I was in Baja for a bit last fall and was struck by how completely aggressive the foliage there can be. I think we came across one plant that didnt have enormous spikes growing out of it. One guy in our party inadvertently leaned against a cactus to keep his balance and drove a spike between two fingers, where it remained until he got home and a plastic surgeon could fish it out (close to nerves).
Anyway, theres the threat of spiky plants. But theres also a great deal of heat, very hot heat, in Baja. So the obvious choiceschain mail, for instancearent practical. Same for motorcyclists pants made from Cordura, which is very tough stuff. Its too hot, and they cost $200 or so.
One option: Chainsaw chaps. These are made from Cordura or similar materialsome even use Kevlarto provide excellent protection across your thigh and shin. Yet theyre open in back so you get pretty good ventilation. The Sawbuck Kevlar Chap sells for $75, and is available at places such as CSP Outdoors, a construction-safety store (theyre a Yahoo site; just do a search for CSP Outdoors and it will pop right up).
Then again, lots of people manage in Baja just wearing shorts. So by taking a little care, and carrying a good thorn kit, you might get along just fine. And be a lot more comfortable.
The votes are in: Check out the winners of Outside's 2006 Gear of the Year awards, including the year's hottest backpack.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.