Costumes. They’re an essential part of life — and not just on Halloween. We (by we, I mean me and Giles, of course) love costumes, and embrace them from the moment we play our first game of dress-up as children. Sure, on Halloween (and perhaps for the errant masquerade ball), we go all out and put together outfits in order to be things that we either couldn’t hope to be or wouldn’t want to be in our real lives. But costumes are not just for Halloween. I put on a costume every day that I go to work — suit, heels, proper accessories — and then I change into a different costume, usually involving jeans or yoga pants (I’m not into yoga, but I’m really into yoga pants), when I get home.
Putting on the right clothing, having the right accessories, is our chance to be not someone else, but rather some particular version of ourselves. Whatever you’re doing, if you can put on the costume, you can put yourself into the mental space necessary to focus. I can write anywhere, but my favorite way to write is on a laptop in a cafe, preferably one where a waitperson will keep filling my coffee.
This holds true for hiking and camping, as well. While having the right equipment is necessary, it’s also fun, and puts you in the right frame of mind to tackle the outdoors. Clothing that is hiking-appropriate, shoes that work for you, hiking poles/walking sticks, backpacks, water bottles, etc., are the trappings that make up the outdoors costume.
We aren’t talking about specifics today, it’s just food for thought: getting the right gear isn’t an excuse to shop (though that’s a nice side benefit), or some fakery that outdoorsy types indulge in. It’s the costume. And costumes are important.
What are the key parts to your hiking/camping costume?
© Her Side of the Mountain, 2009.