put your grocery cart in the proper place when finished"
"Crampons are not permitted in the store"

10-25-2004, 10:16 AM
Don't forget about Outside Magazine: "The magazine for people who don't actually go outside."

10-25-2004, 11:01 AM
I work at a small university in CT and can attest to the fact that ever, and I mean ever, student wears North Face. The funny part is that they wear low riding jeans with short cropped shirts and a TNF vest or jacket. And donít get me started on the above the butt tattoos.

10-25-2004, 11:50 AM
As I started reading this thread, I was wondering if BeninVA was guilty of Gear Envy. Then I read his reply where he admitted the possibility of suffering from this malady. It is a debilitating condition noted by symptoms of staring, scoffing and tsking. ;)

All kidding aside, don't always judge a book by its cover. I have hiked with people who, in street clothes, don't look like they could walk up a flight of stairs but six hours and 5000 feet of vertical later they are still smiling and looking for more. Sure there are always going to be those who like the outdoor look (or the sporty look or the preppy look, etc) who are not necessarily what they are dressed like. And remember, there are people at all ends of the economic spectrum who enjoy hiking. I've hiked with everything from car mechanics to millionaires who ran their own companies. Some could afford the high priced gear and others couldn't. Each to their own.

I would say that NF, REI, EMS and other outdoor outfitters purposely market non-hiking outdoor clothes. A work colleague has two young teenage daughters who won't wear any jacket if it's not NF. It's gotten trendy. I'm sure some of the profits from those pseudo-outdoorsy types helps to fund research into 'real' backcountry clothes that this community wears on the trail. One can only imagine what the price of the Arc Teryx goretex parkas would cost without the urban/suburban market to help the bottom line.


10-25-2004, 12:28 PM
Now that I look at my orginal post, I don't want you all to think I am a gear/trail snob. It sure does sound that way. I am involved in training people to monitor trails in the midatlantic I have hiked with people from all backgrounds and types of gear. I just had come across a few people on Saturday that struck me funny. I think people, especially myself are pretty fun at times. No harm intended.

10-25-2004, 01:27 PM
Over the last three weekends I have spent two Friday nights and one Saturday afternoon standing in wind and rain, photographing high school and college football games, and another Saturday morning in high winds and cold shooting a high school cross country running meet. Such is the lot of he or she who does photo assignments for local daily newspapers in this season. Tricked out in a decent EMS Gore-Tex shell parka with appropriate layers of wool and fleece stuff underneath, my well waterproofed hiking boots, and selected accessories from my hiking gear collection, I tackled the jobs (no pun intended, of course) fearlessly.

Some folks may have thought me -- a short fat guy -- to be a pretender, clad in all that hikiní stuff. But so be it. I walked the sidelines and the race course in relative comfort, and got the pictures I was sent after.

As it turns out, a lot of my hiking wardrobe is just the right stuff for many of the photo assignments I get called to do. My Limmers are the most comfortable footwear I own, period, and are perfect for jobs that will have me on my feet for long hours. They also are pretty good in the press of a crowd, for other reasons I needn't divulge here (use your imagination).

Sometimes I go shopping for groceries on my way home from a job. Sometimes I go shopping for groceries on the way home from a hike. Should you spot me and move in a little closer, you probably could tell which it is by the fragrances I emit.


10-25-2004, 02:06 PM
i've been know to sleep in my fleece! ;)
and , it's a must for shopping at price chopper in the 20 mall - it's frelling cold in there! :eek:

10-25-2004, 02:23 PM
Anyone remember the Seinfeld episode where George wears his puffy outdoor jacket the whole episode. When question about it, he would reply,
"It's Gortex you know!". Always found that amusing.

What other people wear don't wear has nothing to do with me. Unless of course they are wearing something cooler than me. ;)


10-25-2004, 08:09 PM
Heck, living up here in the North Maine Woods, just getting to work in the winter is an adventure :p 50 miles, nobody but me on the interstate. I carry full winter gear, and my MSR XGK in the trunk. Then there's the 1/3 mile walk from the parking lot to the ER entrance. Need Gore-tex and Beanie boots, maybe some snowshoes and skipoles when it really gets deep.

