Heading to the great outdoors can be an exciting moment for a girl whose closest recent encounter with nature was a man-made hiking trail, but here I am on the cusp of a road trip up the California coast to Big Sur -- a place of wild beauty where waves crash along cliff sides and dense forests majestically rise up behind. I grew up camping and some of my happiest family memories are of sleeping underneath massive redwoods (tangential side note: I vomited into a bag of Sun Chips after getting carsick on the ride there, and to this day, can't open a bag without a wave of nausea), and peering up at the staggeringly awesome stars at Joshua Tree while my Girl Scout troop leader made Dutch oven peach cobbler over an open flame.
These days though, my days consist of traffic, computers, and T.V. shows, so I've fallen quite far out of any outdoors-y loop. This means I'll need to stock up on the necessities for a weekend away from the big city. I'd love to re-wear what I purchase for the excursion in my normal day-to-day, so I've corralled five items that are Mother Nature tested, and fashion-lover approved:
1. Timberland Boots -- These are not for intense hikes (they have some heft to them and that's the last thing you want to be pulling up whilst trekking uphill), but these guys are essentially indestructible: They're waterproof, and come with anti-fatigue technology for shock absorption. Plus, I've been seriously lusting for a pair to wear with skinny jeans and a slouchy sweater à la pop crooner, Rihanna. They're the new booties, I promise.
2. The Fisherman's Sweater -- Also known as an Aran Sweater, these classic Irish pullovers do wonders repelling water, which makes it an ideal choice for waking up to cool, misty mornings. Since these are made from wool, they retain heat and will get me from my yurt to a cup of Joe without wishing I was underneath my down comforter at home. And when winter rolls around, this staple of a sweater will look amazing thrown over a chambray button-down and leggings.
3. Herschel Duffle Bag -- Canada-based brothers Jamie and Lyndon Cormack launched their vintage-slanted bag line in 2009 to rave reviews -- they've even collaborated with tech heavyweights Apple and fashion icon Mark McNairy. The thick canvas carryalls can withstand a tough beating, and for around $80, I won't feel guilty about throwing it into the trunk along with my dirty boots. After we get home, this will be my new gym bag.
4. A Fanny Pack -- Hear me out, dear friends. Fanny packs are no longer the lame hands-free option that used to embarrass you when your parents were chaperoning your school field trips (just me?). Indie leather goods favorite Clare Vivier offers leather ones that come in every shade of the rainbow, plus a jaguar print. This won't just be my best friend for hiking, but accompany me to my next concert or sample sale excursion where I must have both hands free.
5. Brand New Sunglasses -- I heard a fantastic tip from photographer and trend forecaster Anne Ziegler. When Anne went on her tropical honeymoon, she made sure to pack her cutest pair of sunglasses since she would be donning them in the bulk of her vacation pictures. Genius! Instead of bringing the sunnies I wear everyday, I'm splurging on some cool ones with a little extra flavor. This Lucite pair with pink, mirrored lenses from Illesteva will ensure that I look, well, picture perfect. And as long as I don't lose them, they'll last me all season long.
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