The O List


Jan 10, 2001
Outside Magazine

Shirt  Lightweight Shell  Socks  Fleece Jacket  Suit  Pants  Base Layer  Barn Coat  Jeans
The Shirt That Just Won't Die
By Elwood Reid

So there's this shirt I have. Yes, it's soft and warm, an XXXLG, XTRA-Tall cotton chamois from CABELA'S to be exact. And it's camo--old-school camo, not to be confused with that trendy shit that models wear. The shirt's ugly and even though I tell her it matches anything, my wife hates it, says people cross the street when they see me coming. That's a good thing, especially in New York City, where I spent an ill-advised year going broke and pining for trout. New Yorkers saw me stomping past them (six-foot-six, 270 lbs, prominent brow) and pegged me for any number of best-to-be-avoided types: gun-polishing-Charlton-Heston-Is-My-President militia man, Ted Nugent Double Live gonzo deerslayer, Bush/Cheney apologist, or perhaps worse, just horribly dressed and wearing the wrong shoes.
The shirt is stained with nail grease and paint from my carpenter days. Salmon have spawned on it, and when I fell on the fish with vengeance in my heart, I wiped my knife clean on the shirt, where it joined the blood of some frat guy I'd head-butted during my stint as a bouncer at a punk club (he'd mistaken my neck for an ashtray). The front right tail is torn courtesy of a Skilsaw that nearly sunk into my leg. The pockets are torn from shoving supplies in them--beer, Pop-Tarts, jerky--back when I used to get intentionally lost in the woods looking for mushrooms. It's good to venture off the grid every once in a while and feel that solitary panic of not knowing where the hell you are. With the right shirt I recommend it but be warned--woodsy types eyeball you with that same city-slicker suspicion when you step off the trail gunless in camo. I may not know where I'm going or what I'm looking for, but with the right shirt none of that matters.
Available at Cabela's; 800-237-4444;
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L.L. Bean Ultralite Parka

The best shell should feel like you're wearing air while providing protection against Mother Nature, like the L.L. Bean Ultralite Parka. Its secret? A fabric that's 15 percent lighter and 15 percent more compactible than standard Gore-Tex. The parka's trim profile cuts weight and doesn't leave excess fabric flapping in the wind like an empty sail.
$249; 800-362-9223;
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There was a time when wool socks were a necessary evil--itchy, scratchy, smelly. Thankfully, SmartWool came along with a line of socks for biking, hiking, skiing, and padding around the house all winter, and our feet have been happy, dry, and stink-free ever since. Pull some on and you'll never look back.
Starting at $13; 800-550-9665;
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An Ode to Fleece
I'm in love with my PATAGONIA REGULATOR R2 FLEECE JACKET. Black and understated and just the right weight, it's versatile enough to show off at Manhattan's Oyster Bar lunch counter one week, and at a chilly breakfast in the deepest Colorado backcountry the next. Winter or summer, I wear it everywhere. It's great on a sunny powder day at Taos, in a light mist on a hike up Mount Tam, or after a long surf session at the Jersey shore. It makes a lovely camping pillow, and it's the surest defense against overzealous airplane air-conditioning. Take it from someone who gets cold easily: This fine piece of fleece does the trick every time. --Katie Arnold $129; 800-638-6464;
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Hey, That Suits You
If James Bond needs a new tailor, he should look up Ted Baker. The designer's ENDURANCE SUIT in black, navy, or charcoal--designed in Britain, naturally—is made with tightly wound wool fibers that keep the fabric wrinkle-free even when stuffed under your derriere as padding on a bus ride through Cambodia, or, in Bond's case, after being chased around the world by murderous villains.
$550; 212-354-7310
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Original Tree Climber's Pants

Ohio tree trimmer Paul Taylor knows a thing or two about pants that will get you up and down a tree without losing your, well, nuts. For his Original Tree Climber's Pants, he uses a tough cotton canvas that doesn't chafe, and these bad boys won't rip under pressure.
$50; 888-578-8733;
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Mountain Hardwear Transition Zip T

Mountain Hardwear's long-sleeved Transition Zip T made from Gore-Tex's Windstopper fabric was designed to replace long underwear, a sweater, and a wind-breaker in one svelte, high-tech package. It's perfect for winter athletes who need warmth and an uninhibited range of motion.
$140; 800-953-8398;
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Woolrich Black Powder Coat

A great coat should surround you with warmth and a secure comfort much like the feeling of ol' Mom tucking you into bed under a pile of blankets. Don't have a mother? Try on Woolrich's classic canvas Black Powder coat with its wool lining and corduroy collar to see what you're missing. Woolrich has been making canvas coats for over 90 years. Trust us, they know what they're doing.
$150; 800-995-1299;
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Jeans Therapy
Take a stroll through any college campus and chances are you'll see more LEVI'S 501'S than khakis or bare flesh combined. The jeans are still the favorites of hippies, skinheads, cowboys, rock stars, jocks, nerds, fashionistas, CEOs, and factory workers. Now that's democracy in action, folks. And like fine wines, 501's age beautifully—democracy remains to be seen.
$38; 800-872-5384;
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