Birder's Guide

NOV 2016

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 25 of 43

24 Birder's Guide to Gear | November 2016 Adventure Pants The right pair of adventure pants is a savvy traveler's secret weapon. You can tick off Namaqua Dove and Namaqua Sandgrouse in the Israeli Negev while wearing a taste- ful T-shirt and fleece, engage in a casual afternoon stroll through a market in Jaffa, and top off the day's birding by sipping lifer cocktails and toasting your new birds at a Michelin-rated restaurant. All you need is a fetching scarf wrapped 'round your neck to look simultaneously chic and rugged. At night, you can wash the pants in your hotel room sink, hang them to dry in even the most humid Central American countries, and find them perfectly dry and unwrinkled the next morning. These pants are all you need for every occasion, with their sleek hidden pockets to hold cur- rency, batteries, and phones. If you've had bad experiences with ad- venture pants, don't give up. There are comfortable, functional ones out there, both online and in outdoor stores. Just make sure that they fit your body and are comfortable before purchasing them. It's worth the effort. and comfortable brand for me is prAna, although I prefer their non-convertible pants, which have snaps so that when you roll them up, they actually stay up." Alternatives Some choose to forego adventure pants and go straight for skirts. If that idea ap- peals to you, there are options. When I'm birding somewhere ticks are not an issue, I frequently go birding in a skirt. Jennie Duberstein adds, "I wear skirts in the field all the time. They are way easier for peeing in the woods. Or desert. Or wherever you are." I agree that skirts offer an easier way for women to "go" outdoors compared to pants. (For more on this topic, see my article in the 2014 issue of Birder's Guide to Gear.) And with the right pair of tights, skirts can even work in cold weather. Athleta and REI both make hiking skirts with shorts built into them. They're fine but defeat the purpose of bathroom utility. I find that any skirt which feels good to you and has pockets will work just fine as a hiking skirt. friends for their thoughts on the topic via the World Girl Birders Facebook page. Their responses revealed that there are many options, with some better than oth- ers depending on height and body type. For people who are on the short end of the spectrum, like me, Columbia and REI are great options. "I'm 5'3", a size 14, and wear REI brand adventure pants every day I am out hiking or birding," said Gloria Nikolai. Taller people preferred other brands. "I just bought two pairs of adventure pants at Costco," said Linda Easter. "I'm 6 feet tall and have big hips, so I can never find women's pants to fit. These are men's pants and therefore have a listed inseam length. They fit great and wash wonderfully. So far, no one has pointed at me and giggled that I'm wearing men's pants." "I'm 5'6 with a larger body type and wear Cabela's brand men's pants," said Rebecca Sher, "because they are cheaper than getting plus-sized women's pants of any brand." Alison Vil├ąg is a bit taller. She said, "I'm 5'9" and have a butt. The most flattering Continued from page 22

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