How to look outdoorsy

I was inspired to write this post 5 years ago when I was shopping in Millets for things to take on holiday campervanning around California. Millets is a very inspiring place.

I like the great outdoors. Out there in the countryside they have all the good stuff. Space, weather, nice smells, hills, pubs with fireplaces, lambs. But there’s a difference between liking the outdoors and being outdoorsy. You don’t have to be outdoors to be outdoorsy. You can be outdoorsy anywhere. In a city, on a tube, in the bar. In fact the more indoors you are, the more outdoorsy you’ll look. That’s the trick.

You’ll achieve ultimate outdoorsiness as long as you adhere to the following rules:

Thou shalt always wear a berghaus fleece

That little blue and red logo holds the key to all your dreams. In all the history of the wearable fleece, not once has it been in fashion.That’s the beauty of fleeces. Unlike flares, or crop tops, or shoulder pads, fleeces are timeless. They’re uninterestingly immortal. In 100 years time when we’re all living in virtual reality, some of us will still be wearing fleeces.

The Berghaus fleece is timeless and it is reliable. It’s durable, water-resistant, lightweight and warm. All the qualities a rugged outdoorsy person like you needs. But at the same time it’s so incredibly soft on your skin.

Thou shalt take a 60 litre backpack even on weekend trips

No matter how long or short your trip is; whether you’re going hiking or to a business conference, ALWAYS take your 60 litre backpack no matter what. Without your massive backpack how will anyone know how intrepid you are? Don’t even think about taking that little black suitcase with wheels. It doesn’t matter that it has really smooth wheel traction. It doesn’t matter that it’s the perfect size to fit into the luggage rack. It doesn’t matter that it puts far less strain on your back, neck and shoulders. If you want to look outdoorsy, your 60 litre backpack is going with you.

Thou shalt get all the equipment

First aid kits, compasses, a thermos, rope, tiny inefficient carabinas, a bivvy, waterproof trousers, a flare, whistle, clean water converter, rehydrated rice. Have it all in your possession. You never actually have to use it obviously. Just have it.

Thou shalt loiter in camping shops

To acquire all of your outdoorsy equipment you will of course have to spend a lot of time loitering in camping shops reading the backs of packets. Don’t forget to wear your Berghaus fleece, otherwise the staff will think you’re a right amateur.

Thou shalt rejoice at bad weather

Any time you’re outside, say with friends or work colleagues, and it starts to drizzle, smile assuredly, hold your hands up to the rain and say ‘there’s no bad weather, just bad clothing’.

Thou shalt scoff at women who wear make-up

Make-up is for indoorsies.

Thou shalt fill your bookshelves with OS maps and bird watching books

Obviously don’t actually read them.

Thou shalt not shave

Whether you’re a man or woman, do not shave. Men: grow the messiest, straggliest beard you can and if possible, make sure there’s a couple of stray twigs or a dried leaf nestled in there. Women: nothing says carefree wanderer more than a hairy armpit or two.

If you can master these key rules, then you’re well on your way to being 100% outdoorsy. Now go forth and be at one with nature (but don’t actually go out into the great outdoors, you might die).

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