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The Best Pants for Outdoorsmen

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Premium hunting pants are expensive and easily contaminated by scents if you wear them in hunting cabins, tents, and other non-hunting situations. Jeans are okay for camp attire, but for the past 30 years I’ve used flannel-lined khakis and never hunt without them. Here’s why.

The flannel lining make the pants ultra-comfortable to the point that they feel like pajamas. The double layer of khaki and flannel breaks the wind and insulates very well, making them perfect for cutting wood in cold temperatures but not too warm for heated cabins or camps.

They make a great sub layer. Nothing about these fabrics is so high-tech as to wick moisture, and they insulate well and seem to breathe on long hikes. On a recent elk hunt, I often stopped after a long climb in cold weather and enjoyed the warmth the flannel provided. And unlike most under layers, these slacks have deep pockets, some with buttons. I always carry my truck keys, wallet, and other valuables in the under layer, where they’re less likely to get lost.

If you hunt in really cold weather, they’re comfortable to sleep in. If nature calls in the middle of the night and the tent temperature is in the teens, you can answer the call without shivering and perhaps stoke the wood stove before climbing back into the sack.

Finally, they wear well and look sharp. Personally, I like the cargo-style slacks, but these pants are all about comfort and function. You’ll find them moderately priced in many outdoor stores, including Cabela’s, L.L. Bean, The Sportsman’s Guide, Eddie Bauer, and others.

Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.