Black Hat

Every guy needs a good hat.

Personally, I’ve been a Tilley Hat loyalist since my years as a boy scout in the early 90s, but it was only in the last couple years that I expanded my collection beyond the single version of this Canadian outerwear icon that I’d bought way back when.

And this year I added to that collection with an order of a simple black bucket hat that arrived in a nondescript cardboard box through my mail over the summer.

What object will forever
remind you of 2021?

As with my new one, my previous Tilley hats have all been bought with purpose.

I own a great brimmed hemp hat that I purchased a few years ago and is really a wandering and travel hat, the head gear I wear on hikes and camping, into the woods and out into the wilds.

I also own a great big orange sun hat made by Tilley. This is my backyard hat. I wear it when I mow the grass or work in the garden or sit by the fire cooking steaks, and it keeps the sun off while staying pretty cool.

This past summer. I got it into my head to get myself a local adventure hat. We weren’t going far over the past year, so I wanted a lid that I could take along with me as I walked the dog, went to the park, or stepped over to the farmer’s market without looking like I was about to embark on a wilderness adventure.

I landed on a simple black bucket hat with a floppy brim and a comfortable sense about it.

It quickly filled that role and became my go to hat for summer and fall, and my favourite purchase of 2021.

Forever is a long time, but right now I think the object that will forever remind me of the year we left behind is very simple, faithful hat that I toted around the neighbourhood upon my noggin for the better part of a strange and adventure-sapped year.

Thirty one topics. Thirty one posts. Not exactly a list… but close. In December I like to look back on the year that was. My daily posts in December-ish are themed-ish and may contain spoilers set against the backdrop of some year-end-ish personal exposition.

This is not an endorsement. This is simply commentary on a product I have purchased myself. Do your own research and do your best to buy local products that support businesses that deserve your business.

Gear: Tilley H5 Hemp Hat

This week in my Thursday Tuck & Tech post (where I’m making an inventory of the gear I use or would like to add to my collection) I thought I’d write about one of my favourite hats.

Way back in 1993 I was a boy scout. I was one of twelve thousand kids who attended the 8th Canadian Scout Jamboree in nearby Kananaskis, Alberta. If you are wondering what this has to do with a hat, then just know that with some spending money in our pockets and a day trip into the town of Banff, a small group of us spent our treasure on Tilley hats as a souvenir of the week-long campout.

While I still have that Jamboree souvenir hat over a quarter century later, sadly my teenage sense of style and taste didn’t end up fitting with my adult groove. The “natural” hued cotton duck was also a little sweat-stained and grungy, and generally I really just wanted a fresh look.

That’s the logic behind why, in 2014, I upgraded and bought myself a model H5 Hemp Hat in mocha brown.

The history of the Tilley Endurables company reaches back into the eighties, and while the company has since been sold and resold, it started off as a true Canadian tale of success. For about twenty years there, if you wanted a high quality Canadian lid for your outdoor adventures, a Tilley hat was a no-brainer for your brain.

In the nearly seven years since owning this particular hat it has toured Canada, the US, Mexico, Iceland, Scotland and Ireland. It has climbed to the tops of mountains, wandered along the ocean-side beach, and explored countless forests. It has been driving, flying, cruising, boating, camping, backpacking, fishing, and represented Canada at an authentic Highland Games. In fact, I’ve worn it in no less than eight countries, and that’s all of the ones I’ve visited since acquiring it.

It’s starting to get a little sweat-stained and grungy, too.

Note: this is a piece of gear I’ve owned for a while, and this post is not an endorsement (at least, it’s not a paid one.)