Ed. Note: Archival Clothing guest contributor Tom B. submits the following report on a formative sartorial handbook, The Golden Book of Camping and Camp Crafts.
The Golden Book of Camping and Camp Crafts (1959) offers terrific examples of outdoor apparel. The illustrations are remarkably consistent, suggesting a uniform of jeans (rolled cuff), moccasins or loafers, and a button-up shirt (rolled sleeves). Nothing groundbreaking, of course, but the devil’s in the details. In each illustration, there’s always something to steer these versatile outfits in the direction of outdoor activity.
A belt knife is always handy.*
A sporty cap and a canvas rucksack are perfect for a lightweight outing.
I’m very fond of the mountaineer’s look, although his Dulfersitz method isn’t ideal (it’s better to rappel on both strands, avoiding friction at the anchor).
Fellows, remember that there’s nothing wrong with short shorts. And while this campfire is hardly Leaving No Trace
, I approve of the light overshirt to ward off an evening chill.
Maybe the best part of these images is that, aside from the knickers and rucksacks**, everything is easily available today. Between classic LL Bean
models, W.C. Russell moccasins
, well-curated Patagonia
, and a few choice accessories, you could join me in using this uniform during this summer’s backpacking trips.
*I’ll leave the specifics of knife choice to another post, but allow me to advocate the Finnish Puukko over the Bowie knife depicted in the illustration. My own knife can be viewed here.