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Outfitted for Gardening

Some great gardening gear can come out of these stores.

Looking for more holiday gift ideas? Don't forget to check the outfitter stores. Yes, gardening is an outdoor sport, and who better to provide some of the essential clothing and accessories than the folks who bring you the rugged equipment associated with hiking and mountain climbing?

  • Those colorful rubbery slip-ons. All the rage this year, both in the garden and out, Crocs--or their lookalikes--are light as a feather and ridiculously easy to clean. But besides that, the holes let your feet breathe and the nubs on the inner soles prevent your feet from sticking in hot weather. Paired with heavy socks, they're perfect for a quick trip to the compost pile in the winter (if there's no snow on the ground, of course). I first bought mine (Rebound, made in Canada) for river wading from an outfitter last year; it was only later that I discovered how cool they are for the garden. On Crocs, straps keep the shoes snugly on your feet and can push up and out of the way when you don't want them.

  • Hats. Outfitters typically carry a range of styles and fabrics, depending on temperature and usage. But you might also luck out and find a good straw hat; the Columbia hat (shown above) cost only $10.

  • Hiking skirts. These unisex skirts are often worn by serious hikers in hot weather when air circulation and lack of chafing are good things. In the garden, they're a wonderfully cool alternative to shorts, plus they're machine-washable and super-fast at air-drying. They're out-of-season in the winter, so if you find them in your local outfitters store, they're likely to be on sale. (Mountain Hardwear)

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