Eight Ball Top Pocket

Is that a zipper on your hat?”

I am commonly asked that question when I am wearing my usual winter hat.   You see, my hat has a built in pocket.  It is a pretty small pocket, but a pocket none the less.  The pocket is closed by a small zipper and while the zipper is well hidden on the seam, the zipper pull tends to hang out.


“What is it for?”

“Well, it keeps things from falling out of the pocket.”

“What do you keep in the pocket?”  This is often asked with a perplexed look on the face.

“Prophylactics”   is my usual answer.  People generally don’t respond quick to that.  It catches folks off guard.  Indeed the pocket in my hat could easily hold two individually wrapped, electronically tested Trojan brand latex condoms.  Or any other brand for that matter.

You see, I got this hat for free.  I did this expedition into the Piritas Valley in northern Patagonia on the Chilean-Argentine border.  The technical clothing and equipment company Outdoor Research gave us the hats to use, along with some other quality accouterments.   I noticed right away that it had a pocket and a zipper.  “Hey, what is with the zipper on our hats?” I asked our expedition team somewhat rhetorically.  “No se” was the response.  Thus the trend was set.

As far as keeping my head warm, the hat does its job perfectly.  It has since become my go to piece for dome insulation.  Since becoming owner of this toque, it has accompanied me on 15 courses and even more personal trips.

Josh Beckner (L) and I in our matching hats

I lost it briefly.  I was driving a big ol’ F-350 from Green River, UT to Lander, WY.  I got warm, took it off and shoved it between the seat and the door.  In the predawn darkness we pulled off the road at a turn out and hopped out to water the pavement of US-6.  Only when I got back to Lander did I realize then that I no longer had my hat.  After some contemplation, I figured it out.  Well, that is that, I thought and chalked it up to “easy come, easy go.”  But Fate, or maybe just a bad waste of good luck, conspired to keep us together, because two weeks later I was once again driving that stretch of highway.  Aww, heck, I should probably take a look see, I thought to myself as I once again, sped along that stretch in the predawn darkness, this time headed to the Salt Lake airport.  I pulled over.  And there it was, dirtied and flattened but really none the worse for the wear.  “Dang, that was a bad waste of good luck” I muttered to myself as I threw the hat on the passenger side floor and headed north.

The best I can figure is that it is designed for the first generation iPod Shuffle.  It seems like that would fit in there well.

When someone orders a PBR at the Lander Bar, they get the opportunity to guess what number and card suite is on the underside of the bottle cap.   If you guess correctly, you get the bottle for free.  These days there is a bottle cap in my hat’s pocket.  It’s a three of diamonds.

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A little bit less of a nomad now, Jared still likes to refer to himself in the third person.

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