No…I’m not kidding. Hiking jewelry has actually become a priority in my life. (Who would have ever thought it?!) I guess that’s what happens when you’re dating a very outdoorsy guy and you suddenly find yourself exploring caves and falling in rivers. I can’t be doing these activities wearing my typical earrings (too big), bracelets (might break), watch (doesn’t mix with water) or necklaces (just plain inappropriate with hiking gear). So, it’s back to the jewelry drawing board for me.
The first thing was to find a watch that wasn’t completely ugly and could take some rough and tumble action. I found the perfect line with Baby G watches. They are very reasonably priced, good in water up to 200 meters, and shock resistant. I found a fairly large selection at my local Bloomingdale’s. Of course I feel under-accessorized without a bracelet, so I complemented the watch with a leather and woven silver bracelet I had purchased in Sweden. The clasp is extremely secure, so I don’t have to worry about it falling off next time I find myself submerged…
I think the key factors in selecting hiking bracelets (beyond the fact that they can’t look too blingy…they’ve got to have a more natural feel) are having a secure closure and being able to withstand the elements. This rules out any sort of bracelet on a string or elastic, as they can easily break. Also, toggle closures are a no-no. One idea I like is the woven leather or cord bracelets that are self-tightening. You can find them at all price points. Tai is one brand I have road-tested and they’re readily available in many stores and online. Wrap braclets with a hearty button closure are another great option, and Chan Luu is a wonderful designer of wraps. (A friend of mine has had one of these on for years, scuba-diving and all, and it still looks great.) You can find different takes on these two themes everywhere.
Now what about the perfect hiking necklace? Well, I certainly don’t recommend wearing anything too precious and it, too, must be pretty hearty. I was at Margaret O’Leary on Fillmore street in San Francisco and came across a fabulous solution! Margaret Solow makes petite pendants of semi-precious stones on a polyester/nylon cord that’s pretty much unbreakable. Sign me up!
Finally, the earrings. I think you’ve got to keep it pretty darn simple here, with either studs or very small hoops. Otherwise, you may find yourself with only one earring at the end of your adventure. Happy hiking! 🙂