One of my favorite pieces of adventure gear for when I am traveling around the world chasing fortune and glory is the timeless Adventurers vest. Back when I was a kid looking at pictures of famous explorers one of the things I always took note of was what they were wearing.
I thought the [mostly British] explorers looked Pimp wearing their lapelled safari shirts, leather boots and safari vests posing for photos with spear-wielding natives – sometimes adding a double-barreled Holland and Holland slung over their shoulder just to complete the Professional Adventurer look.
As I got a little older and started following modern day explorers, foreign correspondents, mercenaries and adventurers [both real and fictional] I kept seeing these men of action wearing the same timeless Adventurers Vests.
I imagined the numerous pockets stuffed with wads of foreign currencies, a half drunken flask, packs of Lucky Strike non-filters, a scratched up Leica camera and an inch thick passport while concealing a Browning hi-power.
So when I grew-up and finally started traveling the world seeking the adventure, fortune, glory and women of questionable morals I had always dreamed about one of the first things I bought was a Safari Vest – in khaki of course.
I bought my first Safari vest in a stinky shop that sold cheap leather jackets, postcards and coin purses to tourists in Paris. I actually went in to get one of the leather jackets but after trying on a few and having my ear talked off by the Algerian dude who owned the place I was ready to leave. As I was making a bee-line for the street, suddenly, I saw a lone khaki Safari Vest stuffed in-between some bright red leather jackets.
160 Francs later I was the proud owner of my first Safari vest. Being young and not knowing that wearing a Safari Vest in the city would make me look like… well, some dude wearing a Safari Vest in the city – I threw on my brand new Safari Vest and walked around Paris while cute Parisian gals giggled at me.
Fast forward a few years…
After forgetting to pack that vest when I went on my first gig in the Middle East I ended up finding my next Safari Vest in a small shop in the gold Souk run by a funny Indian guy [I was actually looking to score some black market booze].
That vest ended up being my constant traveling partner while running around the world for the next 10 years. No matter where I was – Tromping through triple canopied jungles, following camel tracks in the desert, hanging out in dodgy expat bars in exotic cities or working on a contractor gig, my trusty Safari Vest always had my back and carried all my shit.
But after 10 years and 50 countries of wear and tear my Safari Vest has pretty much had it, it was actually sort of depressing to retire my old vest. I will probably end up doing something cheesy like framing it like a super bowl jersey and throwing it up on the wall in the Team DVM HQ.
So again I found myself in need of a Safari vest, after looking around at the various brands of Safari Vests I ended up getting my hands on a Royal Robbins [5.11] Safari vest [pictured below].I didn’t choose that brand for any other reason other than I got it for free from a buddy who runs the supply room for one of the big contractors here in Iraq. He owed me a favor so I let him get square with me in clothing and boots. It seems like a solid vest, lots of pockets and such; I especially like the vents in the back.
I hope this one [and my much abused liver] lasts me another 10 years of adventures…
10.00 to 100 bucks
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James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and being the only guy at the range using iron sights. James G. on FACEBOOK