Author Topic: jeans for walking  (Read 4501 times)

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Barney girl

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jeans for walking
« on: July 30, 2011, 07:09:44 AM »
I used to do quite a lot of walking (not so much now as I live some way from the hillls so cycling has taken over). One of the basic rules we're always taught when walking in hilly or mountainous areas is that you mustn't wear jeans. I've even known on organised walks that those responsible for safety will refuse to accept anyone in jeans. The reason for this is that if it rains or the cloud comes down jeans get very wet and heavy and you lose a lot of body temperature drying them off.

It seems to me that the rule is different across the Atlantic. On a couple of walking holidays I've been on (in Europe) there have been Americans in the group who have preferred to wear their jeans even though we were going over high mountain passes and I also get that impression from novels and films.

Those who go walking - is this just a British (or European) rule. Do you wear jeans for walking and how do you find them in bad weather?

EngineerChick

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2011, 08:05:34 AM »
I think the answer is going to be, it depends.

For a lot of people in the US, they will have to drive to where they are planning on walking.  For those cases, having jeans on and getting wet wouldn't be as much of a problem.

There are also a lot of places in the US that are warmer, colder, and/or have less rainfall than the UK and Europe do, so for those cases, as long as the person is comfortable in jeans, then it shouldn't be a problem.  And if it was cold, I would definitely be more likely to pick jeans over something lighter.

There are also places that naturally have a lot of brambles, thorns, and sticker bushes, so for those cases I would likely wear jeans rather than something lighter, just to prevent skin damage.  Not to mention barbed wire fences, if you are going across someone's property (with permission).

I think part of it may be that, for a lot of outdoor uses, jeans tend to be more durable and protective of one's legs than something lighter, so that makes it the default option.  For bad weather, if you aren't going to be in the rain for long, it isn't too bad, and if you have a long enough coat/jacket, you can keep your backside dry even though your legs get wet.

Of course, if the person is hiking for days, or will be hiking in rainy areas or hot areas (Death Valley, desert in general), I would recommend wearing something other than jeans.  Jeans can chafe after wearing for a few days, and they are much heavier than most other options.

What do you wear for hiking/walking?
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Redsoil

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2011, 08:16:56 AM »
I do a reasonable amount of hiking, in various weathers and over different types of terrain.  Unlike a lot of others who hike, I don't wear joggers and cargo pants (or other "preferred" attire).  I wear riding boots (with rubber soles and special comfort innersoles) and jeans.  For me, this is the most comfortable attire.  I've never found it to be a problem - in wet weather I have a long weatherproof jacket I wear.  The jeans are stretch ones, so they give comfortably.  I've even been known to swim in them!  Even hiking in New Zealand at Franz Josef glacier, I wore my standard gear, and it was pretty wet (they closed the paths about an hour after we got back).  I was wet, but quite comfy.  (Although wading across ice-melt streams is a bit chilly!)
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Larrabee

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2011, 08:21:16 AM »
I've worn jeans for hill walking in the UK, I just carry waterproof trousers to put over them if it rains.

demarco

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 02:50:58 PM »
Most of my serious  hiking and backpacking  was in the western US where rain isn't usually a problem.  I always wore jeans or corduroys but mostly jeans. 

I did some damp weather  hiking in Alaska and wore jeans. 

If I were going to do some serious overnighting in a damp area I might  investigate some quick drying pants.




KenveeB

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2011, 05:48:07 PM »
Jeans would be my attire of preference most places because they're more durable than other pants I own.  I'm generally more concerned about situations where my pants (and legs :)) would get scratched or torn than losing body temperature from wet jeans.  If I was going to be in a wet area for a long time, with no chance to go inside dry off or warm up, then I'd be more concerned about it, but that's not usually the situation I'm in.

Zilla

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2011, 05:54:42 PM »
Interesting topic.  I had to think about that one.

When I hiked into the everglades, we wore jeans due to the alligators/saw grass/snakes etc.  But I wore black rubber suspender pants for the dryness when crossing the swamps/marsh.

When I was in the west, we also wore jeans to keep the sun off our legs.

In snow though I never if rarely wear jeans.  I found that it doesn't warm me and snow sticks to me like glue!  I wear khakis with snow pants and then boots.  Cumbersome but much better than stiff cold jeans with caked on snow.



Shoo

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2011, 06:38:37 PM »
When you say "walking," do you mean hiking? 

I can take a walk in jeans, no problem.  Hiking, that's another matter.

TeamBhakta

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2011, 06:45:40 PM »
I heard you shouldn't wear jeans if you're doing major hiking, like at Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon. Just to tromp around the local botanical gardens for the day, though, it probably wouldn't be a problem.

Nibsey

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2011, 07:00:35 PM »
I heard you shouldn't wear jeans if you're doing major hiking, like at Bright Angel Trail at the Grand Canyon. Just to tromp around the local botanical gardens for the day, though, it probably wouldn't be a problem.

I don't do major hillwalking because I'm too unfit and look like a beetroot. However my SO is a geologist so most Sundays we end up climbing up a hill to look at rocks.  ::) lol. Because we have wet weather it's really impractical to wear jeans even for what  is a easy walk (for most people, me and even a gentle ascent don't mix)as jeans tend to soak up water that travel up the jeans, even after only walking in a small puddle or wet grass, more than other trouser fabrics. Then I end up looking like a drowned rat. So I think it may be also a vanity thing as well as practical in wet countries which might not be a issue in drier ones even for a relatively gentle walk.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 07:02:11 PM by Nibsey »
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Soprych

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2011, 11:32:45 PM »
I am not sure why but I don't hike in jeans.  Khakis are my choice but I also wear tall socks with a shorter pair over them.  I do wear boots to hike.  I think that is a hold over from being a Girl Scout.

My cousin, who hikes as a profession of sorts hikes in a kilt.  He leads hiking expeditions down the Appalachian trail.  I will ask him about the no jeans theory. 

Barney girl

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2011, 04:57:25 PM »
When you say "walking," do you mean hiking? 

I can take a walk in jeans, no problem.  Hiking, that's another matter.

yes - I mean out for a full day's walk in the hills, which I think you'd call hiking

Judah

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2011, 07:11:20 PM »
For a day hike on a dry trail in cool weather, loose fitting jeans are probably fine, but for backpacking  or anything where you might come across water, it's nylon all the way. Around here they refer to the ABCs of hiking: anything but cotton. 
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Slartibartfast

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2011, 10:48:48 PM »
Jeans are fine for one day, but if you're out overnight they won't dry (same as anything else cotton).  Have you ever tried to put on wet jeans?  It's about as much fun as putting on unwashed socks, but harder  :-\  So it's not really a temperature issue (unless you're somewhere you're likely to get hypothermia, in which case you ought to have some raingear anyway), it's a practicality thing.

nolechica

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Re: jeans for walking
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2011, 05:27:23 AM »
Jeans are fine for one day, but if you're out overnight they won't dry (same as anything else cotton).  Have you ever tried to put on wet jeans?  It's about as much fun as putting on unwashed socks, but harder  :-\  So it's not really a temperature issue (unless you're somewhere you're likely to get hypothermia, in which case you ought to have some raingear anyway), it's a practicality thing.

This and getting them off isn't simple either. However, if I'm hiking in cold weather (I've lost my mind), it's in jeans.  Summer in shorts though.