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How to Wear a Campaign Hat?

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  • #31
    "Can one wear a Campaign Hat with a Venturing Uniform?"

    Don't know. Don't care! I do as Advisor.

    The color takes some getting used to what with the green (not khaki - sorry not TAN) uniform.

    And I would LOVE to find a real, honest to goodness surplus Army hat that fits and use it instead. Or be able to afford the Stetson brand. BTW,check out old cowboy photos - the did wear "campaign" style hats on occasion. Seems to be more of a mountain wear than Plains, but that's just my opinion.

    I agree with other who feel it should be (a) standard issue for all SM-types, (b) better quality, and/or (c) cheaper.

    I disagree with all those who use various chemicals and whatnots to "protect" their hat. I don't, just use the press (used Mountie press off eBay). But then the "official" hat is crappy felt so maybe it would be better to use the chemicals - I just haven't had to. But then, if the hat were good felt, it would be from beavers who are normally wet!

    Definition of a Drugstore Cowboy: someone who covers their $300 100X beaver felt had with a $10.00 plastic garment bag hat "protector".

    PS: sorry about the rants . . .

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    • #32
      A few years back, I met a rancher from Montana who was wearing a $1,200 hat. The subject came up because a waitress picked up his hat to move it "Sweetheart, if you go anywhere with that hat it would be considered grand theft." The felt was mink. It was a beautiful hat.


      A while back I found an ad from a surplus store that was selling surplus Marine Corps DI hats for $20. They can be reached at info@hunterslodge.com The hat is still listed in the current ad http://www.hunterslodge.com/Latest_Ad1.pdf


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      • #33
        So I looked at the ad above, thinking I might get a DI hat for myself......
        when I thought how cool the color guard in our flag ceremonies and parades would look wearing those white British Army "Zulu" helmets. And the Cub Scouts would want to take part in flag ceremonies. We'll see what the budget allows...

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        • #34
          I bought one from Rothco but the chin strap was flimsy...where can I get a good one? I bought a BSA hat band, can I wear a Unit Commissioner hat pin?

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          • #35
            Supply use to sell a replacement chinstrap that matched the hatband, but when I looked for it, I didn't see it though. I used leather bootlace for a while after I got my first one. We were told to bring bootlace to use as chinstraps when we completed Brownsea 22and received out Smokeys for completing the course way back in the day.

            You can try a surplus store as they may sell them, but it will probably be black.. I lucked out, when I went to Parris Island for JROTC trip, I purchased a black patent leather one for my original Smokey. Eventually I got a brown leather chinstrap from national that I wear with the second Smokey, as it is in very good shape still.

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            • #36
              Thanks, Eagle!

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              • #37
                Also known as a Cavalry Hat, a Campaign Hat is worn by first aligning the center of the front of the hat with the bridge of the nose. The chin strap should be affixed under the chin to keep the hat comfortably in place. When not mounted, the chin strap can be positioned behind the head. The Campaign Hat is worn by law enforcement and military personnel and adds a touch of class as well as professionalism to a Class A or B uniform.

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                • #38
                  I've been lurking/watching this post for a while But I'm amazed at the comments.

                  So the European and Canadians wear a hat with the dimple in front - but there are those who think it's wrong. Gotta love the Ugly Americans... Ever consider if everyone else has a dimple in the front except the American, it might be the Americans are doing it wrong? History of the Campaign Hat

                  The current drill sergeant hat evolved from the 1883 campaign hat to the present day modified Montana Peak, which was adopted for wear by the army in 1911 and abandoned in 1942. In 1964 the hat was reintroduced to become a proud symbol of the drill sergeant.

                  Notice, the military hat is the present day MODIFIED Montana Peak.


                  Unless steam altered, the hats are basically round, whereas most heads aren't. If you don't believe me put a right sized bowl on your head and the pressure points will be in the front and back. The reason they are difficult to wear with the highly chemicaled, "sheet steel" brims is because of this. Take any hat with a full brim. Gently pull the inside front to back creating an oval shape, to which will more comfortably conform to most people's heads. Voila, the brim will naturally dip in the front and back. This is why 95% of the hats look this way eventually after being worn. It's called "breaking it in", kinda like hiking boots. Repress the brim and the hat goes back to round and one can start the painful processing the hat to a natural fit all over again. Repeat until you give up on wearing such an uncomfortable hat.

                  I have a campaign hat that is comfortable, The brim is not "floppy" but maintains a nice dip in the front and back.

                  If one wants a flat brimmed hat, one needs to recreate an oval on the inside of the round hat. That means buying a bigger hat and padding the sides.

                  Now, if one wants to really put in a few dollars, one needs to go to a professional hatter and have the hat reformed with steam. One can create an oval hat with flat brim, but if the hat is not made that way to begin with it might be difficult depending on how oval is your head is.

