1. #1
    Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    35

    Default Wildland/Prarie Fire Gear

    My VFD is expecting a extremly high number of wildland and prairie fires this year due to the near drought conditions.

    Since I'm a newby this year what kind of extra gear do you recommend that I pre pack in my personal ruck (Blackhawk 3 day military ruck)when grabbing and running??

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    In the woods
    Posts
    233

    Default

    Shrike9,
    welcome to the world of wildland.
    Blackhawk 3 day military ruck --> this is a good pack for issues like SAR, but when it comes to wildland fire you will be feeling this after like the 24th hour in a 14 day fire run. Your going to want to get a good pack that is low slung like one that rides right on your *** so most of the weight is down low, this comes in nice when wearing a hose pack or when on those long hikes. Also look what your pack is made out of? I think its made out of nylon, the thing about this is that it will burn if you catch a ember or something hot on it.

    well what you have in your pack is up to you, I would recommend carry as much water as you can.

    It also is kind of the area your at.

    When working more on a hotshot style crew or on a overhead job.
    Headlight, extra bulb

    Rain poncho

    space blanket

    extra batt for radio and for headlight

    2 meals of food I like to carry one mre and one hotline product

    gallon 1/2 of water

    extra pair of socks, (Take care of the feet)

    TP (you can almost sell the stuff)

    8 flairs (7 for burning out, one for personal safety)

    hard sun glass case (for after sun goes down, keep something in there for at night to wear)

    playing cards (incase waiting for a ride)

    100% cotton sweat shirt (for when it gets cold)

    extra laces (they always break)

    File (keep tool sharp) (also sharpen others tools too)

    Hot Shield (nice to have when doing the smokey burn outs)

    leatherman tool

    and fire shelter

    If your working with chain saws or around them try to carry like extra chain for the guys running the saw or ask them if they want you to carry something.


    If your working with like and Engine crew and you know you can always go back to the engine for support carry like only half of the things.

    Keep water in your pack, but make sure to change the water out every 4 days if you dont use it, it will get smelly.

    Hope this helps.

    Stay safe,

  3. #3
    Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    35

    Default

    smketer, thanks for the excellent advice!!!!!!!!

    Hummmmmm never though about the material it's made from. Will have to check that out. I'm also accustomed to wearing a pack as high as possible as that's the best place for heavy loads. Always hated wearing crap down around my *** as after a few days that was hard on the back.

    Here in Wyoming the district is mostly rolling prairie/brush but have assisted other departments in hilly/foothills/mountains. With my military background (19 years and counting) I'm acustomed to living out of a ruck for days on end and want to try and have enough gear pre packed for a worst case senario (3 days????) without going overboard on the weight.

    Hardest thing for me is changing mindset from the military mindset to the fire way of thinking.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    In the woods
    Posts
    233

    Default

    Wyoming fires, yes those are always great and lots of fun.

    As you go out on the longer fires you will see that you will get support from them driving the food and water up to you or it will be brought in by long line. The longest I have had to wait on a helo to get us support was like a day but that was in Idaho salmon national forest area when fires were popping up lots.

    for the most part kind of stick with the list I gave you it should help. Also if you eat lots maybe bring extra food, can of pork and beans, ect.

    One thing I did forget was if your working like in a 10 man crew or so and you are out a good size fire, make sure one guy has a water filter it is always nice to have extra water from a creek or lake.

    From being in the military I am sure you know the tricks of the trade with the MRE's.

    Hints & Tricks:

    As you get gloves from the Forest service or the leather gloves, take a knife and cut a small hole next to the strap area so you can turn the gloves inside out and then with the holes feel the strap threw that hole.
    it makes the gloves fit better and it feels good too

    in your fire camp bag, with your sleeping bag and pad ect. make sure that you keep your clothes in another bag or some of the guys I know use a machine that takes the air out to make things smaller. Sometimes water and other crap gets in your clean clothes

    Camera is also a good thing to bring along,

    National firefighter sells some really nice "crew boss" pants if you can get them much better then wearing the FSS stuff.

    Good boots is another thing to have, whites smoke jumper are good or get something along those lines.

    Stay safe,

  5. #5
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Yakima, WA
    Posts
    24

    Default

    I wouldn't worry too much about the nylon issue. It's very durable and lightweight. Every pack Iíve seen has been made from this, look at my response in the to the Choosing a line pack for more info on line packs.

    Some additions to smketer great suggestions.

    Space Blanket, Spend the money buy a good one $12-14 for the TARP STYLE not the mylar one that is the size of a deck of cards, Those are junk, noisy and work only about 2 times max.

