October 15, 2005

Curious George: Make me a MOUNTAIN MAN! Help me find the coat that got away.

So years ago I was in an army surplus store and found one of the greatest coats ever, what they described as an olive drab "mountain coat." It looked quite a bit like a standard-issue US Army field jacket, though I can't for the life of me remember if that's how the front pockets were arranged. What I do remember is that it had a button-in liner for cold weather, and (this is the important part) a rather large compartment hidden in the back of the coat, accessible by one of two zippers. The damn thing was nearly large enough to hold a laptop. Sadly, mine caught fire and was utterly destroyed. And predictably, the coats were so popular that the store sold out and said they couldn't get any more. Google fails me. Does anyone know if "mountain coat" is the proper name, and regardless, where a brother can get one? I think they're US Army surplus, but I wouldn't swear on it. Just flat OD green, please, no camo.

  • The Filson "cruiser" jackets have that rear pocket that you describe, though on a Filson they close with a button or a snap. You can get this jacket style in wool or a heavy cotton canvas-type fabric, waxed or unwaxed. The cotton is available only in tan. The wool has a couple of weights and many possible colors, including "Otter Green" which is pretty close to OD.
  • Caught fire? Well, my dear chap, experienced as I am in second-hand clothes acquirement, the spontaneous flame-consumption of a garment is something I have not yet heard of. Perhaps, for the benefit of mine and others education, an explanation of this fiery event might be in order, hmmm? You dropped a smoldering roach on it and fell asleep, didn't you? :)
  • If only. No, this was during the 14-month long distance relationship Mrs. Tool and I enjoyed before we got married. I'd driven out to Nashville to see her in the winter, came in, threw my bag and coat down on the bedroom floor, and proceeded to make out with her in the kitchen. When suddenly the smoke alarm went off, and strangely enough, it was only then when I realized that I actually smelled smoke. Funny how a little under-the-sweater action will distract your other senses. I had forgotten, having never lived in a house that had them, that Mrs. Tool's duplex did not have central heating, but rather those old gas-powered wall radiator units. I had thrown my coat right up against one. Which set it ablaze. And destroyed my coat-based joy. So I suppose you could blame pot, if you wish to blame my stupidity on the many pounds of it I smoked as a younger man and its long-term effects on my brain function.
  • I have this field jacket you linked, MCT, and oddly enough, I dropped a roach on it and burnt a hole in the front button lapel... My jacket was surplus, around $130 CDN and has lasted me over eleven years and counting. I wear it a lot. The only wear it's showing is that one of the front button-snaps has split (I should have bought a Canadian army jacket) and the already mentioned cigarette burn. It is arctic ready with buttons to stick a liner in it. But I can tell you that there is no big pouch on the inside back. There is, of course, a zip up hood pouch on the collar though.
  • I had forgotten, having never lived in a house that had them, that Mrs. Tool's duplex did not have central heating, but rather those old gas-powered wall radiator units. I had thrown my coat right up against one. Which set it ablaze. And destroyed my coat-based joy. Ok, now there's something really wrong with that. I used to live in an apartment with water radiator heating and I actually used to put the same coat on it frequently to dry it whenever it rained(as it likes to do all winter long in Vancouver). I usually wouldn't take the coat off the radiator until some time the next day when it was quite crispy from the heat (you know, like that fresh underwear from the dryer thing?). Was I dodging bullets or were you just really unlucky...? Were you working at a gas station at the time, MCT?
  • Didja check with the store to see if they can provide you with the manufacturer or distributor of the coat? Might help with the web search.
  • Well, if he had the same heaters which were in my grandparents' houses when I was a kid (in prehistoric times) it could be explained. Those were like very small hearths, with carved bisque brickish sort of things in the back, and gas flames in front. They were like mini fireplaces, and very comforting if you sat right in front of them while coloring. I'd be surprised if any of them still exist now, but maybe there are a few left?
  • MCT, just a warning. The clothes you wore before you married your wife are generally not the clothes she wants you to wear now. Chances are if you do find said coat, it will mysteriously combust again. Be wary.
  • MCT: This may be incorrect, but I think that large pocket is known as an inside map pocket. InsolentChimp: those water/steam heaters don't get hot enough to ignite cloth or paper, so you were safe.
  • It's understandable that you reacted slowly to the disatrous coat fire. Rumour from the neighbours has it that the smoke alarm regularly goes off when you and Mrs mct are enjoying sweet conjugal bliss.
  • Dude, I think Abiezer is hitting on you.
  • And who wouldn't want a piece of schmokin' mct Nomen?
  • I concede: point noted.
  • /magical gestures POP *puff of smoke* You're a mountain man.
  • Ok, waitaminit. Now, when you say gas powered radiator, MCT, do you mean the pilot light is in the wall unit, or is this gas heated water. That's where I got confused about the clothes burning up... I didn't think they did get that hot, Nomen. I put all my wet coats on them for three years and the only fire I ever had was from an old (repugnantly filthy) roommate's odor reacting with oxygen. I wish I were joking.
  • I own an M65. I call it the King of Coats. Just get one dude, you won't regret it. Stylish and practical, just like me. Doesn't have that secret pocket in the back though, which does sound pretty fucking cool.
  • Used to be the big fashion when I was at high school in Pommie Land.
  • MCT, I constructed for you a sasquatch, a "man of the mountain", if you will, from pipe cleaners and some corpses THAT WERE JUST LYING ABOUT SO GET OFF MY BACK, COPPERS. But anyway, you're all hoc jacket rather than hic jacet. YOU LOSE, BUDDY! Sassy and I shall just hang AND WE AIN'T DOIN' NOTHING WRONG, "PIGS".
  • The heaters were not the water-radiator style, they were little recessed units in the wall. And actually, I have it ass-backwards, now that I think about it -- the ones in the house I own now are gas (we don't use 'em), but the ones in her old duplex were electric, with wicked-hot coils. We managed to partially melt a TV just by getting it too close, that's how dangerous they were. At least one houseplant was killed by them. And I am indeed smokin'. My milkshake, it brings all the boys to the yard.
  • The theological implications are smokin'
  • find another coat you like and add a top secret pocket yourself?