Zombie Park Ranger
After a long day of hiking and a big dinner on a recent trip, a group of friends and I got a bit loud at a local state park campground. As darkness fell, flashlight beams appeared out in the distance and before we knew it, three state park rangers descended on our campsite to request we abide by posted quiet hours. Imagine the horror if those rangers had been dressed as zombies! You'll need white cream makeup, some sort of black eyeliner or makeup, and fake blood to create your zombie park ranger costume. Rip up a pair of old khakis and a brown or green button down shirt, grab a ranger hat and you're good to go. Don't forget your flashlight!
Vintage Hiker or Past Explorer of the World
With all the fancy new gear available for outdoor enthusiasts these days, this costume gives you an opportunity to pay homage to past adventurers. Start by raiding the basement of an older outdoorsy friend who might have vintage gear stored. Borrow a metal framed pack, beat up leather hiking boots, thick wool socks, a plaid or other buttoned shirt and anything else that's a least 20 years old. If you can't find real vintage gear, visit a thrift store; you'll be amazed at what you can find. For accessories, you'll also need an old compass, a hiking stick, and a worn out bandana.
Gear Addict and Know-It-All
If the vintage hiker concept doesn't appeal to you, go in the opposite direction. Wear the newest outdoor apparel you have in your closet, sport the newest backpack you can find, and spend the night spouting off information about deniers, R-values and more. The more items you can wear with the price tags still attached, the better.
Color Run AND Mud Run AND Zombie Run Participant
With the prevalence of themed running races these days, odds are you either know someone who's participated, or you've done one yourself. For this costume, imagine you completed a Color Run, Spartan Race, Zombie Run, and Tough Mudder all in the same day. Start with an old pair of running shoes, shorts, and a running-themed t-shirt. Cover yourself in colored paint and mud, stuff some twigs and leaves into your shoelaces, pin a race bib to your shirt, don and old race medal and you're set.
Color Run Participant. Photo by Brian Kingsley
Most of us with a penchant for playing outside know how to appreciate the woods. What better way to show true appreciation than to be "the woods" for Halloween? Visit a local craft store for leaves, twigs, branches, sticks, local flowers, moss and more; they'll stay attached more effectively than the real thing. Grab a glue gun and stick everything to a pair of pants and a shirt or a dress. Rub some dirt or smudge dark makeup on your face and you're good to go. Bonus points for messy hair with twigs and leaves in it!
What other outdoorsy ideas do you have? What's been your favorite costume over the past years?