Short pants and sandals have no business in a survival situation. Nothing bothers me more than
observing a troop of boy scouts marching around in the wilderness in short pants. This is plan stupid.
(1) Long pants provide significant protection against abrasive injury. Even the smallest cut or scrape can become
(2) Long pants protect against snake bites and insect bites. Rattlesnakes target based on heat emissions.
The covering on the leg makes you less of a target.
(3) Nights in the woods can be very, very cold. That warm day can turn into a sub-zero night. Hypothermia is a major cause of death among hikers who become lost. With wind-chill acting on the legs, short pants at night are a recipe for death.
(4) Long pants provide substantial protection against insect biting insects and ticks. Lyme disease is no joke.
Ordinary denim blue jeans are best, but any pants are better than short pants.
As far as sandals go, they should be left at home when hiking. Your feet deserve protection. If you
become a casualty you endanger not only yourself, but everyone with you.