Well I promised a post on a surprise fashion statement a bit back so here it is.
Yes, that is me in a kilt. Not a dress, a skirt or, heaven help us, skorts. The better looking fellow to the right is my A number 1 son, chief hiking partner and all around best kid I know. He gets bonus points because he thinks dad in a kilt is okay.
I am a member of a hammock forum (hammockforums.net) and there are a number of men there who have taken to hiking in kilts. It is a topic of intermittent discussion and has a lot of people interested and thinking on the subject if not actually pulling the trigger and jumping in with both feet. I’ll wait for you to form the mental image of someone jumping into a kilt with….aahhhh, there it is. SO the topic has been discussed and I’ve looked several times at different vendors but not until I decided to do this section hike on the AT was it a matter of true consideration. Hold on. That’s a lie. Truth was I was doing what all men do. We make up our mind on something then we wait for, work on, manufacture or manipulate a justification why this or that is what we are going to do. I wanted to do this from the start and the AT hike was the excuse I needed to justify the choice, if not explain it to some level. Ok, that feels better to come clean on that. It should also be stated that I have some Scots/Irish heritage and kilts are a part of that culture and thus I wanted that to be part of me in this day.
The boy and I went hiking this past weekend in a particular slice of heaven in northwest Alabama called the Sipsey Wilderness and so I took the opportunity to try out the kilt in a real world hiking experience.
I found it to be a breath of fresh air. I’ll wait for you to….oh, never mind, you’re already there. In comparison to hiking in pants or shorts, I found it to be cooler. As the day went on and the temperature increased and we were up on the ridges, I could feel a remarkable difference in the temperature…down…there. Can you tell this is awkward to write about?
Bottom line is, it was a more comfortable mode of apparel for hiking than I imagined and like the look as well. I caught a lot of ribbing from the other guys at camp but I gave as good as I got on that score. The funny part was that for every guy who gave me the business about the kilt, there were just as many who wanted to know where I got it, how was it to wear and did I like it or not. Some of whom were the same guys wearing me out about it in front of the others.
One other item of note. You need to be secure in who you are to go this route, if not someone who has a mischievous streak. I am fortunate to have both. I took great pleasure in the looks, turned to stares, turned to “Ooo, I got busted”, turned to hushed whispers from folks I passed in public places. There were more than a few smiles from pretty ladies which, in my book is a bonus. Now if I can just convince the boss to make this standard issue work uniform. What? It could happen.