Rich Schreckengost

I like shit that lasts.

A quick update.

No, I haven’t given up on my blog. I’ve been busy putting a few things through the ringer (climbing, hiking, drinking beer, and horseback riding) to see if they deserve my ‘Shit that lasts” approval. As some of you may know, I used to be a Patagonia “loyalist” so to speak. It used to be all I wore. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed the quality of Patagonia’s casual wear has gone down hill recently. Not sure if they’ve decided to concentrate more on their technical gear or something, but needless to say I’m no longer a loyalist. One thing I find quite interesting is after I wrote about their Wavefarer’s, there was a little “Gifts that last” link on their website. It’s no longer there and I thank them for taking it down. I mean, I wouldn’t feel too good if I was a marketing major working for a bigger corporation and stole something from an uneducated, dirty, ole Army dude.

Anyways, I’ve been wearing a few things from a different company, and it’s safe to say they’ve gained a customer for life. As for my blog, here are a few things that you will be reading about in the near future: Chaco’s Z/1 Yampa Sandals and Mountain Khakis Original Mountain Pants. A review of the Alpine Utility Pants from Mountain Khakis will be coming also. I’m using them primarily as my work pants at my landscaping job. They are listed as a “work pant” and I have a slight feeling they are going to end up being one badass work pant. I’ll also be posting my first “Shit that doesn’t last” post. Not sure that one will be reposted on the companies Twitter and Facebook page, but we will see.

So there you have it. I haven’t given up, I’ve just been “busy”. Busy having a blast beating the shit out of clothes.

If you do shit like this, you probably need shit that lasts.

Shit that lasts: Levi’s.

This one is going to be short and sweet. Jeans. Everyone should own a pair. Notice I said A pair. Not five, not ten, but one pair of jeans. They should have straight legs, a normal wash, and no crazy ass-art or flaps on the pockets. If you’re a guy, when someone says the word ‘jeans’, one word should come to mind: Levi’s. Good ole, ‘Merican Levi’s. Sorry cowboys and fans of Dale Jr. and Brett Favre, Wrangler’s just aren’t the same anymore.

It doesn’t matter what Levi’s you get, they all kick ass. Well, except for those super skinny hipster jeans they make. I’m sure they last a long time, but they look really dumb. I prefer the Levi’s 559 Relaxed Straight jeans. Straight legs, not too baggy, not nut-hugging, and they don’t cost $150. I’ve been wearing the same pair of 559’s for almost 3 years now. Granted I’m not one to wear jeans on a daily basis, but there have been times when I would put them on and not take them off for a week or so. They’re tough, look good, are nice enough to wear to the “fancy” bars, and casual enough to do whatever the hell else I want to do in them. Do I really need to say anything else? They’re jeans. Jeans are jeans are jeans. But Levi’s are the ones you want to buy if you want shit that lasts.

Bruce Fucking Springsteen. Born in the USA. Levi’s. Enough said.

Shit that lasts: Patagonia Wavefarer.

Board shorts, swimming trunks, shorts, surf shorts, call them whatever you want. If you are looking for a pair that lasts, look no further than the Patagonia Wavefarer. I own three pairs of Wavefarer’s and to be honest with you, I’m 99% sure these will be the last three pairs of board shorts I’ll ever own. Well, unless my metabolism slows down and I get fat. So far, at 35, so good. Anyways, on to the nuts and bolts and why the Wavefarer gets my “Shit that lasts” approval.

Yeah, three pairs of board shorts seem a little excessive for a dude living in Colorado. Nope, no dawn patrol barrels for me, brah! But I do swim a lot, in freezing ass cold alpine lakes, the piss-filled public pools of Denver, the dirty Cherry Creek Reservoir, and the occasional dip in whatever ocean/sea that is surrounding the island I chose as my yearly beach vacation spot. Does that justify having three pairs of board shorts? Nope. Why? Because even if I did spend more time in the surf than on land, I’m pretty damn sure one pair of Wavefarer’s could do the job.

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Keith Malloy. Redneck, surfer, all out bad-ass. If you got him drunk and gave him a door, he’d surf better than you. He wears Wavefarer’s. Hell, he helped design them.

First off, they’re super simple. The cut, fit, the pocket design, the closure, and even the fly closure: simple. No bells and whistles. No unnecessary features, no garbage. You get material, a lace closure, a single button fly, and a pocket with a zipper. No, the pocket isn’t going to comfortably hold your wallet, your phone, keys, chapstick, and nunchaku (nunchuks for the non-Bruce Lee loving folk). But it will hold your car key and a $20 bill for a few after doing whatever you were doing beers. Yes, I said a few. Oh, don’t drink and drive…or swim, tube, ride…you get the idea. If you need more pockets, buy a pair of pants.

Second of all, they’re durable as all hell. Tired of the over chlorinated pools fading your shorts? Get a pair of Wavefarer’s. Tired of salt water reeking hell on the stitching? Get a pair of Wavefarer’s. Tired of sand getting stuck in the seams? Tired of your shorts fitting awesome until they get wet? Tired of feeling like you’re wearing a wet diaper because your super-techy, fluorescent orange shorts from another company aren’t drying in 30 seconds like the website said? Do I really have to say it again? Hell, I will. Get yourself a pair of Wavefarer’s.

Third thing: the pair of Wavefarer’s that you buy today, will still look “cool” 5 years from now. Patagonia doesn’t follow trends. As said in one of their video’s “we don’t have to worry about if purple laces and pink stitching is going to be the next hot thing, we don’t care”. And when you check them out online or in person, you’ll see that. The designs and colors are simple. Yes, there are a few colors and patterns for the ‘I want to be noticed’ crowd, but they’re not over the top like some of the other board short companies out there.

