Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 
BCG Holiday Sale

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance


Stay Healthy--Eat Well

MARY JANES FARM ORGANIC MEALS

Mary Janes Farm Organic Backcountry Meals

NATURAL HIGH GOURMET MEALS

Natural High

 

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#198841 - 08/04/17 04:04 PM Long Pants
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
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?

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

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 128
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.

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

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
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.

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

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1731
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

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

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 862
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.

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

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1736
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.

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

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
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.

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

Registered: 05/19/14
Posts: 141
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.

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

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 862
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.

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

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1381
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.

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

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
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

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

Registered: 08/08/13
Posts: 57
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.

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

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2861
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.

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

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
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.

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

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
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

Top
#198959 - 08/26/17 07:18 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
bobito9 Offline
member

Registered: 01/25/08
Posts: 385
I almost totally use zip-offs, and then choose them short or long according to weather, brush, and poison oak. Oh, and I often spray them with permethrin, so if there are skeeters or ticks, I wear the legs.

Top
#199009 - 09/01/17 01:40 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
vdeal Offline
member

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 161
Loc: West Virginia
Another zip-leg pants user here. I'm in shorts 80+% of the time and yes, I do change them on the go. The pants part are a necessity if I hit a patch of stinging nettles but bugs are seldom an issue. In really cold weather I have a pair of Arborwear Tech pants I love. I never wear long underwear - my legs get too hot - it would have to be -20°F for me to wear them.

Top
#199012 - 09/01/17 07:42 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2752
Loc: California
Totally long pants for me! I also quit wearing zip-offs because I do not like the feel of the zip area. If I want air on my legs, I roll up my pants. I also like my pants to be loose. No leggings for me!

1) I need the protection of pants because I do mostly off-trail
2) Do not need to use sunscreen, DEET or other chemicals.
3) My legs stay cleaner
4) At my age, who wants to see my legs? And who cares about looking fashionable?

At NOLS, and doing snow climbing, I got in the habit of always wearing knee-high gaiters. I like loose pants on my thighs and knees, but not on my lower legs. If your pants are too tight in these areas, you will probably prefer shorts. Gaiters give the knee freedom of shorts. The gaiters also protect my pants from getting ripped. And no sand or dirt into my shoes. Cleaner socks at the end of the day. So I look like one of those WWI British soldiers! Very funky, but very pragmatic. The only down-side is that gaiters get hot. But I hike at high altitudes so heat is not a bit problem

Most UL PCT hikers also wear gaiters, but those ankle high stretchy ones (like the Dirty Girl brand).

Top
#199018 - 09/01/17 10:55 PM Re: Long Pants [Re: wandering_daisy]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Oh, those leg zippers are torture. I bought a pair of zip-off leg pants for a trip in which I had to do a lot of fording. Believe me, it wasn't worth the bother. The pants (lightweight nylon) were half dry by the time I manated to get the zippered legs back on. And the zippers chafed my legs. The pants went to Goodwill after a couple of trips.

Even on trail in the Pacific Northwest, where brush grows apace and trail maintenancce (where it exists at all) is minimal, I want long pants!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#199019 - 09/02/17 09:49 AM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
enthusiast Offline
member

Registered: 12/03/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Auglaize CO., OH
If we're still in discussion about this, put another one down for the zip-leg pants.

Even though they're zip leg pants, they're never turned into shorts. Ever. I do like that if I have to walk through water, or even if the tall grass is wet, you can take the legs off to hang dry. I normally do that at night and can sleep in the shorts while the legs dry for the next day.

Top
#199020 - 09/02/17 09:51 AM Re: Long Pants [Re: 4evrplan]
enthusiast Offline
member

Registered: 12/03/12
Posts: 31
Loc: Auglaize CO., OH
To add to this, if you like those zip pants, Gander Mountain going out of business had A LOT of them left, I scored a nice bunch of them before they were gone.

Might be worth a check if you still have any Gander Mountains around you.

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Knife, Fire Starter, Ignition Source
by Jim M
12/11/17 07:34 PM
Bivvy bag with wired peak
by Petro1234
12/10/17 01:06 PM
How cheap can you go?
by EMT Dave
12/05/17 07:07 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Greetings - and a question
by valongi
12/11/17 11:35 AM
Just found out about UCO candles
by toddfw2003
11/30/17 08:41 AM
Hitting the eagle rock loop, Ark in 3 days
by toddfw2003
11/19/17 11:31 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Plant based insulation...
by billstephenson
11/18/17 02:58 PM
lightest grommets to use
by toddfw2003
10/22/17 06:13 PM
avalibility of thin ti rod
by the-gr8t-waldo
01/26/17 04:45 PM
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 32 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
valongi, Atkinson J, Dcarpenter, Woodland, ultralight
12469 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
HOME
Backpacking.net
Family Hiking
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Outdoor Gear Daily Deals
Outlets, Sales, Bargains

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum.com