More weekend permissions: outdoorsy edition

I would like to be given permission to say the following things without feeling like I need to deflect eye-rolling by rolling my eyes:

“I think I’d like being more outdoorsy.”

“I’d like to try climbing.  Just once.”

“I badly want to kayak, though water kind of freaks me out.”

“I think I’m going to like this biking thing.”

“Let’s do the Virginia Creeper Trail!”

“Reading Outdoor magazine makes me want more adventure in my life. I want a subscription.”

“I like browsing the technical attire* at outfitters.”

*technical attire: my term for clothing created for very specific uses, which goes counter to my “practical means useful in a variety of ways” perspective, but seems the way to make sure you can bike or hike or ride or, ahem, fall comfortably.

And I would like to be able to permit myself to actively shop for and purchase the following items:

–  a wicking, warm, well-fitting base layer top (for snowboarding/ skiing, biking, staying warm in my frigid home office)

– a wind jacket

– a rain jacket

– whatever the most appropriate water-resistant biking pants might be

– padded bike shorts… though I love, love, love the comfyness of my bike seat, I’d like the padding, please

– a backpack that’s not made to carry my laptop with a prominently placed corporate logo

Aaand, also permission:

– to NOT to do a ton of research to find the perfect thing but rather just enough to buy a good thing for me. If it fits well and makes me grin, it’s good enough.  This means real-life purchases rather than online purchases.

– and to not find the cheapest deal ever but just the best deal – which balances stress and time with a good price.  (So I totally should have bought the rain jacket I saw at the outfitters for 50% off, even though I hadn’t done a proper amount of web searching and angsty comparison shopping.)

– to not NOT buy something just because it’s just for me.  When I have the right stuff and am less miserable, everyone has more fun.  Really.  I’m always the slowest/ most scared/ least capable of the bunch, so getting me a little better/ faster/ warmer/ successful is good for everyone.

– to ask everyone for recommendations and help as I try to be less of a couch-lounging once-upon-an-urbanite.

So: anyone have a down jacket they absolutely love?  Lightweight, flattering (not that I don’t love looking like the Michelin puffy thing), warm and waterproof?

How about a rain jacket you’d like to keep forever?  I’m not clear on whether you can have breathable + waterproof, but I guess if you can, I’d like that.  Since I work in Seattle with a business style I like to call “preppy mountaineer,” I can get away with wearing athletic outerwear over business attire.

Aaand, last (for now): leather boots, not athletic, but calf high and commute-worthy?  Dark brown or black leather, comfortable, classically styled, wearable with jeans or skirts and the kind of thing you might run on through an airport.  A woman at the coffee shop liked her Born’s better than her Frye’s.  And I am strangely attracted to these.


6 thoughts on “More weekend permissions: outdoorsy edition

  1. Hmmm… we could spend an hour (at least) over coffee chatting about this post 🙂

    a. If you do the VA Creeper – we must coordinate! It’s super fun 🙂 (I think about 1.5 or 2 hours from me)
    b. I give myself permission to spend more on the technical clothes because they ARE multipurpose. I can wear the same wicking skirt for golf, hiking, and everyday. But rarely can I wear and everyday skirt to golf in.
    c. I have two marmot rain jackets. One is more snug and used mostly for biking/running. The other is looser and all black so a good everyday jacket. I wore the black one to a freezing football game in the POURING raining (with good base layers) and I was dry and toasty inside! I was actually amazed! You can often see them on for 50% or more off.
    d. I live in these boots all fall/winter. Look great with jeans and skirts. I’ve wore them snowshoeing through FEET of snow and my feet were super dry. Plus SO comfy. Again can’t talk enough about how much I LOVE them. Plus they fit my HUGE calves which is often an issue with boots for me.
    e. I spent an entire week last winter in Telluride going in every outdoor store (there are a bunch) multiples times trying on every brand/style down jacket I could find. Three requirements. 1 – hood. 2 – everyday jacket (not ski jacket), I didn’t want it too heavy. I wanted to be able to wear it fall/winter/spring and just add base layers if it was super cold. 3 – cute of course 🙂 I ended up with this in blue. Love it.
    f. I will not bike without my padded shorts! (Even wear them to the gym for spin!)
    g. I’m addicted to base layers. If I was not on a budget….. my closet would be full of them! Again very versatile!

    Ok. Someone else wants my attention now 🙂 And I have to pack us both for the beach!

  2. i’m an avid cyclist and pearl izumi have fantastic padded bike shorts, as well as shebeest. you can find these online, or in various biking stores. they also sell removable sleeves/leg covers, so if you don’t want to wear a jacket or windbreaker, you can start out with the sleeves and once you warm up, they are removable and you can put them in your bike bag, which can attach to the back of your bike under your want to make sure the shorts you get have a nice chamois (“shammy”) and that they fit you when you are sitting on your bike (aka, they wont seem like they fit correctly if you are standing up, it will be like wearing a diaper – but they should fit properly when you are in your actual riding position. so it helps to try them on a bike.) and they are not supposed to be worn with underwear – which initially weirded me out but they are way more comfortable without underwear and easily washed. small absorbency pads can also be added if necessary.
    let me know if you have any biking questions! and i’ve had several accidents in my biking life, so don’t feel bad if falling happens occasionally. its bound too! lol

  3. Boots: camper boots? similar style to teh REI ones, they make very simple ones, and they’re so darn comfy (those Spaniards). seriously. so comfortable.

    Jacket: I have a waterproof/windproof w/ breathable armpit options from REI – I just go and select the highest rated ones, and then look through their options for the one with the most reviews. I like the slimmer fit of the one that I have. (and I have the good old west coast childhood of shapeless taiga jackets that remind me of potato sacks, so i was generally really hesitant to get one. and mine is bright pink!!!)

    I also have a patagnoia fitted fleece jacket that I love – it has armpit breathing panels and its generally wonderful. Layered under the above jacket = perfect.

    Finally – base layers: smartwool and patagonia again. Got matt the latter one and he wore it all the time in the east coast winters.

  4. I have a pair of Sofft boots that are heels and 2 pairs (black leather and gray suede) if Enzo Angiolini flat boots. All are very comfortable, though the heels are, of course, heels ;o) I love them, and spent a ridiculous amount of time searching for the components of my perfect (affordable, on sale) boot wardrobe. I don’t even have a good excuse as you do for work, as I wear Dansko clogs every workday. I do, however, think they are perfect for the airport.

    The Enzo Angiolini that I have are similar to these, but without a tassel I got mine at earlier this year for a steal. It’s always a good website for shoe deals.

    I can’t find my Sofft boots (Christmas 2008, so maybe d/c’d), but these are pretty:

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