While we provide uniform shirts and personal protective equipment, there are additional gear items members are required to provide for themselves and other items that are nice to have for serving in the field.
Required Everyday Items (all crew types):
- 8” tall, all-leather boots – see our Boot Guide below for expected price ranges, important details to consider, and brands our members have liked
- Work pants – sturdy canvas or denim material with no holes and ready to get dirty
- Water bottles – at least 3 liters capacity. Hydration is key in the Texas heat!
- Rain gear – waterproof jacket (be careful when shopping, there is a difference between waterproof and water-resistant), breathable if possible. Rain pants and pack covers are optional
- Daypack – a backpack that will hold your water, lunch, extra layers, etc. Nothing fancy, just something you don’t mind getting dirty
Hitching Items (Conservation & Disaster and Trails Across Texas Crews):
We provide cooking gear and food while on hitch and also have tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads available for loan for your term if you cannot acquire your own.
- Sleeping bag and sleeping pad
- Tent – with a waterproof rainfly, 2 to 4 person sized tents are recommended
- Tupperware/bowl, utensils, mug – something that you can eat out of and pack your lunch in while on hitch
- Bag – to transport your extra clothes/gear while camping, such as a backpacking backpack or durable duffel bag
- Flashlight or headlamp – either will work, but a headlamp is really handy for moving around camp and doing camp duties at night
- Alarm clock – a watch works for this, or a battery-powered clock. You cannot rely on having service/charging areas at some campsite
- Long-sleeved shirt – something to protect you from sun and brush
- Bandana – either for your neck or head
- Work gloves – we can’t guarantee you’ll like the gloves we supply, so you might want to bring a pair that fit well and comfortable
Anticipate on spending a minimum of $80-$100 for a decent pair of boots. They’ll be on your feet 40hrs/week for 6-11 months. Cheap boots will leave you more prone to foot injuries and are more likely to fall apart with extensive use. A little more of an investment on the front end could be well worth it in the long run. If you’re interested in a career in this field, it may be wise to invest $150-$300 to get a good pair that’ll have a much longer life.
- All leather: It’s imperative that your boots be all leather. This is an industry safety standard for operating a chainsaw. Boots with breathable mesh may sound very appealing, but the mesh does not offer adequate protection in this line of work. Also, if a career in wildland firefighting is desired they do not allow boots with mesh because they can melt in extreme heat.
- 8 inches: It is also imperative that your boots be 8”. This is again for safety while operating a chainsaw. This specific height requirement provides for a 2-inch overlap while wearing Kevlar chaps. Bring a tape measure boot shopping, they must measure 8 inches from the bottom of the sole to the top of the boot. If you show up with boots shorter than that, we will ask you to go out and buy a new pair.
- Soles: We require that boots have a slip-resistant sole because of the “nature” of our work environment.
- Waterproof: We work in all weather conditions, and there is no greater discomfort than wet feet, not to mention the very real health concern of trench foot. Non-insulated: TX summers are very hot and we recommend against insulated boots. Reinforcement shank: Good for your feet, as well as the boots.
- Heat tolerant: If pursuing a career in fire this might be something to consider to avoid buying another pair down the road.
- Cowboy boots are permitted, as long as they fit this, as well as all other requirements.
- Some prefer boots with a logger sole, but this is not required.
- Steel-toed boots are not necessary. They can be a good measure to prevent some injuries to your feet while working with heavy objects. However, you will also be doing a lot of hiking, and hiking with steel toes can be more physically demanding. Composite toe boots could be a nice middle ground, but once again not a requirement.
Cabela’s, Carhartt, Carolina, CAT, Chippewa, Danner, Georgia, Irish Setter, Keen, Muck, Nicks, Redwing, Rocky, Timberland, Whites, and Wolverine
It can be challenging to find a well-fitting, solid work boot in women’s sizes. Carolina, Justin, Red Wing, Chippewa, Carhartt, and Timberland have some models that work well and aren’t too expensive.