Gearing Up — Hats

Next week we begin the 2011 excavations at the Vicus ad Martis, and I am packing my bags.  About this time last year I blogged about excavation footwear, noting that Italian law states that excavators must wear steel-toed boots.  Last year I duly complied with a nice pair of Timberlands — suitable for digging, “This Old House,” and 90s hip-hop.  They served me well and survived for another season.  They will be coming with me.  My only choice — wear them and save room in my bag, or pack them and have a more comfortable flight.  I’m leaning toward the latter.

Last season’s hat, however, did not survive.  My straw hat, a faithful companion since ca. 1998, died in Provence post-dig.  It now rests in peace somewhere near Aix-en-Provence.  What better place for a straw hat to see its final days?  Of course, that means that I must choose a new hat.  This summer I’m going with the Tilley Hat.  This hat has die-hard fans in diverse corners of the globe, and it does appear to be well made.  I’ve had a number of imitation Tilleys over the years, but this time I decided to cough up the money and buy a real one.  I admit, I am sucker for their advertising.

They highlight Canadian workmanship (I suppose those guys earn a living wage) and the lifetime warranty.  The literature that comes with the hat (yes, it comes with something like a manual) suggests that the owner is now part of club of adventure hat connoisseurs.  Oh, and the hat floats — a feature I doubt I will be able to take advantage of.  Although, we did get down below the water table last summer.

I’ve been testing out the Tilley — painting the backyard fence, walking to the park.  So far, it has held up well in the Oklahoma summer.  We will see if it can take digging in Umbria!


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