November is a perfect time to check your clothing and tack to see if they’re toasty enough for winter adventure. In similar fashion, The Ranch at Rock Creek’s Mercantile has been stocking clothing for winter.
In our first volume of Mercantile Style, we noted that a wild west “Merc” was part refueling station, part department store and part tailor. They offered products that were sturdy and versatile so that the snow is something you appreciate for its beauty, not its temperature. As one of the few luxury guest ranches to stay open all year, we delight in the changing weather and all its possibilities. Our winter ranch wear must always keep pace with the activities we offer.
1. Beaver Felt Hat, Rand’s Custom Hat | 2.Westlake Waxed Jacket, Filson | 3. Insulated Fjord Flannel, Patagonia| 4. Aviators, Ray-Ban| 5. Rambler Riot Boot, Ariat | 6. Mackinaw Wool Vest, Filson | 7. Straight+Narrow Brixton, Joe’s Jeans | 8. Two-Tone Cameo Buckle, Montana Silversmiths | 9. Scout Belt, Ariat
Winter Ranch Wear
In snow, layering is the most effective way to build heat, whether you’re packing up to the peaks or stepping into the stirrup before a ride. Classic materials like wool and waxed canvas were the original materials used in winter ranch wear, before the advent of modern alpine fabrics. For many ranchers and outdoorsmen, wool is still a number one choice for its relentless longevity and warm-when-wet ability. Flannel remains an easy choice for attaining a clean-cut look without relinquishing warmth and comfort. The Ranch Merc stocks a mix of classic fabrics and inventive new blends.
Cowboy hats are a defining part of Montana ranches and rural towns. The thick felt hat is a serious winter investment, yet it can be worn to work or paired with smarter attire for an evening in the Saloon.
In Montana, belt buckles are more than just a method for keeping your pants up–ornate buckles can be status symbols. They might be earned through competition, inherited, or are a commemorative item from an event. Some are collected during travel at the local “Merc.” These accessories-with-a-story are worn year-round.
Montana Ranch Inspiration
Many Ranch guests favor the fall to winter transition for its activity options. During our special Thanksgiving week celebration, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, hiking and fall fly fishing are at their best.
When December arrives, with its Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations, winter ranch wear becomes even more of a priority. It’s a shame to stay inside when you can try sleigh rides, snowy horseback adventures, cross-country skiing, skating and Christmas tree hunting. Our Rod & Gun Club stocks all the essential gear for our year-round activities program, so you don’t need to travel with skis, fishing rods or rifles. You can also test the latest gear in the Montana wilderness.
Our final recommendation is a good pair of sunglasses. Philipsburg, Montana often gets over 325 days of sun per year, so our wranglers and guides keep a pair in their coat at all times. Winter ranch vacations may require you to double up on the gear, but you’re never far from the sun’s warming rays.
Inspired by winter in Montana? Check out our fall and winter specials.