Preppers most often tend to concentrate on the more exotic aspects of prep and survival gearing up. We get all the bases covered with water stocks, food supplies, defense weaponry, ammunition, first aid kits, tools, gear, bags and everything else that goes with getting ready to bug out. But, what are you going to wear? Cut off shorts and flip flops just won’t get it long term, or really short term either.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author
Even under ideal (really?) Bug out conditions, any scenario when people have to evacuate their primary residence, work site, or home ground is going to be tough. Stress, anxiety, fear, and apprehension peak during these events, and every part of your plan and execution is tested to the max. Every piece of gear and all your supplies will be pressed to the limit. This is not a time for your basic clothing to fail. So, bug out in sturdy, tough, long wearing pants.
The Wear and Tear
Pants seem to catch the brunt of the wear as a daily clothing item. It does not matter if it is at work, play, recreation like hunting, fishing or ATV riding, pants catch hell literally at every movement. Just ask any construction worker, farmer, rancher, logger, or anybody having to be in the outdoors every day. Besides footwear, pants are the most basic part of prepper clothing.
If you bug out, you are likely going to be outside doing a lot of tasks, jobs, projects and work that places plenty of wear and tear on pants. Simple every day activities like working a garden, gathering firewood, hunting for food, outside property or structure repair or maintenance will mean that your pants will receive a lot of abrasion, scraping, pulling, and stressing seams and wear points. You want pants that will last a long time and withstand all the movements and stresses of prepper surviving.
You know what wears out first on the pants you have now. Usually it is a foundation seam like the seat, crotch, pockets, and then the knees, not in any particular order. I have several pairs of pants with only the knees blown out. Some of those have been patched 3-4 times. They usually get cut off, made into shorts. That limits their uses for many tasks.
What you want to shop for and buy for bug outs and other survival type tasking is the ultimate in outdoor wear pants. This often means industrial or construction work wear, but not always. Sometimes they are one in the same. There are several brands worthy of consideration and trial.
Prime Prepper Pants
Preppers want to know specifically what to buy, not just hints or a maybe. Simply put here is a list of pants brands that have proven wear and tear capability. These include Duluth Trading, Carhartt, Tractor Supply’s Schmidt, and Northern Tool’s Gravel Gear are all top brands for really tough, long wearing pants. All else being equal these brands make pants to take a lot of abuse, and hard wear. They are sewn tough, with tough materials.
Sorry guys, blue jeans are great for camp wear, daily use and light duty. They are comfortable especially for driving. When it comes to the nasty jobs of prepping and survival, especially outdoors, leave the jeans behind. Elect proven hard ware pants for prepping.Save
I would also recommend that the 5.11 line of pants be considered. They are made of rip-stop materials, the seams are double sewn and the crotch & knees are reinforced with double layers of material for a very long wear life.
The knees also have “pockets” for the inclusion of knee pads which are also made by 5.11. When the knee pads are inserted in the pockets there is no obvious change to the appearance of the pants.
I have used 5.11 pants as a part of my duty uniform, blue colored material, and with the exception of the color fading just a little over a protracted period of time I never really “wore out” any 5.11 pants.
I would never put 5.11 in that line-up. They tear easily.
Funny, here it is 10 years later and the only thing I have worn out on my old 5.11 covert carry pants is the bottom of the pant legs from brushing against the ground. They are great for office etc. They look nice and have a LOT of hidden pockets for every day carry and good for Get home wear. Don’t look tactical and draw unwanted attention. I have pitched out some 5.11 shirts that were 100% cotton and wore out to fast. Now I still buy 5.11 but only the rip stop or blends. Love all those pockets. For real bug out I have Carhartt work pants with double thick leg fronts and carpenter pants type pockets.
I’ve had my personal best success with both Duluth Trading and Carhartt pants. Neither look anything like the ninja-tacticool 5-11 pants, so we can stay a whole lot more in grey time.(and no second looks from bi-ped predator wanna-bees) Just my experience and personal preference, plus my wife calls me “ruggedly handsome”, still!
Found the Dickies brand sold at Walmart to be pretty decent.
Duluth just came to this area and the prices are somewhat shocking.
Good article though. Starting to stock up on some of the more mundane things like survival clothing.
Trying to find a decent rain jacket that’s breathable and stands up to outdoor chores
I found that Cabelas has a rain jacket of their own design. I bought one 10+ years ago for $40 and its still in service for use during the monsoon season and cool spring days.
Thanks I’ll check them out
I only use vortex for rain gear. Handles different weather well and is durable
Female experience: I’ve tried the 5.11 ripstop pants and the fabric was really harsh on my skin. Even after washing 3 times, the rough fabric irritated my skin to the point of pain. Granted, it was in the 100+ degrees heat so the fabric was always damp from sweat. My thighs are big enough to occasionally be rubbing against each other, so unless a woman is thin enough to not have thighs touching, I would suggest finding a pant having fabric that gets softer quicker. Or wearing tights/nylons under the pants.
Vertx makes some great pants as well , I wear the Delta ones every day to work and they are amazing, really comfortable, not overtly tacticool lots of storage, decent price.
IMHO: I have for 20 years bought Dickies. But sense they, with Levi’s want anti-gun. No more.
I’m now looking at Duluth Trading . Been buying their T-shirts now for a while. Reason I’m looking at their Ballroom Carpenter Pants. Is the same reason I bought the above. 14.5-oz. 100% cotton denim. I have not bought these yet. Using up my pants stash first. Yes they make a tough, stiffer pair of pants. Which my be worth looking at for a bug out bag.
But these Carpenter pants, I’ll be wearing them when the balloon goes up. Their my ever day wear. I’m old and semi-retired. So YES! This is as dress up as I get! LMAO!!!
I hear good things about 5.11, but I ain’t taking out a small loan just to outfit the family.
Good quality costs, but name recognition and “tacticool” cachet cost way more than they should.
I like LA Police Gear which has it’s own brand of BDUs on the cheap in friendly colors for around $23 and less on sale. https://lapolicegear.com They came with double layer seats and knees; metal button closure with zipper fly, and zipper on the bottom of the pants leg. I bought a kacky and forest green. They ship to fit a size range but can be adjusted in the waist. The trouser end ships in a long length, and I had mine trimmed down to match my inseam wearing boots.