One of our favorite non-hunting days of the year hits this weekend. Halloween.
While it may look a bit different this year, we aren’t going to pass up the chance to bust out a costume and pretend to be a superhero for the night.
In that vein, we put together this little primer to help you put together the most superhero-y superhero costume we know. So, who is it?
Superman? Nah, too much of a Boy Scout.
Batman? Are you kidding? That guy wouldn’t know a good time if it bit him.
Wolverine? We like the attitude, but we’re not rocking the yellow spandex.
Black Widow? Tempting… But, no.
Here’s your exclusive guide to building the ultimate Badlands Man costume.
Step One: The clothing
Your local Halloween store likely won’t be of much help here. Badlands Man has a look that’s not as easily captured as a $29.99 Naughty Cowboy Accountant outfit. You are going to have to put in a bit of work.
You may be able to find something in your grandad’s closet… If he’s Jeremiah Johnson. Otherwise, you need to find yourself a good old-fashioned backwoods outfitter supplier. The kind of place that buys and sells furs by the hide.
Get yourself a good supply of buckskin, some furs (the real deal, if you please) and some leather strips. Fashion together a strong set of trousers and a hefty jacket. Remember, the buckskin goes outside and the fur goes inside, unless you’re attending a Hollywood film premiere in 1958.
For the headgear, you could go with a full head hide from the skinner… But we find roadkill makes for a more authentic look. Coyote or fox work best, but beaver or raccoon will do in a pinch. Our southern Badlandians can substitute armadillo for some local flair. We’d advise avoiding the following: Skunk, possum, chupacabra and the neighbor’s poodle.
Step Two: The mindset
Simply putting on the right clothes is half the battle. To truly adopt the personage of the Badlands Man you need the right attitude. With less than a week to go, you need to start right now to get in the right mindset by the big day.
From now until All Saints’ Day, you’re going to be on an all-jerky diet. Your choice of beef, bison, turkey, pork or alpaca. And it all needs to get washed down with a steaming cup of camp coffee (hot as hell and twice as black). Whiskey and cigars are the only snacks allowed, and in both cases the cheaper, the better.
Next, kiss the wife (or husband, if you’re going for a Badlands Woman vibe) and kids goodbye and head out to the nearest park, forest or landfill. This is your bed and bathroom for the next few days. Backyards just won’t cut it, as the temptation to go inside is strong. No cheating with a tent or bedroll either. You need to get hard fast. Besides, you have all that camp coffee, whiskey and jerky-induced heartburn to keep you warm.
The last step is to practice your animal growl. As the park/forest/dump starts to get dark, you need to sneak up on unsuspecting critters and give them your best roar. Start with the simple, like squirrels, and move up to foxes and delinquent teenagers. Bonus points if you can prompt the need for an underwear change.
Sadly, the best training partners for this are used car salesmen, and they’ve started to call the cops on us.
Now you have the look and the attitude. Good to go, right?
Not quite, grasshopper. You still need one last essential to truly encapsulate the Badlands Man.
I think we’ve demonstrated that getting the external components of a Badlands Man costume down requires some effort. But all that work is for naught unless you adopt the Unconditional spirit that runs throughout Badlands Man (and all of us who wear the skull). Without it, you’re just playing dress up.
What does it mean? It’s hard to explain, but this should tell you all you need to know.
So get out there. Have fun. Enjoy All Hallow’s Eve.
After all, Samhain falls on a Saturday… during a full, blue moon… when the time changes… during a pandemic.
What could possibly go wrong?