We All Came From Somewhere.

During an online chat about authentic clothing and gear, a friend of mine made a comment about your back story being an influence on your preferences for the type & style of the clothing and gear you use as a mountaineer.

Scott: “Your back story will help you choose your gear.  Try to be consistent to time period and cultural background.  Figure out what trade supply lines and Native sources mean within your back story.  It’ll help you make simple choices like choosing between linen, cotton, wool, leather (and what kind), up to expensive choices like firearms.  And you’ll never be done.  You’ll never be done because conversations like we’ve been having online will introduce new angles and ideas into your head like earwigs and send you off on a new trail.   That’s the great part about this!”

My reply follows.

Gabe:  “Scott,  I agree wholeheartedly!  You must think about your back story.  No one(with rare exception, ie. George Bent or Jean Baptiste Charbonneau to name a couple of possibilities) was born a Mountain Man.  We all came from somewhere else.  You would bring with you, your upbringing and family traditions at the very least.  When Robert Campbell was introduced to Tom Fitzpatrick the man who introduced them said something like ” I imagine you two Irishmen want to sit and talk about old Ireland”.   I’m sure men brought with them clothing and equipment from “back home”.  When that wore out it had to be replaced.  Some Mountaineers prided themselves in emulating the Indian tribes, others, I’m sure maintained their ethnic heritage.  The white man was the ruler of the world and I would suspect many wanted to retain that status.  To paraphrase Rex Allen Norman “even though the white man had his clothing provided to him by the Indians, he maintained the white man’s style so he would be recognized as a white man and not mistaken as someone from a rival tribe.”

I encourage you to develop your back story as part of your persona.  We all came from somewhere.  In the case of the Rocky Mountain men, we all came from somewhere else!

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