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Gear Advice: Hiking Pants (Long)
When around home, blue jeans are just fine, but when you are on the trail, they should stay at home sice tehy do not dry well at all. Your hiking pants serve a number of purposes. They should cover the entire leg to protect you from scratches, bugs, and the sun, but they should dry fast when wet. Also, they should not fit too tight, as you may need to put on a base layer of long underwear underneath them. Pants that allow the lower portion of the leg to zip off are very good as well, allowing you to adjust for trail conditions and temperature.
I use the REI zipper pants. If you buy two identical pair, and you tend to like shorts, you can cut a little weight and leave one set of legs at home and still have 2 pair.