In my last post, I mentioned frame backpacks and it got me thinking about how I’ve never quite gone over what to use and wear while out exploring. Many people (read: teenagers) go out in their canvas sneakers and whatever they can carry in their pockets and survive the trip just fine. I, however, have a deep gash on one of my winter boots that probably would’ve ended up on my foot if I had worn Vans.
Now I’m not saying go in there dressed like a SWAT guy, that would be silly and also draw more attention, but a few basics are good to have around. The first thing to have is a pair of boots with thick sole and preferably a steel toe. It also helps to have something with material that wicks moisture off of you. Something like a Magnum Stealth Force (with composite toe!) would be a good choice, and you can usually find them at much lower prices through resellers than on their manufacturer site. I realize this is actually a boot SWAT guys wear but if you don’t tuck your pants in your shoes they look like any work boot really.
I also have a pair of boots with heavier insulation for the winter because as cold as it is outside it’s probably twenty degrees colder inside an abandoned building. Also if you go draining, you’ll want a pair of those calf-high rubber boots. Any brand will do, don’t pay more than fifty dollars (US) for them. Make sure you double your socks, though, they tend to rip up your feet.
Next you’ll need a jacket and for that I’d recommend an M-65 field jacket. The real ones, not the Target knock off ones made of different material. Also, make sure you get one with a liner. These are nice because they’re ‘windproof’ and water repellant (not proof.) You still need to use some sense when outside in the cold and you start to get wet, however. Just go google hypothermia. The liner is useful for the winter months and I often use my M-65 as a winter coat, especially when there’s wet snow coming down.
Now remember, getting everything in one color, especially black, is going to make people pay more attention to you. So, try mixing tan and black, or tan and blue. You can be safe and fabulous!