These Gators

I’m Verglas Gators, and I love to play in the dirt!


Greta’s Gators here, yes that’s what I go by. In 2012 Greta picked me up at an REI in San Francisco and we’ve been getting out in the dirt together ever since. Before my San Francisco days I cruised my way across the ocean from China. I’ve got all kinds of materials happening, so, even though my label says “Made in China” like my friend the Vest, I’ve got parts from all over this beautiful planet. I’ve got metal hooks and clasps, I’ve got velcro and leather and plastic tabs, and I’m “technically” made of Pertex® Shield 3L, 100% nylon, 70D ripstop leg panel, Cordura®, 100% nylon, 500D woven foot panel- but I don’t really know what all that means (not yet anyway).

I really like to play in dirt. Oh I said that already? Okay, well let me tell you about some of the places we’ve been. We’ve hiked across snowy fields and icy glaciers in Alaska. We’ve crossed cold rivers and creeks and swamps. We’ve hiked across desert sands in Nevada and Colorado. We’ve trekked through muddy, puddle-filled trails in Northern California and Oregon. We’ve climbed soft rolling hills and deep dusty river gorges in the Los Padres National Forest. We’ve even hiked across sandy beaches while exploring the northern coast of California. Since moving to Chile we’ve hiked across dry lava fields, climbed steep araucaria-covered slopes for fresh backcountry snowboarding and managed countless rainy day hikes.

What do I do? Oh right, I forget that people don’t use gators very often, well, people that aren’t Greta. I keep Greta’s boots and socks dry and I keep dirt and rocks out of there too. In the winter, I keep her legs warm over her tights and in the summer I protect her ankles from branches and scrapes so that she can hike in shorts. For our next adventure I’m apparently supposed to keep the saddle from pinching her leg as we ride across Patagonia. I hope this horse is dirty, so I still get to play in dirt.

I never really get clean (that’s the way I like it), and a few threads have started to pull along my velcro. But Greta is sewing those back into place, so no need to worry about that. My leather bands are still strong and my velcro still pulls crisply. I’m in tip-top shape and ready for some sweet Patagonia dirt.