This past weekend, I was up in Vermont with some friends visiting some other friends. There was hiking (more on that later), conversation, a little Guitar Hero, and plenty of fresh air. There was also some shopping, mainly at a Michael Kors outlet. My shopping companion, A, writes a fashion blog, and she and I got to talking — again — about potential crossovers, since we both like to hike and shop. She mentioned she’d like to do something about hiking fashion. I endorsed the idea.
Then I came home, took a look at what was on schedule for today’s post, and smiled. Sometimes the world sort of comes together.
Last Monday, we talked about an important Rule: Pack the Right Equipment. The Good Stuff version of packing the right equipment, of course, is that you have to first obtain the right equipment, and that means…
Yep. That’s right. Shopping!
I know that sometimes, particularly when you’re dealing with highly technical outdoor or sporting gear, obtaining the right equipment can be daunting. I can hear your questions, because I’ve had them too: Where do I even start? How do I know what I need, and what’s right for me?
Well, I have been there. I have stood in the middle of an outdoor store, staring at the racks of shirts and pants and jackets and boots and tents and canteens and gadgets I couldn’t begin to identify, and wondered what to do next.
Then I realized that getting outdoor gear is just like any other shopping. You figure out what your mission is (dress for a formal dinner, swimsuit for a trip to the beach, backpack for day hiking), do a little preliminary research to figure out what’s out there, how much you want to spend, and what you need (everyone will be wearing cocktail attire, you are finally brave enough to try a two-piece, you want something that will carry your first aid kit and has a hydration sac), and then the fun begins.
Go to the store. Rifle through the selections. Try things on. Look in the mirror and envision yourself on the trail. See if there are any sales. Talk to the salesperson and get recommendations. Ask if you can get this in purple. (Because sometimes things are just better in purple.)
One word of warning: Once you’ve gotten the hang of shopping for outdoor gear, it really does become just like any other shopping. You might find yourself, as I do, wandering into an outdoor store and poking around for something to buy there even if you don’t need it — or seeing something you love but absolutely don’t need, and having to talk yourself out of it, like A and I did yesterday (so long for now, Michael Kors Astor Grommet hobo bag…).
© Her Side of the Mountain, 2009.