It was in late 2014, when I was preparing for my first walk (the Camino Frances), that I heard this pronouncement:
Serious hikers don’t care if their clothes match or their backpack is the “wrong” color. What matters is that everything fits and is comfortable.
So, being the intrepid soon-to-be serious hiker, off I went looking for good deals in clothes that fit, dried quickly, and were comfortable. It mattered not what color they were. Well, that isn’t entirely true. I still wanted to look, at least remotely, sartorially coordinated, so I looked around a bit for things that did not, at least, clash. I ended up taking these pieces:
• Brown/hunter green hiking pants that I had to let down because they were too short;
• a blue short sleeved T-shirt;
• a pink short sleeved T-shirt;
• a turquoise long sleeved shirt;
• a teal fleece jacket;
• brown socks;
• a tan hiking skirt;
• blue hiking sandals; and
• grey boots.
I did my best to find a teal backpack to match at least something, and I ended up with a pink one that matched one of my shirts. Pink is not my favorite color but the pack fit exceptionally well. And then I took a multicolored scarf that “pulled it all together.”
Last year, for the Camino Portuguese, I bought an inexpensive light blue sleeveless shirt and got rid of the pink T-shirt. I swapped out my blue short sleeve T-shirt for a light green one. I brought tan shorts instead of the skirt that hiked up my legs with every step. My socks were grey and teal. As far as sartorial eloquence, this was slightly better. The scarf still helped.
This year when the walking bug struck again I made this vow:
I will coordinate the color of my clothes.
I know, it’s shallow. But darn it, I’m worth it.
Here, though, was the problem. That pink backpack (whose color I don’t really care for) fits really nicely. One just does not mess around with that kind of success. I even bought an identical pair of boots for my next trek. Some things you must not change.
Black and grey. Goes with pink, yes? YES!
With more than a year to go and with no significant training under my belt, I’ve gone and purchased my ENTIRE new wardrobe for the Camino Del Norte. Not only that, I’ve bought more than I will actually take. The new “exercise” will be to decide if the new black capris or the new black skirt (which is actually a skort, so it won’t hike up) will go, and whether the new second short sleeved t-shirt will replace the new sleeveless one (both grey).
Grey uppers, black lowers. I’m still in the market for that new coordinating scarf. (Won’t it be funny when my “after” pictures look just like these “before” shots?)
In the end, I may not look like a serious hiker but I might be fashion forward!