Hikers for Halloween

I’ve had some silly ideas in my day. Most of them involved blindly mixing when I’m cooking instead of using a recipe. I also once picked out a pinkish beige paint that, once on the wall, closely resembled a raw hot dog. I don’t pick out paint colors alone anymore.

I recently had an idea that I’m sure is not at all silly. I’m pretty sure it’s brilliant. This idea came to me as I was researching another article.  Kids should dress up as famous hikers for Halloween!

You might worry that no one will know who you’re supposed to be. Most kids like to dress up as the latest television show characters. And most adults don’t know who those characters are either. Since you’ll have to explain your costume anyway, you might as well make it unique and informative!

The kids and I usually make or put together their Halloween costumes. Give me ten bucks for the Goodwill and some art supplies and we usually end up with some pretty snazzy and memorable costumes. I’ve turned my kids into My Little Ponies, spiders, Rescue Bots, and even Mac ‘n’ Cheese. A few dollars and some Pinterest inspiration can go a long way!

So you’ve decided to go with this fun and interesting costume idea. You know you can put it together fairly inexpensively. Who can the kids dress us as? I’ll start with the two mentioned in my previous posts.

Grandma Gatewood

Properly known was Emma Rowena Gatewood, she was the first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. She was 67 years old at the time. Even more remarkably, she only wore canvas Keds sneakers and carried a bag with a blanket and a tarp to keep dry. 

You can replicate Grandma Gatewood’s look with jeans and a sweater. The end caps for this costume would be the Keds and a grey wig or hairspray. You can add a small duffle bag that doubles for hauling candy. 

The Original Crazy One

Earl V. Shaffer was the first person to ever thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. That is how he got his nickname. Back in the 1940s, no one would imagine that someone would want to hike over 2,000 miles. Now it is a regular occurrence on the AT as well as other long trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail. 

You can rock Earl’s look with khakis and a white T-shirt or green khakis with an army green button-down with rolled sleeves. Add in some hiking boots and you’re there. Earl’s old photos from back in the day look exactly like you would expect a pioneer thru-hiker to look.

Teddy Roosevelt

There are six national park locations dedicated wholly or in part to this former president. He was committed to the conservation of nature and wildlife from a young age. During his presidency, he established state forests, bird preserves, game reserves, and national parks. He was one of the greatest forces for the conservation of natural resources in US history.

Teddy Roosevelt as a costume is probably one of the most fun. You need glasses and the classic push-broom mustache. Add a sweater and bandana, riding pants, and boots, and top it off with a cowboy hat. What adventurous little boy wouldn’t want a suit like that?

These are three big names in hiking and outdoors history that would make great Halloween costumes for kids and adults. They lived incredible lives and have fascinating stories. There are so many more though. I could go on for pages and pages, but I won’t. Next week I’ll have a few more ideas to add to the list. 

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