Ranchers are a very conservative lot. We have to be. Up until recently the amount of return profit compared to invested capital was very minimal. As such, they have developed a reputation for being steadfast, reliable, tough, and stoic. 40 below zero? Tough shit. The cows still gotta eat. Even if we’re not necessarily the best bet to have your back in a retarded bar fight, we’re definitely the first one you’ll call when your chevy nova needs a jump. A rancher always has the right equipment to bail your ass out of a jackpot. Its this reputation that people want to be associated with. Hence the reason why every swinging dick that moves west from New Jersey immediately buys a pair of cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. But lets examine each of these items. Although both very flashy they do not provide much utility beyond peacocking at the local “watering hole”. So what makes a cowboy if its not the boots and hat? Well, in an effort to relieve writers block and provide my limited readership with value, I’ve compiled a list of utility items that will give you a definite cowboy image without having having the awkward question of “So how many cows do you have?”* come up.
1. Boots: Not cowboy boots. All terrain hiking boots. Buy quality, buy leather. Make sure they have good tread. Once you’ve become accustomed to wearing them every day you’ll be glad for the simplicity of wardrobe decision. All terrain hiking boots are the best decision for any terrain or weather condition from hunting Yetis in the Canadian Rockies, to running from Nazis in siberia. Ive had many brands in my short life and I recommend LOWA.
2. Leatherman/Multitool: Knives are too try hard. Besides, the Leatherman has and knife. And a screwdriver… A file, a can opener, miniature pair of scissors, and lets not forget the needle nose pliers. This tool should never leave your side. (Im not even going to include a quality thick leather belt in this list) When you’ve been wearing one for a while you’ll notice a strange phenomenon. The same people that ask you “What the hell are you ever gonna use that for?” are the same people who constantly benefit from you always having it.
3. A lighter: Why? Mostly for lighting the cigarettes of damsels in distress. Other uses involve frayed shoelaces, and dark rooms with dead cell phones. But you never really know when it will come in handy. Fire after all has been mans best friend for thousands of years and most of our technology revolves directly or indirectly around it. The sky is the limit on this one. From the classy zippo to the sophisticated butane torch; for most applications a $1.50 BIC from the gas station will do.
4. Wool: This coat or jacket will set you apart from the rabble. Girly men are afraid to wear wool because it scratches their delicate skin. You will be toasty on your friends deck on a fall day, and cool as a cucumber in your favorite ski lodge. The best part? Since they are sooooo out of style, you can always find them at second hand stores for dirt cheap. Its a good idea to supplement your wool diet with socks and a scotch cap.
5. Reliable Truck: Ive saved the most important item for last. Nothing will earn you a reputation as a steadfast dude faster than a clean, reliable 4×4 truck. Im not interested in debating “DODGE VS FORD” with witless baboons who drive Honda civics. All the major brands make a quality vehicle. Just make sure the damn thing runs. This item is so important I must go into a sublist to describe all the ways you can help the less prepared and build your badass image.
1. Tool box: you may have noticed trucks have a lack of trunk space. You should keep the following items in the locked toolbox.
2. Jumper cables: Every ladies hero
3. Tow rope: Pretty useful for going off road. Or you know… Winter…
4. 5 gallons of fuel: For you or others. You’ll be able to push the envelope to the station with a clean conscience. Seal the cap and breather vent with wax as I’ve notice even the best caps will leak a little.
5. AAA coverage: For you or others. AAA can get you into your buddies car when he locks his keys in his Subaru. I wish most insurance would fuck off, but AAA is actually useful.
This list is far from comprehensive. The point is to always be prepared as best you can for all of life’s little inconveniences. You won’t be a rancher. We have dump trucks and dozers, excavators and post pounders. The earth, water, and animals do our bidding. But… you’ll definitely be the most cowboy single mother fucker in Portland Oregon.
* This question is extremely rude. It is akin to asking someone directly “So how much money do you have in the bank?” Cattle are our livelihood. So please, when you meet a cattleman refrain from asking this.