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Thorn Proof Pants?

Yak Man & Yak Girl
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I've owned and used Carhartt and a couple of different mfgrs "Tin" pants and jackets. (Mostly Brittish made Barbour and Belstaff Thorn-proofs). For most people the Carhartt is the best. The waxed cotten of the Tin makes it impossible to wash and if really used much at all, gets funky. Additionally, the Tin gets real stiff in cold weather.

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I won't say that they are "thorn proof" but I wear these and they do a very good job of warding off the nasty suckers. Thorns generally don't stick to the pants. Once in a while, you'll get some penetration, but they offer pretty good protection and are very lightweight and comfortable, even in extremely hot weather.

Edited by briansnat
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I am an orienteer and usually just were shorts with some gaiters. I never were pants (except when welding). I get poked and scratched alot above the gaiters but only the occasional cactus get through. They do a great job keeping out the thorns and grass seeds (and I am from AZ were there is nothing but thorns). I use a cheap ($19) pair, you can get gaiters at any ourdoor shop.

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I've found that those 'warm-up' pants, or whatever they're called, work best. You know, the polyester wind/water resistant ones. They are not at all breathable so I don't recommend them for hot, sweaty-type days, but they work well against thorns, believe it or not. The pair I have are made by Reebok with very heavy polyester material. They also have an inner cotton lining which makes them a bit more comfortable. In addition to having thorn protection, you can sit down in a snow bank or be caught in a downpour and have a completely dry lower half (unless you tend to have sweaty legs, of course).

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Yeah I have used my swimming cover pants (and matching jacket) a few times but they do have a tendancy to get caught and rip. The warm ups I use cost 60buck per half of the body (pants 60, jacket 60) so I don;t use them very often

Yeah, I could see how they might get caught and rip but I haven't had that problem, yet. A pair like I have can be found at Wal-mart or Shopko for $10 to $12.

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I highly recommend the Filson "Tin Cloth" material. I don't have the pants, but I do have a jacket and hat made from the same material. If you're not familiar with Filson, I can explain it this way: they're sort of like Carhart, except Filson is ~really~ durable.


Filson advertises their clothing as capable of being handed down generation-to-generation. And the catalog is full of stories about how "My Filson Garment Saved My Life."


I worked in Arkansas forests for several years, and always used military pants. Be sure to get the winter-weight no matter what time of the year it is; the Summer weight pants won't last in the briars! The army pants aren't "briar-proof" but they're OK, much less expensive than Filson Tin Pants, and comfortable. The pockets are convenient too.


Best Luck in the thorns!


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I could not resist. Here is a thorn proof geocaching outfit:




Pros: Stops most thorns. Very few people will be brave enough to stop you and ask what you are doing.


Cons: Weight, field of view.





PS: I still have my thorn scars from my New Years Eve 2003 geocaching outing.

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How about making your own out of canvas? When tromping through brush in a survival training facility in Utah, the instructors wore canvas leggings to avoid punctures and also irritants like poison oak, ivy, and sumac. I looked at these coverings and noted that pants made of the greenish grey stuff wouldn't chafe.

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Those pants most likely weren't made of canvas (which is hot and heavy) but of a material that allows thorns and such to slip across the surface without snagging. It's when that stuff snags on the cloth is when it starts to poke through, unless you hit the really big ones head on.


During the hunting seasons I use my briar proof pants all the time and can go right though most anything. Even then, the best of them will let those really huge thorns scratch you, so I found it best to wear sweats underneath them. Being cold weather, that's another plus as well. When caching, I'm never wearing the pants and have trouble remembering that. I'm so used to just walking straight through everything that I wind up getting really scratched up.

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