Avoid hiking in cotton sweats/jeans as they retain moisture and invite hypothermia. Hiking pants are usually lightweight, dirt-resistent, quick-drying/moisture wicking and often have SPF 30-50 sun protection. They also have lots of pockets to keep things handy, and come in several lengths... long pants, convertible pants, capri/roll-up styles, and shorts.Convertible Pants (zip-offs)are functional, comfortable and practical - and can be worn year-round. In spring and fall the legs can be zipped off/on as the temp changes during the day (or if the trail gets overrun with brush or stickers).They can be worn as just shorts in the summer, while in the winter you can add a thermal layer underneath. Zippers from the ankle to mid-calf and snaps/velcro at the ankle make it easy to get the legs on/off over footwear.