by pat chapin
(Henderson, Nevada, USA)
I'm writing because my canvas hiking skirt died today; it was more than 40 years old, but I mourn it just the same.
It was made of washed canvas, a sort of khaki when new but long since faded out to a worn cream colour in many spots.
It had metal buttons up the front, had two deep on-seam side pockets, was A-line in shape and about ankle-length.
I bought it in a market in South America many years ago, knowing even then it was the perfect travel garment.
Not for everything -- if you are hiking through jungle or thorned areas, leave it at home; if you know you are going to do a lot of tandem climbing or scooting along on your frame through dust or snow, leave it.
If you worry about looking like everyone else, ditto.
Otherwise, bring it, and stride along free-legged while others mess with their shorts; dance around the fire, and if it gets cold, slip on your tights or leggings and still feel different than the guys.
Button it or unbutton it to allow for ventilation, and know that you can pair it with anything from a cami to a sweatshirt and be okay!
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