As hikers living in the second largest metropolitan area in the country, we often have to shed our comfortable layers of merino and capilene for more ‘traditional’ city clothes when we’re not out on the trail – but that doesn’t mean we have to completely shed our outdoorsiness.
Sure, there have always been ways to broadcast your secret love of getting dirt tans when you’re out with friends or co-workers, but the local artisans behind C6 brands sent me a sample of their first design for an accessory that’s guaranteed to start conversations.
This handmade Mount Whitney belt features a replica of the rather weathered USGS benchmark that sits atop the highest peak in the lower 48 (although this one has the updated elevation on it, so you get to brag about those few extra feet). The buckle is about 2 and a half inches in diameter and feels sized somewhere between a normal belt buckle and an oversized cowboy style. If you’re not used to wearing big buckles, it’ll probably feel a bit strange at first.
The leather itself is bridle leather, meaning it starts off a bit stiff but over time becomes incredibly soft and supple while maintaining its strength – but more importantly, this belt features a pressed section of topographical map from the Mountaineer’s Route to Whitney, specifically the area from Upper Boy Scout Lake to Iceberg Lake.
See? It’s got something for hiking nerds and map nerds, too! Oh, and in case you wanted a bit of inspirational history thrown in for good measure, the inside of the buckle’s got you covered:
The belts are custom made to your fit when you order, and while they’ll cost you quite a bit more than something you can pick up at The Gap ($135), they could definitely make a one-of-a-kind gift for that hiker in your life who’s already bagged Mount Whitney.
Right now, this is the only belt C6 offers, although there are additional outdoorsy designs by SoCal artisans in the works.