And lastly, if you give a shit about the environment, get a pair of Wavefarer’s. Yeah, it’s not humanly possible to make a totally “green” pair of board shorts (ok, yes, you can tie a palm tree leaf around your waist), but Patagonia tries.

All in all, if you’re looking for a pair of shorts to swim in, to surf in, to lounge around on the beach, or your porch, get a pair of Wavefarer’s. Hell, get yourself two pairs and knock “shop for a pair of board shorts” off your list…forever. Well, unless you let yourself go and start getting fat. And if that happens, set them aside, sell your car and buy a bike.

Shit that lasts: Darn Tough.

Darn Tough socks. More like: I’ll never need to buy another pair of socks again. Almost two years ago, I walked into Wilderness Exchange here in Denver in need of a few things. While browsing and bullshitting with the cool people that work there (take note Neptune), I noticed they had Darn Tough socks on sale. After talking about them for a few minutes, I figured I’d give them a shot. I bought 5 pairs of the same socks, their Hike-Trek Series Cushion 1/4 socks in a merino wool blend. Almost 2 years later, I am still wearing those same 5 pairs of socks.

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Darn Tough Socks.

I’m kind of a sock yuppie for a lack of better terms. My feet sweat, a lot, so I only wear merino wool socks. Yes I know that merino isn’t the strongest material out there and it’s kind of expensive, but the shit rocks. It feels good on my feet, it keeps my feet dry, and the best part, the shit doesn’t stink. I’ve tried socks made of Coolmax, garbage. Cotton, don’t get me started on that shit. Nylon…my feet smell bad enough. No need to add to it. The only thing left is merino.

I want my socks to do three things: not stink, keep my feet dry, and last a long time. Darn Tough socks do all three of those things. Others…don’t.

I’ve tried a few different socks made of merino wool and/or a merino wool blend (these brands will be covered in another post later on), and most of them suffer in the durability department. You would think if you paid $15-20 for a pair of socks, you should be able to wear them for at least 2 or 3 months straight without ever taking them off. Not exactly, unless you bought socks from Darn Tough. I’ve had socks start to show wear after a few days. Socks that come from companies that put on their webpage in big print “If, at any time, your (insert product name here) product does not perform to your satisfaction, you may return it to us for replacement or a refund”. And usually when I would complain to the company*, I get asked the same exact questions: What were you doing in them? What shoes were you wearing? And my response would be: Why does that matter? I paid $20 for ONE pair of your socks two weeks ago. I should be able to walk across hot coals, wash, rinse, and repeat. They never think it’s as funny as I do, but I usually get the “you can send them back to this address and we will send you a replacement” comment. Great and all, but why would I want another pair of socks that are just going to fall apart again in two weeks? Doesn’t make sense, does it? Well since buying those five pairs of Darn Tough socks, I’ve only contacted them once. For what you may ask? To show them that finally, after almost 18 months, a pair of their socks were starting to show some wear. Yes, that’s right, I was actually excited about a pair of socks showing some wear. And get this, Darn Tough offered to replace that pair of socks. They didn’t ask me what shoes I was wearing or what I was doing in them, they just said that they would happily replace them. Of course, I said that there was no need, thanked them for great customer service and for making an excellent product and went on with my day.

I’m not bullshitting about how tough these freaking socks are. I don’t change socks everyday. In fact, I probably change socks weekly. I put a pair on, wear them around the house, to the bar, with dress shoes, running shoes, instead of shoes, hiking, running, biking, and walking. And I do all of this in ONE pair of socks. When it comes time to change, they usually are a little stiff, but 1) my feet were kept dry, 2) they didn’t stink, and 3) they never looked like I had them on for a week straight and the stiffness wasn’t anything a quick washing couldn’t fix. Yes people, these socks are that freaking awesome.

So all in all, I suggest if you are in the market for some new socks, get yourself some Darn Tough socks and call your sock shopping done….for the next couple years. They come in all sorts of styles, colors, and materials. I haven’t tried any other socks from Darn Tough besides Hike-Trek Series Cushion 1/4 Sock, but I’m betting the farm that the rest of their socks kick as much ass as these ones do. So go get you some Darn Tough’s, you and your feet will be happy. Oh and one last thing which is super important to me, and should be important to you too: Darn Tough Socks are made here in good ole ‘Merica. That’s right, Made in the U S of A.

http://darntough.com/

Shit that lasts. Less is more.

That’s it. I’m over it. I don’t like spending money on clothes. I don’t need 10 pairs of jeans, 20 pairs of shoes, or 30 shirts. I’d be content if I could find one pair of pants that would last me a couple of years. I’d buy 2 pairs and be done with it. Same thing with t-shirts and flannels. I’d buy 3 or 4 of each and call it a day. Lately though, I’m having problems finding such items. And I’m pissed about it.

Over the next couple weeks, I’m going to call out a few companies and their false marketing claims. Last a lifetime my ass. Built to last my ass. Tough, durable, cotton canvas…my ass. I’ll also praise companies that do make clothing that will last you for awhile.

I’m a dude. I want clothes that fit. Clothes that last. Clothes that I can climb in, do yard work in, and then wear to a nice dinner…in the same day.

Consider this a “fashion blog” for people who 1) want to NOT shop and 2) who just want a pair of pants or a shirt to last them for a few years. Stay tuned.

A “fashion blog” for this guy.

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