If you couldn’t already tell from my semi-regular eBay posts, I’m a big fan of deadstock American-made goods. So, you can imagine my excitement when I first stumbled across Eggs and Wool, a tumblr by Jason McKenzie of the venerable Boston based outdoor outfitter Hilton’s Tent City. As the store’s “resident archeologist and archivist,” Jason has access to HTC’s huge surplus of unsold, decades-old camping and hiking gear, all of which is now – thanks to Mr. McKenzie and his site – finally being put up for sale. Figuring that at least a few of you might share in my appreciation for the old and unworn, I’ve asked Jason to begin rounding up some of his better finds for a new reoccurring feature here on CWAC (which means we get first dibs). Click-through to see his latest (and greatest) discoveries.
Howdy Folks! Welcome to my new feature on old stuff. I’m here to share with you some of the treasures I have dug up from Hilton’s Tent City in Boston, Massachusetts. We are by far the oldest outdoor specialty shop in town, and we have one of the most impressive deadstock collections in the industry. Begun as a war surplus outlet in 1947, we have since evolved into the 4 floor, all-in-one outdoor supply shop that we are today. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, and you happen to be near Friend Street in the city that earned America its freedom, stop by and say hello!
The Melton Shirt Company from Batavia, New York may or not still be in business, I can’t confirm. At very least, they have not kept up with the contact protocol of the internet age. These “Wintermaster” triple stitched “Brawny Flannel” shirts are perfect attire when the mercury drops up here in New England. A note about the fabric: These days, Cone Mills is getting a ton of revival exposure. Most folks who shop for top shelf denim, like the new LVC line, have learned the name, but the mill has been around for over a hundred years now, and chances are, your grandpappy has at least one piece in his closet that has been – in one form or another – through the famous mill in North Carolina. Available in assorted plaids, M-XL. $40. Made in the USA. NWT, Circa, 1975.
Ubiquitous on trails from the AT to the PCT, the Mountain Light is the perennial favorite from the Danner Boot Company, which hails from Portland, Oregon, and has been making rugged, high quality boots since 1932. Among its many accolades, the company can boast the first use of Gore Tex in a boot, as well as operating one of the last remaining unionized cobbler factories in the United States. Every time I look at these, i imagine Jack Kerouack and crew tramping around the Pacific Northwest, fulfilling some Jungian urge. In addition to unblemished, full-grain leather and classic Vibram waffle stomper soles, the precious few pairs we have left feature laces and eyelets long since “upgraded.” Available in both men’s and women’s sizes. Circa 1980. Made in the USA. Last runs narrow. $199. Red Sierra Boot Laces, though not period, $3.95.
Wool Logger Pants. My father told me that his grand father told him that “saw dust is in your veins.” Ever since, we, like countless North Country loggers, have been wearing spruce green wool pants on and off the skidder roads that lead to no name stands of pine, maple, and hemlock. This pair is made of a wool/nylon blend that will keep you warm for years of backwoods labor to come. Made in Batavia, New York, the recycled wool content helps to keep the price down when compared to premium brands like Johnson Woolen Mills, Filson, and Woolrich. 33″ waist, 34″ inseam, hem-able. Perma creased, and in perfect condition. Dry Clean Only. $69.
Before there were $30 hiking socks, there was Wigwam Mills, from Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The company has been keeping the heads, hands and feet of the northern most continental United States’ residents warm since 1905, and are going strong to this day. These orange toppers are still sought after by the old timers, and available in singles, or by the bundle (6pr.). Made in the USA. Fits mens 8-10 best. $6/1, $29/6.
Alpack skier’s day pack. This classic klettersack made by Camp Trails in Phoniex, Arizona is a day tripper’s dream. A top-loader with easy access, this tough and comfy pack features leather reinforcement at the yolk anchor, die-cut, full-grain lashing straps, and floating side pockets that will easily accommodate most bear-trap, old school, alpine planks, as well as just about any Nordic skis on the market. New in the bag. Please note: due to the degradation of the polyurethane coating on the interior of the nylon, this bag may have a pungent odor at first, but should air out with use (I cannot confirm, as I have not removed it from its original packaging). Made in the USA. $45.
What I list on CWAC is merely the tip of the iceberg. All items listed for sale are sold as is. Shipping is via UPS Ground for domestic, and USPS Priority for international. To inquire about more product, as well as to learn about sizes and availability, please email me, and I will send you detailed instructions to process your order. You can also follow me on Twitter and Tumblr for more HTC archive updates [ed note: I recommend doing both].