Joseph Campbell’s 1949 book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, documents the similarities between tales of adventures across mythologies of countless cultures. Ancient civilizations told grandiose tales of ordinary people thrust into strange worlds filled with fascinating creatures and being forced to go toe-to-toe with some larger than life adversary. The heroes of these myths (from Odysseus, Perseus and King Arthur, later influencing the Luke Skywalkers and Harry Potters of modern culture) leave their familiar environments to embark on a quest in which they discover that they are capable or much more than their previous existence could offer. One perplexing similarity between almost every story, however, is that the hero initially rejects the call to adventure or has some hesitation about leaving their comfort of their home. Likewise, we too may hesitate before we go on our own unique adventures.
We may feel unprepared, unfit or unworthy to live our lives in an extraordinary fashion. Perhaps we don’t feel ready to leave the comfort of our ordinary lives. Neil Peart, legendary drummer of Rush and writer of numerous adventure travel books* once said: “Adventures suck when you’re having them.” Peart knows that when we are out in an unfamiliar territory, facing danger, grappling with uncertainty and down on our luck, adventures can really suck (and maybe we wished that we would have stayed in the comfort of our familiar home).
One way to ensure that you are ready for your adventure and are prepared to face whatever uncertainties circumstances can throw at you is to ensure that you are wearing clothes that are versatile enough to handle any environment and any condition (and looks snazzy too). Arc’Teryx’s Atom LT Hoody is the perfect layer for your next adventure. I have had this jacket for many years and have taken it on several adventures across the globe. In the ski world, this jacket is the perfect midlayer for the freezing days but acts as a standalone jacket for the warmer early season or end-of-season days. The Atom technology offers synthetic isolation that gives it a high degree of weather resistance. This jacket has come spring skiing with me at Marmot Basin, where the Atom technology within the jacket allowed the hot air to escape but kept the wind from biting me as I raced down the mountain. At the top of Jungfrau mountain (the highest point in Europe), I was kept warm with just a shirt on beneath.
Once on a hike in Edinburgh, one of those tsunami style UK rainstorms snuck up on me and my Arc’Teryx jacket. Luckily for me, the Synthetic Insulation retains a significant amount of warmth while damp and I made it back to the hostel without freezing. After being hung up for about half the time a normal jacket needs to be hung up to dry, the LT Hoodie was ready and waiting to face the elements once again. The LT stands for “Lightweight” and it truly lives up to its name. The jacket feels loose enough to stay comfortable but is still fitted in a way that makes it business casual for work or urban adventures. In my life, this jacket looks flawless paired with the Denver Hayes and Van Heusen I wear during the work week, however, when paired with jeans and a concert shirt, it still has that casual look that blends in at the bar watching a hockey game. When engaging in any physical activity, the jacket moves well with your body. I’ve taken this jacket skiing, mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing and jogging, and I’ve never felt that the jacket restricted any movement. In addition, this jacket can take a beating. Any wipeout I’ve had (even onto dirt, rocks, roots and mud) the jacket maintained its integrity, never ripping or even getting so much as a scuff. Furthermore, LT technology makes it the perfect jacket for travel as it can be conveniently stuffed into its own inside pocket allowing for ease of packing.
I’ve worn this jacket through the warmest and coldest ski days in Canada, in the cool Caribbean breeze during the Turks and Caicos nights, to the top of Europe, through the torrential downpours of the UK, on a bike ride through Germany, to business meetings, hockey games, family gatherings and almost every other time I leave the house. At the end of the day, when the adventure is done, this jacket is hung up in the closet, just waiting for its next adventure. Whether your adventure is one that scholars like Campbell will write of, one that you share with your kids, one to share with only your closest buddies or one that really sucks; this jacket makes for a great companion. I highly recommend this jacket to anyone who feels that call to adventure and ready to accept whatever challenges come along after.
*His 2002 book Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road is an incredible book whether or not you are a Rush fan. It chronicles a 55,000 mile motorcycle journey he took after losing both his daughter and wife within a year of each other. His reflections and evaluations on life in the face of tragedy are truly inspiring.