A natural follow on from my last post on the stages of gear shopping seemed to be to do something about actually trying to look halfway decent on the hill. Apologies to the blokes reading this but I’m not sure that this is something that necessarily bothers them. For guys there seem to be two main considerations – firstly does it fit and secondly does it have any holes in it. Assuming those two hurdles can be successfully overcome the fact that a lurid orange base layer might not go with a red waterproof is not really on the radar.
If you are a girl there are rather more considerations – at least if you are me: some women are perfectly happy to take the guy approach and not worry about it. Unfortunately I’m not one of them. Well there’s that summit selfie to think of isn’t there?
The main considerations seem to be:
1. Does my bum look big in this. This is a female variant of does it fit. Yes it might fit but some hill walking trousers do not have a particularly flattering cut for the more generously proportioned female and I have some photos that make me cringe in hindsight. Craghoppers Kiwi Pro Stretch every time for me now – flattering and comfortable.
2. Does it go together. This is not really as difficult as it sounds given most outdoor gear manufacturers take the approach for women’s gear of ‘shrink it and pink it’. If you don’t like pink or purple it can be a problem – fortunately I do and most of my gear is black or grey (trousers) or pink, grey or purple (fleeces and base layers). My waterproof jacket is an aberration as the burnt orange version was massively discounted and I try not to think too much about how much it clashes with my Osprey day pack (cerise).
3. Will it look decent in the pub afterwards. Even if splattered in mud or bog. (Weird fact – dried out bog stains on your trousers go glittery)
4. Shall I put my face on? Well every morning I do so why would a hill walk be any different. Foundation, eye liner and a bit of lippy and I’m good to go. I always take a lipstick on the hill too- not just out of vanity but I don’t really want to get dry lips on a walk.
5. Hair. If you have long hair then the only practical thing to do is tie it back. Still doesn’t stop it going everywhere though. A particular pain if it’s really windy.
6. Mascots. I know I’m not the only one that has a small stuffed toy clipped to their rucksack. In my case it’s a minion but I’ve seen plenty of bears, toy sheep, all sorts.
7. Summit selfie. If I’m walking with my husband or others I try and get them to take a photo of me instead. I’m hopelessly unphotogenic and that way am less likely to look a complete tip. I haven’t yet used the selfie stick I was given for Christmas.. Given my track record doing selfies maybe it’s time I did.
At least stage 8 isn’t a worry.. A good glass of red goes with everything!