Here's the real catcher though: I have one of the longest commutes to work, and I've only missed two days due to weather in the last 9 years :)
I suppose I could use that as an incentive to buy more gear, I need to be able to get to work :rolleyes:

10-26-2004, 08:00 AM
In a related story, I received an REI catalog in the mail yesterday. One of the headlines on the pages (I'm paraphrasing here) was "Get the gear that's hot!" UGH!
Yes, I need the hottest gear, so I'm stylin' out on the trail! I wouldn't want to be seen in last year's soft shell. Oh, the horror! Kill me.

I am also sometimes seen wearing my hiking clothes around town, but not too often...because they are stinky!

10-26-2004, 08:19 AM
Next stop is hip hugger wind pants!

Maybe I should switch from Mountain Hardwear to Old Navy! :confused:

10-26-2004, 09:19 AM
On a related note, have you ever wondered why no one ever uses a hip belt when carrying 60 pounds of books? I once asked a female student why she didnít place the weight on her hips rather than straining her shoulders, and she couldnít give me an answer. To prove my point, I adjusted her hip belt and pack to take the weight off of her shoulders and although she agreed it was infinitely more comfortable, two hours later I saw her once again without the hip belt. Those of you who have children, would you please explain this to me.

10-26-2004, 09:58 AM
On a related note, have you ever wondered why no one ever uses a hip belt when carrying 60 pounds of books? I once asked a female student why she didnít place the weight on her hips rather than straining her shoulders, and she couldnít give me an answer. To prove my point, I adjusted her hip belt and pack to take the weight off of her shoulders and although she agreed it was infinitely more comfortable, two hours later I saw her once again without the hip belt. Those of you who have children, would you please explain this to me.

Our daughter, Prima Donna Grumpy, was an easy-to-raise child in most respects. But she taught me that with the younger on-campus set (high school and college) fashion trumps function in almost every game. The absolute worst thing is to look nerdy even though it is perfectly acceptable to dress, appear and act like you are stupid as a box of rocks.

That probably explains nothing. But I feel better having posted it. :p


10-26-2004, 10:07 AM
Working in academia, I see it all. The latest fad is wearing 6 inch stiletto heels with sweat pants or whatever. One student that I see on a regular basis is always limping around in pain. When she takes her shoes off, her feet are nothing more than open wounds. Iím sure the local podiatrists are making a killing.

Bob Kittredge
10-26-2004, 10:28 AM
I'm as fashion-unconscious as the next guy. If I wear hiking gear while not on the trail, it's for purely functional reasons. An hour in a museum is murder on my feet if I'm not wearing my boots. The Gortex jacket is perfect for traveling light. In Italy last year it was unseasonably warm, and I kicked myself for not bringing hiking shorts or zip-leg pants. A compass in a strange city can be a real help.

10-26-2004, 12:15 PM
I have friends and family that dress the part of the outdoorsy hiker type. Funny, when I invite them to test out their clothes with me in the winter, they never seem to take me up on it... I am sure you all have seen the 'are you crazy' smirk that accompanies declining an opportunity to visit the mountains in the winter. Whatever... I guess we as Americans are pretty shallow as a whole... :( :rolleyes:

10-26-2004, 04:42 PM
My commute to work is 50 miles also. I take all the back roads in inclement winter weather because I have found the Interstates more lethal than Huntington Ravine. Some folks drive nuts and fast so I pack all my gear, put glacier grips on all four wheels of the 4WD truck and go for it.
Some of my fondest memories have been coming home in raging blizzards, alone on rural roads at night, trees so heavy laden with snow that branches were smashing on my windshield, and feeling secure that I could spend days out there and survive! My longest commute was 4hrs home in a whiteout.
Wearing my gear also reminds me of all the happy times and all that I have to look forward to. By wearing it daily, I can also fine tune it before hitting the trail again should a problem arise.
I even keep gator aid and power bars deep in the minus 30 bag so they don't freeze.
I envy you living in Northern Maine. It would be an even bigger challenge.
Got to go. The winter tent is in at REI. Nice sale. Saved $100 on the Sierra Design Hercules AST. (Two person.) :D :D :D

10-26-2004, 05:34 PM
Some of my fondest memories have been coming home in raging blizzards, alone on rural roads at night, trees so heavy laden with snow that branches were smashing on my windshield, and feeling secure that I could spend days out there and survive!
I agree - It is a nice feeling of security knowing that wherever I go in the winter, I have a small stove, fuel & pot as well as some hot chocolate and soup along with my old -25 bag and a sleeping pad tucked safely in the back of my truck!!!