Posted by Ken Campbell May 10, 2012 1 Comment 1093 views

When it comes to outdoor adventure, the clothes most decidedly do not make the man. (Or woman.) One only needs to take a short stroll through the mall to see the truth in that little observation. 
Having the right clothes for the task at hand, however, is a fine thing indeed. When you are on the side of a mountain somewhere, the difference between one manufacturer and another will make itself evident in fairly short order. And it almost goes without saying that, here in the Pacific Northwest where the rain is always a factor, there is Goretex and then there is everything else. It costs more because it’s worth more.
I remember driving through Iowa years ago and being struck by the number of people who were wearing surfing-related attire. Everyone seemed like they were ready for the beach, even though the nearest wave was well over a thousand miles away. They wanted to look like surfers though, regardless of whether that was actually the case. (This is not a slam on the good people of Iowa… it could have been any number of other spots. It just happened to be Ames.)

I guess this is judgement, even though I like to say that judging isn’t something I do. And I’m not really sure why it’s coming up now. It’s not a rant either, just an observation.

It’s a matter of cause and effect: While buying the clothes doesn’t make you a surfer or a climber or a skiier, people who really do engage in these and other outdoor activities will naturally gravitate to what works best. So, if the real climbers are wearing one particular brand of jacket, the fake climbers will as well. And so on. It’s a form of flattery really, an attempt to absorb some of the heat of adventure without ever really seeing its light.

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