Billy the kid, Doc Holiday and Jesse James; just three of the villainous heroes of the Wild West; not very nice chaps, who wore chaps.
Clothing design and manufacture has come a long way since the days when strapping lengths of cow hide to your thighs was the best protection from the perils of nature. But would cowboys be any better off in waders?
Let’s take a look at why fishing waders would have been best – in the West.
When it rains in cowboy movies, oh boy does it rain. Imagine yourself in denim and chaps, hardly proper protection from the deluge we think you’ll agree. How much better to be safely ensconced in a pair of neoprene chest waders. Warm even when wet.
When the going got tough and the snow started to fall, the cowboys of yesteryear donned what were called, ‘woolies’, chaps with and outer layer of fleece or angora. They were thought to be the warmest winter wear around. But they didn’t have fleece lined waders did they?
Ever noticed how terribly thirsty cowboys get when they’re in the saddle in the middle of the sun blasted plain. There’s never any water and his canteen – well it’s so small – it’s just not up to the job. Waders by contrast are so versatile; when it gets warm, just fill ‘em with water and sip away in the sunshine.
Waders wouldn’t be much use against a hail of bullets so you’d still need a six shooter, but ask yourself this: where does a cowboy keep his backup weapon? Yes that’s right, down the side of his boot. Simply put, the bigger the boot, the bigger the blunderbus – wear your waders for shootout success.
No self respecting cowboy travels anywhere without his ‘pardner’. The reason for this is that when you get bitten on the calf by an angry rattlesnake, your pal can suck the poison out for you. It’s not nice. Wear waders – total protection from poisonous prongs.
Still not convinced that cowboys would have been better off in waders? Think about it – you’ve been out on the trail for, oh, hours – you’re tired, you’re bad tempered and you’ve got saddle sores. You’re itching for a fight. There’s nothing else for it – somebody has to die. You tie your horse outside the saloon and mount the steps.
Picture yourself, poised before those saloon swing doors. You’re about to wade in there and put some lead into some poor innocent soul. But how can you wade into trouble, if you’ve forgotten your waders?