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#198841 - 08/04/17 04:04 PM Long Pants
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 619
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I see an overwhelming number of hikers in person, in pictures, in videos, and on forums who wear shorts. It probably has a lot to do with where I hike, but when I'm in the woods, I wear long pants exclusively. I feel much more protected from bugs, thorns, and sun that way (but especially bugs!). Are there any other weirdos here that hike exclusively in long pants? And if so, and be honest with yourself, is it more for practical reasons, or for psychological benefits?

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#198842 - 08/04/17 05:34 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
JustWalking Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 104
Loc: PNW
I hike in long pants (and long sleeved shirt) exclusively. I burn easily, and don't wish to put on sunscreen, so I wear covering garments instead.

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#198845 - 08/04/17 07:52 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1308
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Nope, lifelong shorts guy here - but I recently switched from "pure" shorts to zip-leg pants. As I've gotten old(er), I've found myself occasionally wishing I had long pants on a cool morning, a damp morning when I'm walking through meadows or underbrush, or in the evening when the bugs come out.

I've also never really been happy with gaiters - strictly personal; I know the advantages, but just never got comfortable wearing them. The zip legs seem a nice compromise.

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#198847 - 08/04/17 11:14 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: Glenn Roberts]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1699
Loc: Napa, CA
Zip legs for me. But while hiking I'm in shorts 95% + of the time.
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#198848 - 08/05/17 07:36 AM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 835
Loc: Michigan
Alway wear long pants but I never wear shorts when not hiking either.I guess that I am strange in that I do not even own a pair of shorts. Probably mostly due to working where I did a lot of welding etc.

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#198851 - 08/05/17 10:51 AM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1718
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I wear long pants when I'm hiking in Arizona to protect my legs from the intense sun and all of the thorny bushes. When I'm in places such as the Sierra I wear light running shorts and carry a light pair of ripstop overpants as sun and bug protection.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#198853 - 08/05/17 10:28 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: GrumpyGord]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 619
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By GrumpyGord
Alway wear long pants but I never wear shorts when not hiking either.I guess that I am strange in that I do not even own a pair of shorts. Probably mostly due to working where I did a lot of welding etc.

Now that you mention it, I only own one pair of shorts, and I rarely wear them.

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#198854 - 08/06/17 07:32 AM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
wgiles Offline
member

Registered: 05/19/14
Posts: 129
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
I used to wear shorts a lot, but, over the years, I have gotten to where I almost never wear shorts. It's mostly to protect my legs, mainly from the sun, but also from hot surfaces in the sun. I learned a long time ago to wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt when canoeing to prevent severe sunburn.

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#198855 - 08/06/17 08:03 AM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 835
Loc: Michigan
I am somewhat baffled by the use of shorts. I see people here in Michigan wearing shorts and winter jackets in cold weather. My legs are not the part of the body which gets warm for me. I think that shorts are more of a fashion thing than utility.

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#198856 - 08/06/17 08:32 AM Re: Long Pants [Re: GrumpyGord]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1308
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I somewhat disagree about the utility factor. (I strongly agree about the fashion aspect of shorts and winter jackets. I see the same thing here in southwest Ohio, and have the same reaction you do: these are folks who don't really spend much time outdoors in the winter - maybe just long enough to hurry from the car into Starbucks because they don't want to wait in the drive-thru line.)

I stay cooler in shorts when I'm hiking in the Ohio Valley forests in the summer. I do admit that I have to be more careful about thorny bushes and ticks than I might have to be in long pants, but the direct sun and hot surfaces aren't a real issue in the forests I frequent.

I still hike in shorts in winter, over mid weight long johns, because I find them less restrictive than long pants when stair-stepping up a steep pitch, or climbing over deadfall. However, the last year or so, I am drifting toward long pants in cool and cold weather - the zip legs seem to be good compromise, since I can start a winter's day in long pants over long johns, then zip off the legs as the temperature rises (if it does) or terrain challenges kick in.

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#198858 - 08/06/17 02:06 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: Glenn Roberts]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6331
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The last time I hiked in shorts was back in 1987 when I encountered an extremely overgrown trail--the vegetation was mostly stinging nettles!

I also developed an allergy to sunscreen about that time, so I have no alternative to long pants, long sleeves, dorky Sunday Afternoons Adventure hat. Above timberline, I wear shields over the backs of my hands, which otherwise are prone to bad sunburn thanks to my trekking poles.

Since then I acquired huge scars from extensive surgery on my left knee and additional varicose veins, so I prefer to keep my ugly legs covered up anyway. No more skirts, unless reenacting in the 19th century.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#198868 - 08/09/17 12:14 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
Jester Offline
member

Registered: 08/08/13
Posts: 54
Zip-off pants for me, which seem more versatile.

When I'm hiking in desert environments, there's not an inch of skin showing, because I am a pale and pasty person. So: long pants there.

And long pants as well in buggy environments, or on unmaintained, overgrown trail.

But shorts when I can get away with it, which tends to be quite often on the usually shady and relatively well-maintained AT.

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#198870 - 08/09/17 02:30 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: Jester]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2814
Loc: Portland, OR
My strategy is similar to Jester's for similar reasons. I burn easily enough that I must measure out my sun exposure carefully. As with many here, I dislike sunscreen and much prefer to cover up with lightweight clothing to prevent burning my skin. However, I do 'spend' my limited exposure time for part of each hiking day by wearing shorts, usually when I am hiking uphill under a load. I also prefer clothes as a shield against bugs and try to minimize my use of deet.

That's why zip-off pants have been the right choice for me. I know some people have problems with chafing and irritation at the hem where the lower leg zips onto the uppers shorts, but I always check this out carefully before I buy a pair and haven't had problems in that way. I'm happy with my system. it is flexible and is lighter weight than taking separate long pants + shorts, while delivering the same end results.

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#198879 - 08/10/17 02:01 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: aimless]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 619
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I would imagine it's also a lot more convenient to zip off/on the legs than to change, though I've never tried myself.

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#198882 - 08/11/17 11:41 AM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2792
Loc: NorCal
Used to hike in shorts exclusively, rain or shine, but a lifetime of scars, sunburns, bug bites and debris down my shoes has me using long pants 100%. I miss the comfort on hot days but otherwise it's simply a better solution. For years I bought convertibles but found I never used (unzipped) them and don't bother buying them anymore.

At home I live in shorts from March through October.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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