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#Gorpcore #Great #Outdoors #WorthPoint

Whether you love or hate the Great Outdoors, vintage back-to-nature clothing and gear are in high demand among both hardcore campers and the fashion-forward crowd who prefer the concrete jungle.  

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Not an outdoors person? There’s even stuff for you, like this set of Anne Taintor napkins stating, “I Love Not Camping.” It sold for $23.95 in 2021.

So Functional, It’s Fashionable

Remember the escapist “-core” style aesthetics like cottagecore and grandmacore that exploded on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic? Now meet “gorpcore,” a reality-based trend named for the trail mix acronym “good ol’ raisins and peanuts.” Coined in 2017 by The Cut‘s Jason Chen, this crunchy aesthetic, he wrote, “worships the Woods, strictly defining itself by the idioms of hiking-camping-outdoor apparel.” Chen noted that brands like Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Converse, and The Gap do not fit this category. Instead, he said, gorpcore clothing is “rather defiantly ugly … like something you’d buy (or exactly what you’d buy) at REI—practical, element-braving fleeces, ponchos, parkas, and windbreakers from no-nonsense brands like Patagonia, the North Face, Teva, Columbia, and Birkenstock.” 

The gorpcore romance is growing stronger with the help of social media, Stitch Fix stylist Gillian McHattier said in a September 2023 InStyle magazine interview. “As gorpcore surpasses 1.3 billion views on TikTok, it’s no wonder more people are embracing the trend.” 

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The Patagonia MARS R2 Regulator fleece jacket is a rare and valuable find. This piece, which sold for a staggering $6,995 in 2020, is a testament to its desirability.

The Purists

My Patagonia hot pink shell jacket was a staple in my equestrian sports days. I wore it even when I wasn’t on horseback. Its breathable fabric kept me warm, wicked away moisture, and repelled water. It was a cool jacket simply because of its attractive yet utilitarian style, making it a valuable item that, thirty years later, I still treasure. This kind of gear is in high demand, and the internet is a treasure trove for finding and authenticating these items. 

A quick search reveals posts and videos on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook featuring experienced campers and hikers offering tips on how to find and use vintage camping equipment. 

Doug B., also known on YouTube as @BackcountryPilgrim, shows off the gear he has packed to traverse parts of the Tahoe–Yosemite Trail in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. An oversized external frame backpack and a Swedish-made SVEA 123 camping stove are among the vintage essentials covering his dining room table.

“This is the classic of all classic stoves,” Doug said of the SVEA. “This is one of the finest made pieces of backpacking gear that has ever existed.”

Others, like Matti and Stina, tout their collection of vintage outdoor gear, posting YouTube videos of themselves camping in the forests near their home in Jokkmokk, Swedish Lapland. 

“I dressed up in the old retro clothing, packed an old Haglofs backpack with a vintage Fjallraven tent, my old caravan sleeping bag, a traditional foam isomat, and my grandmother’s old Trangia stove, and the same food as she served me in my childhood trips,” Matti wrote in one of his video introductions, adding he also brought a 1970 Trapper canoe and hauled everything in a 1988 Toyota bus. 

The Gorpcore Fashionistas

Fashionistas in love with gorpcore compete for the same hard-to-find vintage and used outdoor brands. According to the sustainable fashion magazine PhotoBook, gorpcore has been revamped for 2024 and is now called “quiet gorpcore.” Fashion and outdoor brands now offer clothing like puffer jackets, cargo pants and vests, hiking boots, and rain jackets with understated branding. Photobook contributor Ren Wilson writes, “Consumers have become less interested in showy sportswear and are leaning more towards high-quality performance clothing with minimal logos.”

Whether you’re hunting for yourself or to resell, it pays to be on the lookout for these items and know how to spot the fakes.

Hunting for the Classics

Searching for vintage and used authentic outdoor gear eventually makes it clear that classic pieces are simply built to last. I’ve examined my share of coats, jackets, pants, and sweaters, and the weight and feel are often early giveaways. The snaps are tighter; the zippers are more robust. The stitches are closer together and in straight lines. If the piece is worn, it usually has an attractive burnished feel, like an old pair of Levi’s. Additionally, companies like Patagonia are serious about ensuring cheap counterfeits of its products stay out of the marketplace, and their website is filled with information to help you spot a fake, all the way down to their unique interior tags. 

In addition to apparel, other vintage outdoor accessories, from campfire stoves to tents, are great for purchase or resale.

Sure, many of the companies for these items still exist, and you can pay full price for their wares, but if you want something sturdy and less expensive—or you’re a reseller—thrift shops, auctions, and yard or estate sales can offer some thrilling finds. For example, I recently unearthed a vintage Drip-O-Lator coffee pot at a thrift shop and a Griswold skillet at a flea market.

Below are some other items to look for. It’s wise to compare prices, so be sure to check out the WorthPoint Price Guide:

Whether looking for the right look for a night out in the city or prefer getting as far away from society as possible, vintage outdoor gear is worth the search, and that perfect piece may be the last one you’ll ever need.

“I love the old Coleman stoves,” commented camping enthusiast Mike Rogers on a YouTube video. “I use 2 that are over 50 years old, including a couple lanterns. Still working GREAT!”

Between excursions to hunt for antiques and vintage décor, Lynda Houston is busy restoring her 1950s cottage in Cincinnati, Ohio. She and her partner, Dave Beck, operate TheRustInPeaceShop on Etsy. 

WorthPoint—Discover. Value. Preserve.

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