‘I think winter wear is communal. You get some gloves and a scarf from a lost-and-found box, wash them, wear them for a while until you lose them. Then somebody else does the same thing.’ Adrian Grenier, actor
I share Adrian Grenier’s ideas about winter wear and I am pretty much working towards never buying hats, gloves or scarves again. Certainly a frugal win! It seems you can’t walk far in the British countryside these days before you find a piece of walking gear that someone has dropped and lost. We found we were picking up so many pieces of gear that we started to wonder if it would be possible to kit yourself out entirely from found items, particularly if you didn’t mind wearing un-matched gloves.
On a recent trip to the Lake District we returned home with the following list of found items. A micro-towel, one hardly used dhb cycling glove, one Sealskinz padded glove and a Montane beanie, at least £50 worth of gear! I was already wearing a hat and a fleecy scarf that were both finds from different days out walking over the years. At home we have a collection of hats and scarves we have picked up. We had tended to throw odd gloves away but these have now been added to the lost and found box until they can be matched with another one of a similar style. This collection doesn’t really fit in with my de-cluttering aim but I do hate to waste good quality gear.
Please understand that we don’t pick up items of clothing if we think they have been dropped that day and the owner might return in the opposite direction and be reunited with his or her lost piece of clothing later. But if something has clearly been there for more than a day then it is really just litter and we always pick up litter! The wellingtons in the photograph above were one of the few things I dithered over. They were my size but we left them where we found them as we were sure someone would return to collect a pair of wellingtons. Yet we were back in the same car park a few days later and the wellingtons still stood in the same place, waiting to be claimed.
I am not fussy about what I wear, but there are some things we find that neither of us is willing to add to our wardrobe. We give these items to a charity shop or to our local homeless shelter. In winter homeless shelters are often looking for warm clothing.
When we find something new I think about things that we have lost. I like to think that items of clothing we have mislaid have been picked up by someone else and they are out there somewhere enjoying wearing them. On a memorable day out walking to celebrate my partner’s 50th birthday, it was such a windy day we lost firstly a hat that blew off Mr BOTRA’s head on the summit of Pike of Blisco [more alarmingly taking one of his hearing aids with it]. Later while struggling to put my waterproof overtrousers on the wind smartly whipped them away and they disappeared down the steep hillside. We gave chase but the wind was so strong they were quickly gone. This was a hugely expensive day on the hills for us but I like to think that someone thought it was their lucky day finding a pair of Karrimor waterproof trousers!