The question of whether you should hike in jeans is one that comes up often. There are many conflicting sources online, and the answer seems to be different depending on who you ask.
We set out to find a definitive answer by conducting our own research with people all over the world about their opinions on hiking in denim. This article will explore what we found and provide some alternatives for your next adventure!
Can you hike in jeans?
Hiking in jeans is not recommended. Cotton (denim) holds water and can freeze, making hiking difficult for hikers of all ages. For short walks, jeans can be acceptable hiking attire. Make sure to bring proper clothes for these outdoor ventures including wool, nylon, polyester (is polyester waterproof?) , or other materials which either dry quickly or wick away moisture due to their structure.
We found that the majority of people who had an opinion on hiking in jeans said they would not do it. They cited reasons like uncomfortable chafing, wet denim being heavy and difficult to dry out after getting soaked by rain or snowmelt (which is a common occurrence), as well other issues such - see below for more details about these concerns!
Some hikers also mentioned how their pants could get caught up with follage while hiking through dense forest areas which can be dangerous ...or worse yet: ripped off when trying desperately but unsuccessfully pull yourself free from some overgrown foliage!! Ouch!!!
On the other side of the coin let's look out reasons why some people find hiking in jeans to be a good idea. One of the biggest reasons is that jeans are lightweight and durable. They also have a lot more pockets than most hiking pants which can be very handy for storing things like snacks, maps or pocket knifes while on your hike!
An Easy Hack
A hack we got told by some people find it to work well when they're wearing their favorite pair (or two) of blue jean shorts underneath them (that's a new version of double deniming!). This way you get all these benefits without having any issues with chafing from wet denim rubbing against the skin in sensitive areas...plus there's no need worry about getting caught up by follage because those pesky little branches just slide right off!!!
Plus if anything happens where we rip our clothes then at least it's not an expensive £100+ piece!
Should you wear jeans when hiking?
Our view point on wearing jeans when hiking is they're heavy and bulky. They take up a lot of space in your backpack which is already limited on the trail. We recommend wearing something lightweight that will dry quickly if it gets wet, like nylon pants or shorts with quick drying fabric (like polyester) so you can keep hiking even after getting caught out by rain!
If we have to choose between jeans for an emergency backup then maybe but otherwise no thanks...we want our hikes as comfortable & enjoyable possible without any discomfort from clothes rubbing against skin too much while walking around all day long 🙂 Plus this way there's less chance at chafing happening either. It also means more room left over inside backpacks/bags because denim takes such large amounts when packing them away. Make sure you always have the correct footwer, we recommend checking our best lightweight walking boots article.
In conclusion , we recommend wearing something lightweight that will dry quickly if it gets wet, like nylon pants or shorts with quick drying fabric (like polyester) so you can keep hiking even after getting caught out by rain!
If jeans are your only option then go for a lighter color and make sure they're not too tight. You should consider getting something that is hard wearing and less likely to rip such as a pair of nylon (is nylon waterproof?) pants.
If you're still not convinced, then we recommend that before hiking in jeans to test them out on a short hike first and see how they feel!