The last few days, Iâ€™ve been hoping on and off (more on than off) that the â€œunseasonably warmâ€ temperatures in my RL home city (Los Angeles) will return quickly to milder and more usual weather. Please, God, let the meteorologists be meaningfully right, just for once. I know it will be 110 Fahrenheit degrees plus in September, but right now it is quite frankly too damn early in the season for this nonsense.
Because, you see, as I write this itâ€™s only mid-April, and the weather should be suitable for picnics and other casual outingsâ€”not roasting hot, miserably hot, hot as hell hot. And itâ€™s been threateningly close, for too many days, although relief is said to be in sight. [In case you're wondering, as I publish this on the web--it's hot. Again.] As always these days, when RL is in some way inhospitable, I find escape in SL. (Some psychologist will have a field day with that, but thatâ€™s okay.) This month I venture into the Great Virtual Outdoors, with a few suggestions for putting together your adventurerâ€™s look, complete with accessories.
The Safari ensemble by Froddo Beck (L$350) includes shirt, vest and pants that can be worn in a variety of different combinations. You can choose from shirt and vest together, as shown, or either one alone; all are on the jacket layer. The pants come in both â€œintactâ€ (though well worn) and slightly ragged versions, the better to depict your progression from the outset of your three-hour tour to its eventual but uncertain conclusion, days or weeks later. You also get a coil of prim rope to wear looped around shoulder and chest, so you can keep it handy in case of accidental fall into a tiger pit or unmarked cave. The only caveat with this nicely detailed and textured set is the logo screened on the back of both vest and shirt. Itâ€™s only partially obscured by the ropes, so fair warning to those who find brand logos objectionable. Available at TheZoo (Gotlib 40, 83, 34).
Also by Froddo Beck is this detailed prim backpack (L$300). The pack itself is textured with standard-issue camouflage fabric, and the padded straps will keep it comfortable on long hikes far from civilization. The accessories are what make it feel like itâ€™s owned and used by a real person: the loops of nylon rope, bedroll, issue of National Geographic magazine, compass, friendly water bottle, and various decorative buttons are all authentic touches that work. The backpack is provided in two starting sizes for your convenience, but you can modify it for a better fit if you like. Also available at TheZoo (Gotlib 40, 83, 34).
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of a good hat, one that not only keeps the sun from scorching your face and ears but also guarantees a dashing look. Iâ€™ve searched high and low for good â€œIndyâ€-style adventurerâ€™s hats and have yet to find one better than the Outback Hat by Raindrop Drinkwater (a bargain at L$50). Its comfortably broken-in shape is simply but elegantly sculpted, and the brown suede texture is deep and rich. A glossy, chocolate-colored band marks the division between crown and brim. Two sizes are included, but the hat is easily resized for a custom fit. The hatâ€™s shape and proportions are such that, even sized up a bit to conceal my prim hair, it doesnâ€™t look oversized. Available at A2NZ (Ufeus 35, 23, 35).
Iâ€™ve had the Gestalt Binoculars by Jim Lumiere (L$200) in my inventory for agesâ€”itâ€™s about time they got a serious workout. As with any of Jimâ€™s creations, these are meticulously constructed and almost impossibly detailed. The gleaming brass and dark leather feel rich and luxurious rather than strictly utilitarian, and if you look closely you can see light “reflections” in the lenses. The integrated hold pose raises the binoculars to your eyes and lets you gaze searchingly into the far distance. Available at Gestaltâ€™s This â€˜N That Market (Yamato 216, 120, 28). The binoculars vendor is located just outside the glass-walled conservatory, near the landing pointâ€”look for the guy in the pith helmet.
Another inventory staple for me: the BUKKA short hiking boots by yano Hyun (L$250). The leather uppers are realistically textured in brown leather in at least three different finishes. Other detailed construction elements include bright brass hardware, sturdy stitching, multi-colored laces, and braided piping. The chunky treaded soles will keep your footing sure while youâ€™re out hiking. The set also includes high (almost to the knee) prim socks, touch scripted for color changeâ€”not my thing, but others may enjoy them. Available in Brown, Black and Beige at BUKKA (Baleful 74, 80, 31).
Last but not least, youâ€™re going to need some protection against the intensifying sun as we move through spring into summer. Like all of Fenigan Londonâ€™s eyewear, his â€œOttokanâ€ glasses (L$149) are stylish designs executed in highly detailed, all-prim construction. After all, thereâ€™s no reason your glasses canâ€™t be just as attractive as the rest of you. Although shown here as dark sunglasses, theyâ€™re touch scripted for a variety of color options: you can choose from several lens and frame colors as well as steel or copper detail textures. Available at House of London (Monowai 252, 95, 69).
Second Life isnâ€™t just about dance clubs (not that thereâ€™s anything wrong with dance clubs). It also offers plenty of opportunities for exploration of virtual natural environments, both realistic and fantastic. Get some friends together and do something â€œoutsideâ€!
Photographed at various locations in the Africa sim (Africa 189, 136, 27).
This is an expanded version of the Menâ€™s Corner column originally published in Second Style Magazine (Issue #19).