Heavy duty pants are good to have when searching in the bush. They should be either synthetic (e.g. a stretch cordura) or a heavy waterproof canvas.
Searching often occurs through dense vegetation, some of which can be sharp and spikey – such as sword grass, wire grass, hakea, prickly vines, gorse and blackberries. This vegetation can easily penetrate cotton or lightweight synthetic fabrics.
Cotton fabrics can be unsuitable for searching as they become cold when wet and are difficult to dry out.
While heavy duty gaiters can protect lower portions of the legs, this leaves knees and thighs somewhat exposed to the ravages of prickly or sharp vegetation.
Goretex or equivalent overpants can get ripped and punctured too, so strong pants are required.
Some examples of heavy duty pants are those manufactured by the Cactus Climbing Company based in New Zealand, who use heavy duty 12oz canvas that is treated to be water resistant. They also make a range of other equipment suitable for searches, ski patrolling and outdoors activities.
Note: Shorts are not permitted on any searches due to the high likelihood of injuries to exposed skin on the legs.