TIPS TO LOOK LIKE A PIONEER! – GETTING YOUR COSTUME TOGETHER
The cool thing about Trek, is you not only re-enact a pioneers journey and experiences, you also dress the part! Here are some links, tips, and suggestions to look like a real pioneer. And remember your clothes will get grubby so simple and inexpensive is best.
You will need 2 outfits or changes and will get hot, sweaty and dirty on this Trek, so light-colored, breathable, cotton or linen fabrics will work best. Historical exactness in the cut of your outfit is not necessary to the exact year, per se, but a close approximation is our aim.
FOR THE YOUNG WOMEN
Some of you might like to make your own trek clothes, and can make it a Personal Progress goal – here are some ideas to make your own, or what to look for in putting a costume together.
First step is to find or make an apron. These are easily constructed from a pillowcase. You can get one from the DI for $1-$2—or even better, get it from your Grandma’s closet! Look for one that only has oneside seam, and a king pillowcase is best although any size will do. If it has a contrasting border or ruffle—even better, as that will be the bottom of the apron.
Next, you will want an elastic waist skirt, or if you have some sewing experience and you are confidant doing a set-in sleeve—there are DRESS patterns you can use. The dress will require 4 to 4.5yds (if you are tall) of 45”wide fabric. The skirt will require 2.5 yds.
And finally a bonnet. That will take about ¾ of a yard—however, if you can find 2 matching pillowcases—the 2ndpillowcase can be your bonnet, and you will be a color coordinated pioneer fashion queen.
In obtaining your fabric and clothes, we would like to strongly encourage you all to “HONOR THE SPIRIT OF PIONEER FRUGALITY”! Remember, those pioneers did not have the opportunity to run to the fabric store—they used and re-used every scrap of fabric they could. See if you have some cotton tablecloths, cotton top sheets, or cotton drapes you might use. (…think of the scene in Sound of Music with all the kids in their play-clothes made from the drapes of Maria’s!) Try to stick with a small print, stripe or solid—and go for 100% cotton or mostly cotton. Linen will work, and it is really cool, but it is not as easy to sew on.
After you have sewn your first set of clothes, you can scavenge around for an extra set if you want it, or sew some more. Most girls will wear the same skirt, and have an extra (long sleeve!) blouse and maybe an extra apron. For your blouses, you can go to the DI and get several blouses for much less than you make one night babysitting. The DI blouses are all washed and ironed and grouped by color—it is much better than Nordstrom shopping any day! Look for long or ¾ sleeves and again—go for cotton.
Lastly—you will want 1 or 2 pairs of “bloomers”. These are for modesty while turning cartwheels on the plains, but more important—they will protect your legs from bug bites. Easiest idea is to take some cotton pj bottoms or scrubs and add elastic to the bottom—or just tuck them into your socks.
TIPS FOR YOUNG MEN
Men’s shirts worn loose. Plain colors were common, but stripes or plaids were also used. Light colors will be coolest. Choose something larger than a regular fit, with long sleeves.
Pants were also worn loose. Wool or linen were used. Corduroy, twill and canvas pants are good choices. Trekker in our day find that wool is to hot but that cotton work great. Colors include blue, black, gray, browns, especially beige and tan. Choose rather loose fitting through the crotch and thigh area to add comfort In walking.
Men’s pants were held up by suspenders that were buttoned on the outside of the waistband, and crossed in the back.
Men’s everyday hats ranged from pilot caps, straw hats, wide brimmed low felt hats, or round crowned hat. No ball caps allowed.
Usually vests/ties were worn only on Sunday or when attending a meeting or social event. Ties were small, black and silky. Wrapped around the neck one and tied in the front with a square knot.
All clothing is to be Pioneer oriented.
2 Pairs long, loose fitting cotton or linen pants, dockers, corduroy, khaki, or non-polyester suit pants (No jeans, camo or cargo pants)
2 Long sleeved, loose fitting button-front shirts (no logos showing), Band Collar style or Sunday shirt with collar cut off to create a band collar. (Plain or pinstriped, no modern prints) Light colors recommended to reduce heat retention
1 pair suspenders, rope
Wide brimmed hat, straw hat, felt hat, newsies cap (no baseball caps or army hats)
Gloves for pushing handcart
1 rain poncho (bandana’s will be provided)
2 pair of comfortable, well-worn shoes (hiking boots, running shoes or athletic shoes; do NOT use new shoes or blisters are guaranteed)
3-4 pairs of absorbent socks, long to tuck into pants
Recommended: 2 pairs of wicking socks to wear under absorbent socks
3 set underclothing
Jacket, or sweater
A few days before Trek, spray your clothing with Permethrin (99% effective chemical used by the military to prevent ticks on fabric, available at Cabella’s, REI or Bass Pro Shop) Spray on clothes only, not on skin, allow to air dry. This will last for weeks. Read up online about this product to ensure you are not allergic to it.
CONDITION YOUR FEET & YOUR STAMINA:
Do not plan to wear new shoes on the Trek which amounts to blisters and sore feet. Old running shoes might be best choice to allow for expansion as your feet will swell. They are made for cushioning, motion control and support.
BEGIN by doing a couple of walks a week. (If you feel hot spots, blisters forming, stop! Go home and rub you feet with rubbing alcohol which helps you form calluses which will protect your feet.)
Build up to 4-5 walks a week
2-3 miles twice or 3 times
4-5 miles twice a week
Make 4 of those walks before Trek longer and uphill.
INCREASE YOUR INTAKE OF WATER:
You will need to keep hydrated on Trek. Take a bottle of water on those walks, and in general increase your intake of water and reduce the amount of soda drinks or sugar drinks you consume toward the time of Trek so you can get used to nature’s beverage, good old water, instead of grabbing a canned soda!
Learn about your ancestors! You may be suprised to find out what pioneer heritage you have or what pioneer stories you may have in your own family. Maybe your ancestors didn’t cross the plains of Wyoming but were pioneers in another time or land. Read stories about pioneers, Read your scriptures, Go to seminary, Go to church, Pray, Index, make duty to god goals, and get excited about this unique experience. If you ask, heavenly father will inspire you on how you can personally be prepared to get the most out of Trek spiritually.