Homeless in Vancouver: Found a pair of RCMBs
Seen in the back alley, not one block west of the bottle depot at Ontario Street and 7th Avenue: a new pair of size 11, standard issue, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) mukluks—just sitting on top of a dumpster—just sitting there!
They might still be there, though I doubt it.
While I was amazed to see them like that, I didn’t take them. They’re mukluk’s for heaven’s sake—Arctic wear that I believe is rated for minus 40 temperatures.
Not only am I many hundreds of kilometres on the wrong side of the tree line, my shoe size is generously described as a nine; more accurately a very wide eight-and-a-half.
“Mukluk” is a style of boot originating among Arctic aboriginal peoples. The word is specifically from the language of the Yupik people, though the Inuit kamic boot is more-or-less the same, particularly to the Europeans who took a sensible “adopt-or-die” approach when it came to the aboriginal technologies they encountered in the northern New World.
Growing up in 1970s Saskatchewan, I owned several successive pairs of sealskin mukluks. So did many of my peers.
Their popularity was probably due to some federal government promotion of the Newfoundland seal hunt. For all I know, the boots were lined with asbestos from Quebec.
Being near to military equipment, these RCMP-issue mukluks came with rules or instructions printed on the lining.
Federally, Canada is bilingual, so in one boot it can to be assumed these instructions were in English.
Below is a photo of the other boot that has the instructions in Canadian, which I cannot read with any fluency.