Carhartt flannel lined work pants: Rett Davis: These are the clothes of an outdoorsman

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During the month of December I forego answering gardening questions. I will return to that format in January.  I hope you enjoy my December columns. From my headwear to my underwear,  my wardrobe has taken a 180 degree turn. I have gone from clothes suitable for office and field to rugged macho.  Research shows that new clothes can give you a sense of empowerment and improves your leadership skills and competence.  It can also give you a feeling of power.  I leave the house with a renewed sense of purpose and enthusiasm. I joined Henderson Forestry Consultants in Asheboro after my retirement from NC State’s Extension Service 11 years ago.  I soon learned that county agent attire was no match for blackberry briars, cat briars, swamps, and rainy days.  At the end of the day my clothes and skin looked like they had been through a paper shredder.  My co-workers knew I needed help.  My LL Bean khakis and shirts were replaced with clothes from Filson and Carhartt.  Red Wing boots replaced those made by Timberland. Serious outdoorsmen know the name Filson.  They advertise themselves as the original Alaska Outfitter dating back to 1897.  They are to Alaska what the Hudson Bay Company was to Canada.  Their motto is “Might as well have the best.” My first clothing upgrade was a pair of Filson chaps. They are pulled over the pants and attached to the belt.  Cowboys wear them when riding in brush and briars. These chaps resist every briar nature can throw at you and repel water too.  More Filson clothing was added to my wardrobe.   My footwear had to be upgraded for ankle support and water repellency.  My shoes went from Oxfords to 10 inch boots. Summer khakis were replaced with pants form Insect Shield to ward off ticks and chiggers. My winter pants are flannel lined.  Gaiters came next. They are pulled over the boots as an added deterrent to ticks and chiggers.  Large brimmed hats replaced ball caps for sun protection and navigating through a maze of spider webs. Snake leggings are a must when working in the Uwharrie Mountains and Sandhills when rattlesnakes and water moccasins are active.  Our company’s policy is to walk around rattlesnakes and not kill them.  Moccasins are not afforded the same protection because they are aggressive.  Rattlesnakes are an endangered species and we are conservationists.  Although snake leggings are hot, my wife insists that I wear them. Wool blended shirts and water wicking thermal underwear replaced my cotton ones. I believe in the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.” My truck is a mobile clothes closet packed with extra pants, socks, underwear, hats, rain jacket, down vest, cruising vest, T-shirts, rubber boots, towels, gloves, and coats.  My vests and hats are orange with the hope I am not mistaken for a deer. Sweating all day can lead to skin problems.  Creams and powders don’t help. Therefore, when I saw an ad for a new type of underwear that reduces sweating, I had to investigate.  The Duluth Trading Company featured ‘Buch Naked’ nderwear in their catalog.  They are advertised as ‘No pinch, no stink, and no sweat’.  Over 13,000 reviews gave them a 5 star rating. The ad intrigued me despite a price tag of $22 for one pair.  I can get a six pack of Fruit of the Loom for the same price.  I was excited to share my discovery with my co-workers. They were dubious about the claims but would wait for a testimonial.   I must admit it took some getting used to them because of their construction and the material they were made from.   They do not stop sweating but do wick away moisture faster than cotton. My coworkers pride themselves in adopting new technology except when it comes to underwear. No more were purchased and the idea died a slow death. I suspect if they carried the Filson label we would be wearing them now.    Rett Davis is a retired Alamance County Extension Director and is employed by Henderson Forestry Consultants.  You can email him at

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