The Ultimate Trail Trucker

Wildrunner and First Ascent South Africa are teaming up to give you the chance to create the ultimate MCS Trail Trucker.

But first, a lesson in what a trucker really is and why they appear on the heads’ of trail runners the world over.

A trucker hat, mesh cap or netback cap is a type of baseball cap. It is also sometimes known as a "gimme [as in 'give me'] cap" or a "feed cap" because this style of hat originated during the 1960s as a promotional give-away from U.S. feed or farming supply companies to farmers, truck drivers, or other rural workers. From the 1930s until the 1960s, truckers were provided with a type of peaked cap known as a Mechanic's cap. This often bore the logo of the haulage company, and was later adopted by the 1950s greaser subculture. By the early 1970s, this cap had been replaced with the modern five piece mesh trucker hats, which were given away at truck stops by companies like Mountain Dew, Dekalb, Budweiser, Shell oil, or John Deere to advertise their products. The original trucker was a mobile billboard…

In the early 2000s, the trucker hat became a mainstream fashion trend, predominantly among suburban American youth associated with the hip-hop, pop punk and skater subcultures. This came about with a sense of irony due to the hat's rural or blue collar association and typically older demographic. It has frequently been donned by celebrities; musician Pharrell Williams and actor Ashton Kutcher in particular helped make the hat fashionable. Celeb magazines have frequently debated the cool factor of the trucker, begging important questions such as, “Now that David Beckham has worn one, is the day of the trucker done?”

And then, around 2014, truckers began to make their way in to the Holy Grail of subcultures; Trail Running. A far cry from the truck driver of the 60s, the likes of Anton Krupicka took the trucker from the ironic statement of the over-styled hipsters to a whole new scene.

These days you can pick up a generic trucker hat just about anywhere, but hats do more than keep sweat out of your eyes and shield your face from ultraviolet rays. The right hat can help set your intentions for each run and even give you a boost of inspiration. They are a mark of the trail crew to which you belong, a badge of post-race pride greater than a medal for some, and a highly effective way to let the greater community know that yes, you’re sitting at the PTA meeting but on weekends, you do cool sh*t on the mountain.

Back to the point of this story. Have you ever dreamed about the ultimate trail trucker design? A print or pattern that simply MUST see the light of a trail sunrise before the trucker trend moves on? Now is your time to shine. First Ascent South Africa is the exclusive technical product sponsor of the BOS Sport Mountain Challenge Series, amplified by Jaybird. As such, they are keen to produce a next level trucker that aligns with the series, and hits the perfect mountain culture sweet spot.

Create your ultimate MCS trucker design using any means. A fancy graphic design programme or a hand drawn note on a post-beer serviette… we’re accepting all formats. You must post the design on your own Facebook or Insta feed, make the setting public and be sure to tag both First Ascent South Africa and WildrunnerZA. We will announce finalists in the first week of July, opening the final choice up to a voting process. The winner will be confirmed before the Helderberg Mountain Challenge in August, and the trucker will be sold online and at the final event of the MCS, Marloth.

Make your mark within the fascinating history of the trucker cap!

#MCS2019 #GoAboveAndBeyond

Words: Kim Stephens