What I Wear When I
Bottom to Top; Toe to Head:
L. L. Bean Hunting Boots. I may choose from five pairs. All pairs from Thrift Shops, church sales or estate sales. I have never purchased a new pair. You can find them new pretty easy. People buy these and never wear them all the time; a constant.
Two pairs of socks: These last for years. Inner pair 30 Below Icelandic purchased from the Vermont Country store in Weston Vermont. I buy a pair or two when ever I go by. Outer pair Wigwam Diabetic. These “diabetic” are on sale a lot. As the outer pair they ‘aren’t tight’. All mine have holes in them; heal and toe, from constant usage. The last ones I bought from Sam’s Outfitters in Brattleboro, Vermont. I stop most every time we go by. This sock and boot set is worn year round. YES: In July too.
Gaiters; “the gaiters”: Currently I have two pairs from Mountain Hard Wear I purchased at some gear type outlet in North Conway, NH. Off the rack, I walked to checkout and paid full price in cash. All of this outfit was bought with cash. No charge card. These gaiters are the most expensive and foundation piece of my outfit. I wear them YEAR ROUND and they have the crap beat out of them. Forest slash protection (cutting; chain saw usage) and tick protection (I NEVER FIND A TICK ON ME) when wearing this outfit. NO TICS. NONE. This is ‘hot’ in July but ‘you get used to it’ and if you don’t like it you weren’t working in the woods anyway. In February it should be obvious these are a must for snow management across the whole task list.
Carhartt double layer (“slash layer”) on upper leg front brown duck pants. NOT BOUGHT NEW. These are hard to find in thrift shops, etc until you know the secret: GO TO THE BETTER (more well to do) church thrifts and sales. There at... perfect never used pairs turn up from good homes who bought a pair once and never worn them or wore them once to go to the mail box and now the wife has donated them so... six bucks and they are mine. These, too, generally are found in ‘girth is a factor’ waist sizes so they usually ‘fit loose’ on me no problem. This is important in actual usage for they are sweat soaked in July and wet-frozen-solid in February. You get used to it... LOOSE. ‘Tight’ just means your not doing anything.
Carpenter suspenders. The ones they sell in the tool section at the local old style hardware store. They are in the isle with the hammers. OR: I find them in the thrifts or, better, never used at the church sales. Usually for, like, two dollars. A lot of men wear these. THEY HOLD YOUR PANTS UP. That’s why we wear them. I have eight or ten pairs attached to work pants at all times. That’s the way they are stored: ON THE PANTS ‘ready to go’. They last for years (twenty-five years).
Two dirty old white undershirts. Worn out rejects from coat and tie usage now used as sweat soaked protection ‘bottom layer’. YES THEY GET sweat soaked during snow management in February. July should be obvious. I have fourteen sets ‘in rotation’ In July I might use three or four sets a day for ‘sweat soaked’ conditions. GUESS WHAT: IF it is a Blizzard... I’ll run through three sets a day in February. FOR REAL. And these old shirts can stand up by themselves. These are outdoor farm shed only undershirts. They are not pretend. Until you wear them all the time... you don’t. And: NO TIC ever makes it ‘that deep’ to this ‘bottom layer.
The scarf. My uncle, long dead, gave this to me when I was six. I have worn it as I wear it for, what? SIXTY years. That’s that huh. It goes under the suspenders and on top of the undershirts.
Old (vintage) L. L. Bean River Driver Shirt. It goes over the undershirts, suspenders and scarf and is not tucked in. Only the undershirts are tucked in. These shirts are a known classic. I pick these off at church thrifts and sales. Often find them ‘new’. Six bucks is high. Two dollars is a classic find. They X the label or cut them off so criminals cannot exchange them for credit at Bean’s. I have a good slug of these in service. Sweat soaked in July they are the outer layer. In February they are the inner ‘stop the wind’ layer. A VERY IMPORTANT LAYER. These are ‘stays in the shed’ grade too. Okay: ALL of these clothes never... come inside... unless it is a “BAD” “BLIZZARD”. Again: All these clothes are never inside. These are real farm clothes so the LIVE ON A FARM. They are not house clothes. They do not live in a house.
Carhartt heavy grade sweat shirt. Regular ‘large’ fit with hood and pouch. Constant usage so “dirty”. That means “dirty”. If it is new and clean it will not be for long. Used year round as a ‘core layer’. Rain, snow, mud... whatever. If you ‘hit’ one of these “new with tags” at a thrift BUY IT. It won’t be there ten minutes later. As noted earlier the Church Sales are the best source for this grade sweatshirt. These ‘cost a lot’ to begin with so to find them I shop in the best neighborhoods. I know the qualities so spot ‘em easy.
An extra large high school sports and gym grade outer sweatshirt. I talking blizzard in February in Maine here so once you pull this one on over the Carhartt grade above and step outside you will know right away why your wearing this one TOO. These one may find ‘new with tags’ at thrifts pretty easy. A lot of times you can find them with a goofy printing like “I LIKE IKE” or whatever. Right now mine are plain. Okay so ah lets clear this up here: These are never cleaned (“washed”) except by ‘work in the rain’, etc. WHEN they get TOO BAD to be around... throw them out (use as rags in the barn). Again: NEVER WASH... THROW OUT.
Head gear... for winter snow management: L. L. Bean safety orange hunting ball cap insulated with ear flaps. I lucked into this ‘new with tags’ at a church sale for a buck. HEY: I got lucky. You will too
L. L. Bean cross country skier’s head lamp... a beat up old one ...now seen being used by working Maine men who have become ‘addicted to it’ as preferred lighting “BECAUSE THEY WORK” and are ‘hands free’. Fresh batteries at the start of the blizzard. Back up set available ‘lock and load’. These are now ‘I am lost without it’ status because I am “ALWAYS WORKING IN THE DARK”. It is always dark in Maine in a blizzard. Its dark right now while I’m writing this. I am wearing the stupid head lamp RIGHT NOW. This is a go to the store and buy one off the rack deal. It takes longer to do now because there are a lot to choose from and... good luck with that. The big one is ‘can I turn this on and off wearing gloves’.
Crummy “Navy” blue cap. These are found ‘new’ easy for under a dollar. It is what it is; an ‘under cap’ cap.
Hand knitted safety orange colored heavy wool cap. My wife made two of these for my thirty years, at least, ago. I use them fall and winter as ‘top layer’. Soiled (“dirty”) but ‘she made it for me’. Okay? Your not gonna get one of these easy. IF you have a Maine woman make you one of these to wear when you manage snow... you are... probably an “In Maine” and “live that way” too. Otherwise: “Have it professionally done”.
Gloves: Safety orange rubber dipped work gloves. They do not stay dry and are not warm but they do ‘protect’ the hands (frostbite alert). It’s a blizzard in February in Maine. The weather is brutal on the hands. These are, in my opinion, the best cosmetic solution to a ‘no win’ problem of “wet and cold” hands. Note the duck tape repairs. Doing those on ALL work gloves ALL the time extends the ‘life’ of a pair a REAL LOT.