Trekking or Walking Trousers
This page forms part of a series of articles on helping you to choose the right clothing and equipment for your walking holidays in France the UK, or further afield. Whether you are undertaking a moderate 4 day walk through the Burgundy or a longer trek in the French Alps, having the right gear will help you make the most of your independent walking holiday or guided walking tour.
Tracksuit bottoms or casual trousers are fine for a short lowland walk, though on longer walks they can irritate and chafe, whilst denim jeans should be avoided, as they restrict movement and take a long time to dry out. They also have a high wind-chill factor meaning you can get very cold in them particularly if they get wet.
Modern synthetic walking trousers are popular among regular walkers, since they are lightweight, loose-fitting, quick-drying and have handy pockets. Some walkers wear walking shorts if the weather is fine, though long trousers offer better protection against brambles, nettles and ticks and should always be carried in case the weather changes.
For warm conditions on your walking holiday, a lightweight, fast-drying, moisture wicking fabric is good. Wicking fabric is one that draws the sweat away from the skin. The moisture has then moved from the skin into (nonabsorbent) clothing and has more surface area and will evaporate faster. Cotton fabrics are unsuitable for walking or cycling. Stretch content is ideal, as it enhances ease of movement and can also make fabric less likely to rip. Some trousers come with sun protection and others are treated with long lasting water or even insect repellency.
Trousers should be loose enough to allow freedom of movement, but not so baggy that they flap in the wind or chafe. Articulated legs allow for a natural unhampered bend of the leg. They are also available in different leg lengths. You can also purchase zip off trousers, which zip off into shorts or zip on for trousers. These are ideal for walking holidays in destination such as France where, during certain seasons it can be cool in the morning but warm in the afternoon. They are also ideal for Muslim countries such as trekking holidays in Morocco, where you’ll need to cover your limbs whilst passing through villages.
This is really personal preference and about what you intend to carry around and need easy access to. Some lightweight walking trousers may only have 2 pockets while cargo style trousers will have a variety. A zipped security pocket is always useful.
A flat, seamless broad waistband is ideal as it will provide little to rub. Elastic sections or an ability to make adjustments can be a benefit on a long trek or walking holiday, after all you may lose weight! Belt loops can also be useful but if using a belt, ensure it is a simple trekking belt not something that may cause discomfort on a long walk.