Thursday, June 28, 2007

For Looks or For Life

First off let me state that the opinions stated here are my own. I have done no extensive research (other than a life time of observation), had no Hundred Thousand dollar grants, or a team of researchers providing information to me. If any of this is scientifically factual, it is just because of pure luck, and if it is scientifically false, it is still my story and I am sticking to it.

Western outerwear (coats, jackets, hats, boots etc.) have evolved from being a working mans tool to one of fashion and prestige. In the beginning a cowboy, farmer or any one else who earned his bread and butter outdoors year round needed hes that would protect him (her) from the elements. From years of experience I know that the wrong clothing could mean the difference between life and death, or the possibility of losing various parts of your body. Unlike the individual today, who wears the oilskin duster for looks, there are still a vast number of folks who still depend on these coats to bring them home at night. A sudden rain shower in the American west, Australian Outback, or any where a long way from home, with the temperature in the balmy 70’s or 80’s and a little wind. Without the protection of some form of water proof outer wear for the entire body, your loved ones may get to say goodbye at the funeral home.

As with all things that become popular, the best looking and often with the best all around protection, become more expensive. There are those that are still not as expensive but as the old saying goes “you get what you pay for”. Then again if caught out, without the right gear, a plastic garbage bag, can, and has saved lives. As have plastic tarps, scraps of canvas or any thing else to keep the elements at bay. Next thing you know some movie star will start wearing plastic garbage bags, and then these will no longer be affordable.

I have learned that in my part of the American West, that when you walk out the door in the morning, (all except maybe a couple of days around the first of August). You take enough clothes, (coat, hat, gloves, rain gear, etc) to protect your self from Mother Nature. That knowledge has been drilled into me by not having the necessary items, and paying the price. So for all of you out there getting ready to venture out into the great outdoors, THINK AHEAD, STAY SAFE, AND WAKE UP SMILING.

Doug Bleak author. Visit his web site ( for outer wear for style and protection. Welcome, we are a family that has been in the agriculture and building business all of our lives. From the high Absoroka's in Wyoming to Point McKenzie, Alaska and point's in between. We grew up living for a long time with no electricity or telephone and all of the good things that go with them.