There’s a movement happening in Korea right now, one that’s been blooming beneath the surface of society for years. It slips beneath our notice, and while the epidemic has taken tight hold of its people, the rest of the world doesn’t bat an eye.
Rainbow Hikers: Korean adults aged 40 and up who don the quintessential Korean outerwear in every explosive shade of the autumn landscape. Perfectly color-coordinated, perfectly prepared, these stalwart warriors proudly sport their pants with articulated knees, all-weather boots, gloves, backpacks, hydration packs, sun hats, windbreakers, vests, and walking poles with the greatest pride. Although they’ll never come close to anything resembling a survival situation, they’re ready.
As much as I enjoy poking fun at this Korean trend, I long to join them. There’s something appealing about being ready for anything, and looking good while you do it. Black Yak, Mountia, Nepa… these are all the tenets of this beautifully bright faith.
One day I’ll be perfectly matched, perfectly waterproof, and perfectly ready to walk the 1 kilometer paved trail alongside them and maybe once (just for once!) they won’t look twice at me.