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A Non-Uniform Question

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For a work related activity I was told to buy a pair of khaki pants.

I noticed that the chap who told me to buy them had on a pair which seemed to have a lot of pockets.

Talking with another newbie, I said that I thought that I'd go to Wal-Mart and buy a pair of khaki cargo pants. He said he was going to buy a pair from an Army and Navy surplus store.

I've never been very comfortable in any Army and Navy surplus store.

Seems to me that the people who shop there fall into two groups. One group who know what they are talking about and another group who just want to look the part.

I don't fall into to either.

I'm happy with a clean pair of Levi's and almost any shirt with a collar. I'm not that keen on t-shirts.

I've never worn any sort of camo in my life.

I don't hunt and hope that I'll be seen when I'm taking the dogs for a walk, so that no one will shoot me!


I never thought that buying a pair of pants would be such a hassle!

A pair from Wal-Mart would run me about $30.00.

But I thought that I might end up looking like a guy in a pair of Wal-Mart pants, so I looked around and found a pair of 5.11 Tactical Pants. They are Lightweight 65% polyester and 35% poly cotton ripstop with more pockets than I think I'll ever use. ( I went with the Taclite Pro Pants)

They cost me about $20.00 more than what I would have spent at Wal-Mart.

My question is has anyone bought these pants? Are they worth the extra $20.00?

What do do keep in all of the pockets?





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Eamonn -


My husband and sons swear by those pants. My sons will not be caught dead wearing jeans. They love the 5.11's so much that I got them each two pairs for Hanukah. They love the pockets and the knee pads. They wear well and wash well. I buy my clothing at the thrift shop and am not into spending money on clothing but these pants are very worth it. I bought them on sale through the Gall's online catalogue and got a multi-pair discount. My son has purchased them from a local Army Navy store; by the way, the Army Navy stores can be good sources of nicely priced goods.

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I have seen the 5.11's in Quartermaster. The only difference I can think of that makes them different from military surplus is a new/better fabric


Now, I'm not sure about the surplus stores in your area, but they are different here: ex-military vets( stoners) or retired vets own them here. The clothing, boots, most equipment uis brand new, but you can get some WWII and Viet Nam era used stuff.


Oh, around here, 4 types of people go into the surplus shops:


1)Those who are active military who want to save some $$$ by going to a surplus shops instead of a base supply house.They know what they are talking about.


2) People who want to look the part and act the part, but would never consider being the part.


3(War and militart buffs. Same as train buffs and car bufs, but differet outfits.


4) People like me who want to save a few dolars for something practical. Not everything is camo. I have a pair of OD green pants that are very, very similar to my $40.00 scout uniform pants....except I only paid $25 for them brand new. I use these when we do outdoor service projects involving stuff like dirt, treecutting/hualing, etc..


I have 3 pair of dark navy blue EMS pants that I bought fromtrhe surplus too. They are more comfortable/ less itchy/ cooler than the poly work unifom pants my company provides.


I bought my son's first pocket knife there too. He earned his whittling chip using a 1 1/2inch lock blade with a thicker handle that fit his hand better for $6.00.




And not exactly the scout shop, but all kinds of very cool camping stuff there too.





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Love the surplus places! In addition to mil stuff, they often carry cut-rate civilian gear too.


As a scout in the '70s, found many bargains at army surplus that helped with my family's budget. Still have a few of those items, like a pair of civilian made big leather mittens that I used as a scout in AK...with a pair of wool inserts, I can honest say my hands never got cold. Also have a 1945 entrenching tool that has seen much abuse over the years, and still works great today.


From other sources, also thinking of surplus wool pants (though long gone, they were great for winter camping)...and my 1951 canteen cup...VN era M16 ammo pouch that I converted into a survival kit as a senior scout, etc.


These surplus items were designed tough, to be "GI proof" which almost makes them "scout proof"...almost!

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The most comfortable pants I ever wore in Scouting were the old OD Air Force pants from the 70-80's before they went camo. The had a much lower crotch and were indestructible. I paid $5 a pair for them and they were worth every dime. I am pretty open to alternatives to scout pants. As long as they are dark green, I'm OK with it. I have saved my son and his peers hundreds of dollars by using off the shelf, cheap green pants.

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My new pants arrived today.

They seem OK.

I ordered the knee pads. Who knows if the worst comes to the worst they'll come in handy for me saying a few quick prayers!

A pal of mine just returned from a training with the PA State Police. He tells me that they did one drill with live ammo, shooting about seven inches above his head.

I hope if I ever have to do that, that the pants are stain resistant.

Up until now, I've kinda not paid a lot attention to the classes I've had on ICS (Incident Command System). Think I'm going to take heed next time.

This is in many ways going to be like my playing rugby.

In the middle of the front line of the scrum there very often is a little fellow (Me!) Who is the hooker. His job is to hook the ball and feed it to the back of the scrum.

When I was 14 I weighted in at 140 pounds (Ten stone) Now,40 years later I've put on a bit of weight and go 150 pounds.

Just like when I was playing rugby, I'm going to be surrounded by big beefy guys. They will be all in black.

But I sure will look the part in my new khaki pants.

Maybe they'll smile when they hear that I was once a ... No! We aren't going there!


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