I remember when a faded navy coloured, button down, long sleeve, casual dress, Ralph Lauren ‘Polo Shirt’ first arrived at our house. It was a gift from my brother’s girlfriend (now wife Raylene) – meant for him but shared by all of us. In a family of four boys, all born within four years, the expression “First out best dressed” takes on a whole new meaning!” There was not a single morning that shirt didn’t leave our house, except wash day. And I can’t remember Mother running the Maytag more than twice a week. But boy did that shirt last! I’m betting it was on the circuit for 3 or 4 years before the elbows finally wore through. And even then we simply covered it with a V-neck sweater for another season’s use.
Until that time we had no idea why anyone would pay that kind of money for a shirt – after that we realized we couldn’t afford to buy anything other than a good brand. There was a lot to be said for a ‘Signature’ product in those days because it was grounded in a true sense of value. Unfortunately that’s not always the case these days. Most brand name manufacturers pay more heed to fashion, product placement and their creative style than textile choices, function, and durability. All the things many of us came to expect when paying a premium for quality. Thankfully though, there are some manufacturers who still recognize and deliver real value to their customers – and after this weekend’s events I can assure you that ‘Klim’ snowmobile gear is one of them.
I attended a conference in Gander last week, which was rather convenient given its proximity to our cabin in Terra Nova and the necessary excuse it provided to stop on the way home for a few days snowmobiling with my Mom & Dad, my uncle, brother and our immediate families. I really haven’t had much time for sledding this year with the demands of home life, a new job and of course the anemic amount of snowfall received here on the east coast of Newfoundland this winter. But things were starting to shape up on our evening drive and by the time I arrived on the doorstep I was facing a couple of feet of fresh snow and the promise of a really wonderful time.
Rather conveniently, the boys arrived just ahead of me so there was a fair bit of prep work to be done before we settled in – wood brought in for the fire, the driveway needed to be blown, the shed doors had to be cleared and of course, an evening meal had to be prepared. Now I’ve never been much good in the kitchen so I was assigned to the shovel and snow blower. A job for which I was most appreciative given the bit of exercise I so desperately needed after a week of debauchery with my work mates, and of course the opportunity to put my new kit of ‘Klim’ riding gear to the ultimate test – warding off the discomforts one normally associates with the driving snow and a good gale of wind. Can you imagine my disappointment when I discovered that Dad had mistakenly grabbed my summer riding bag from the town house and carried it out over the highway – filled with all my motocross clothing instead of my new winter garb!
I should have been more specific in my instructions so there was no one to blame but myself – and you know there’s no one can give you a better bawling out than your own self. Oh man! But my poor father was equally crest fallen. Knowing how much I was looking forward to our adventure he immediately resorted to the next best alternative, reminding me that my old ‘Klim’ suit was in the camp.
In fact, everything was there. Klim socks, gloves, boots, pants, you name it – it was there. I smiled. Perfect!
Of course you must know this ‘old’ suit is absolutely busting with stories. I first wore it the winter we shot Boondockers V. It boasts thousands of riding kilometers, has afforded me the ability to sit comfortably and patiently in the snow to wait for many perfect photo ops, and together we’ve blown more driveways than you could possibly imagine. It’s tough outer skin glances branches away like a sheet of armour, saving my skin and even allowing me to climb an old stump to catch a particularly cool tree run with Dan Gardiner on his last visit to Newfoundland a couple of years ago. It is the go to suit for any ‘out of town’ and/or poorly prepared camp guests – not unlike myself. And in all that time it has kept me warm, dry, and free to move effortlessly, both on and off the sled. It’s some set of gear, eh boy!
Donning it felt comfortable, and so it performed for the rest of the weekend – even while blowing the driveway that evening, riding in my signature standing position throughout a blustery old day on the barrens, and attending to a family ‘Mug Up’ with an inordinate amount of time spent rolling in the snow, sitting with a precariously balanced ‘Kettle Pole’ and digging out countless numbers of stuck machines. Every bit as good as a brand new suit; which I might have to put back into reserve for an especially rainy day!
Don’t be afraid to use your Visa to make a Klim’ purchase; their gear is not only priceless but it’s ageless as well!
Comfort, eh boy!