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Friday, February 03, 2012 0
1.Ole Shearling Rucksack-Topman//2.Rib Beanie Hat-Burton//3.Wedge Sole Climbing Boots-ASOS//4.Cable Boots Sock-ASOS//5.Lightweight Kagool-Topman//6.Compass Necklace-ASOS//7.Bronze Cord Trousers-Topman//8.Fleece Snood-Topman//9.J.Crew Timex Vintage Army Steel Watch- Mr Porter 

I have a confession to make. I have dabbled in my fair share of outdoor activity. Nothing too serious. I'm not Bear Grylls or anything. My countryside pursuits were somewhat softer.

Actives of choice included: trout fishing in Kent with a friend, golfing – also with a friend, walking through some nearby woods and hiking along Surrey’s North Downs. I always found it hard to put together garments suitable for hiking though. One has to keep in mind the weather and all other matters of practicality. I really wish I knew then what I do now.

Because now I know that I was a very sad and lonely person back then. I'll never get that time spent hiking back. It's gone. Hiking was never fun. I had no friends. It was lonely. Cold. Damp. Muddy. Smelly. Boring. Instead of walking around the countryside alone I should have been crushing my thumbs playing Gears of War on an online syndicate somewhere. I should have saved myself the legwork and merely embraced the hiking spirit, as hikers can look so cool. In fact, The Taste Level pips the hiker look as a perfect way to see out this winter.

A good pair of new age hiking boots (picture 3) provide the perfect starting point. Wear over thick wollen boot socks (picture 4) and they're sturdy and look great with winter staples: the indigo fade jeans. Moreover, their unique lace-up system combined with the typically bright laces can add spice to a dull winter. As the fashionable folks over at Street Etiquette put it: “there is something intriguing about hiking boots”. Now that you're protected from the invisible mud on your invisible hiking trip, you should look into something to store your make believe camping kit inside. A heavyweight canvas backpack always wins. Or, perhaps something a bit more ostentatious? (picture 1).

No self respecting hiker travels without his Ordnance Survey map and a working compass. ASOS have been kind enough to create one that doubles up as a necklace (picture 6). Yet even with your compass, your boots and your backpack you cannot simply waltz into the rambling brigade. You need a cagoule to gain respect, and they are now available in a range of bright colours and up-to-date cuts. When matched up with some courdroy trousers (picture 7) the contrast in texture between that and a polyester cagoule should send hiking circles wild.

Actually, this look won't impress any hikers – because you won't meet any. This ensemble is all about taking on the persona of a hiker in an attempt to try a new look. All without any of the aches I had to nurse when trekking around Britain’s fine pastures.




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