                  US Military and Law Enforcement may require a flat brim, but BSA is neither. They also have the $$'s to make sure they fit in the first place in order to maintain a flat brim.

                  http://www.qmuniforms.com/campaign-u...ium=cse&ut m_term=HW795_BLK_712&src=QU3064&utm_medium =cse&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Quarte rMaster_PLA&utm_content=sL7qp2QlT|pcrid|246830 96679|pkw||pmt|&gclid=CKqNiImM9LwCFQ1o7AodfwUA XQ

                  Notice the hat looks large for the man's head. There's a reason for that. (see above)

                  You can compensate for the oval head by not putting it on fully and tilting it forward, secured by the strap. One sees modern DI and LE doing that.

                  http://www.qmuniforms.com/carrier-ca...FUxp7AodaTkA8A

                  Under the FAQ section this product only maintains the hat, no guarantee if the brim bends.

                  http://www.strattonhats.com/products...Campaign-Style is the only site that comes up with not only size options, but SHAPE options: Regular Oval, Long Oval, Extra Long Oval, and Wide Oval.

                  If one wants a comfortable hat that keeps it shape it looks like you're going to have to pay for it.

                  Any campaign hat that has a flat brim is either brand new or only slightly worn. If left to its own, the brim will bend naturally.

                  Stosh
                  Last edited by jblake47; 03-02-2014, 09:23 AM.

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                  • #39
                    I read somewhere that the original BSA campaign hats from the 20s and 30s were made from crushable felt (much like the current "Indiana Jones" hat). I have also been told this is false. Does anyone know the answer to this?

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                    • jblake47
                      jblake47 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      The US Army has been making felt hats that were not crushable for years.

                      Civil War Era - Jefferson army hat (Black Hat) dress uniform with frock coat, field uniform was a sack coat and a wool bummer cap (baseball style, kepi)

                      WWI - Dress uniform had the campaign hat, in the field it was replaced by a helmet. Retained for dress until WW II.

                      The problem lies in the fact that the BSA does not have a dress uniform, it is called the field uniform and regardless of what one wishes, it is NOT a dress uniform. Pretty it up for formal occasions, but the Marine BDU's will never look as nice as the dress blues.

                      Stosh

                    • Scouter99
                      Scouter99 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      From existing period hats and photos, I'd say what you probably read is that the original BSA hats were made from felt and got crushed a lot.

                  • #40
                    I wear my hat like a DI :-)

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                    • #41
                      Campaign hats used to be functional items. Not sure what they were made of back in the day, but old photos show folks wearing them covered with dust, stained with sweat, brims bent or uneven. Over the decades, they became more expensive and the quest for a flat brim and sharp look overruled functionality. Same fate for the neckerchief--functional item transforms over the years to formal wear.

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                      • #42
                        I just watched the Disney film "Follow Me, Boys!" Most of the film is set in the 30s and 40s, and you see lots of campaign hats. What is interesting is that are all kind of floppy and look crushable. I wonder if those were original BSA hats? The film was made in the mid 60s, so the original hats would probably be pretty easy to find.

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                        • #43
                          Watching the Oscars, Pharrell Williams seems "Happy" to bring back wearing the Campaign hat.

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                          • #44
                            My son and I both have campaign hats - I've got a Brit one and my son has a BSA one. After spraying them with liberal amounts of Scotch Guard we've used them in all weathers and they now look very much like those hats from the 30s and 40s. I'm not a great fan of the DI look; if you wear them in they become a very comfortable and functional item of clothing - each to his own!

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                            • Rick_in_CA
                              Rick_in_CA commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Actually you do see the campaign hat in the field. Go look at photographs from the Punitive Expedition into Mexico. You will see lots of campaign hats.

                            • jblake47
                              jblake47 commented
                              Editing a comment
                              Granted, the time period equals that of WWI, one must remember that the Punitive Expedition was a cavalry operation. The dough boys of WWI were infantry in trenches. If one were to peak up out of a trench, the helmet was the cover of choice. When riding a horse, the infantry helmet was of little protection. The wide brim of the campaign hat at least protected against the sun's rays of the desert southwest. I'm thinking the steel of the helmet and the heat generated by the sun would have made the helmet obsolete very quickly.

                              Stosh

                            • Rick_in_CA
                              Rick_in_CA commented
                              Editing a comment
                              jblack47: Correct about the trenches of WW1. However, my understanding is that the US Army didn't have steel helmets until the troops arrived in Europe (that being the M1917 Helmet - and I understand to troops only in Europe). In fact, the Army bought the first helmets from the British (the M1917 is a copy of the British Brodie helmet which was designed in 1915). The US only started manufacturing the M1917 in enough quantities to issue them to troops in 1918. Note, it was the switch to helmets in Europe that caused the switch from campaign hats to overseas caps because it was easy to store when wearing the helmet.

                              Outside of the trenches of Europe, the campaign hat still ruled (in addition to the punitive expedition, look at the photos of the "Banana Wars" and you will still see lots of campaign hats. OK, many of those troops are actually US Marines, not US Army - but you will see mostly hats, not helmets). Some interesting photos from the 1918 Siberian Expedition: The first clearly shows campaign hats, the second I'm not so sure:
                              http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...-99-02013.JPEG
                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:31...ladivostok.jpg

                              I love this history stuff!

                          • #45
                            Thanks Stosh - I love historical info like this...

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