    Rain Poncho very good idea. I prefer the Jacket style some are PVC, they last the longest. Keep you dry and good also at night to help keep in any body heat when you get a chance to take a break or if your coyoting,

    Extra socks is a must spend the money and get good boot socks.
    Iíve found that Moleskin, or even better the Johnson & Johnson Band-Aids brand has theses blister patches that are great they are in a bluish colored case and contain about 4 in a pack for about $4. A little high priced but they are sealed, keep the area protected, wonít come off with body sweat or showers, I recommend them.

    I also carry a small stuff sack in my line pack that has a stocking cap, Polypropylene long sleeve shirt and glove liners. Very good at night by wicking away any moisture and if your gonna sleep out there makes it a little more comfortable for you without much weight. An extra cotton bandanna or two. Also I carry a lightweight metal cup for warming up beverages like coffee or what ever is in my MRE.

    Extra laces yes, I donít like the leather laces. The cotton/nylon ones last longer and donít have the problem off keeping tied, they break less often also.

    TP is a must or a packet of Wet wipes small can find at your grocery store, handy for may things, cleaning blisters, selling for TP money or tp if you run out. Comes in handy many times.

    Clear safety glasses a must great for night work, just keep them in your sunglasses case. You should be wearing some form of eye protection at all times.

    GOLDBOND, GOLDBOND, GOLDBOND regular or extra medicated. This is a godsend for boots, sweat absorption, chafing, that itch when youíve not changed your clothes in a couple of days. You name it itís great. Youíll find many ways to use it. A small bottle will last a while and wonít take up space.

  6. #6
    Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    35

    Default

    Dang, gum took it for granted thier would be a fresh resupply of water. I've got a sweetwater filter in the truck's survival/camping gear. Will have to pull that out and chuck it in the bag. Normally I carry 2 100oz camlbak's in the pack, might have to see about adding a 3rd.

    I'm one of those visually stressed guys and wear contacts/glasses, but unless I'm out and about would not wear contacts to a fire call. Might put in a spair pair of glasses and enough crap to remove them if I'm on the road and have to respond in.

    Will have to try that with the gloves, I've got a couple of pairs of issue heavy leather gloves with straps on the back.

    I'm also one of the wackos that enjoy MRE's hot or cold, plain or with extra spices Every now and again have one just for the fun of it

    Got in the habit of packing all my snivvel gear (extra clothes/body wash items and such) in baggies after living through a typhoon in Okinawa. ended up wearing wet clothes for 3 more days (ICK!!!) I've always used corn starch as a powder, might just have to try some gold bond though. Will pre pack 1 or 2 changes of clothes.

    Hummmmm I've gotten away from wearing skivvies out in the wild. Seems they trap everything nasty and cause more problems than they are worth. Just dump a healthy serving of corn starch and presto, fresh fruit and nuts (ROTFLMAO)

    Don't like boot laces, I've been using para cord and cut it extra long so if I need some cordage I've got a extra 3 or 4 feet on each boot. Get some strange looks having all the extra wraped around the top, but when it is needes seems everybody wants some!!

    Couple last question.......Anybody pack or carry a knife????? Fixed blade or pocket?????? To me that would be a must have piece of kit.

    How do Danner boots stack up??? I've got a couple of pair and for hard military use they rock, but don't know about the heat of a fire.

    Heck, you guys have been a excellent source of info My hat's off to you and 1st beer is on me

  7. #7
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Yakima, WA
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Donít always worry about that water thing, Iíve not had it happen to me yet but there are some things that they are quick to get to you food and water.
    Chute cord was one thing I forgot to mention, 25-50í is a lot but doesnít take up much room and itís lightweight.
    I carry a SOG power pliers Phillips (+), standard flat (-) and Robertson (Square head) bits all in one tool. And you have a mechanical advantage with the pliers, and SOG Rescue Knife Serrated blade. Thatís plenty of metal for me to carry if you need something bigger use a pulaski or combi to cut what ever it is your cutting.

    Well Iím not sure what to tell you about the Dannerís Iím A Whites man myself, 10Ē Smokejumpers. It depends on your foot shape, what boot is good for you but what I will tell you is the larger or taller heals in the whites is far more comfortable working on the steeper slopes. They help reduce the strain on your calves. When going up hill, and pretty aggressive when crossing slopes. I do notice a difference with 8Ē and 10Ē boots, the 10Ē are more comfortable for me.

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    In the woods
    Posts
    233

    Default

    A good idea might be to hit up a fire cache at a fire camp and see what they have if you need a new space blanket sometimes they have those. Also Nylon packs I dont really know of any pack company that uses it. CDF in calif has been doing some testing on some packs and yes the nylon will burn. Something else to think about is your fire shelter, on the "fire packs" they have a spot for them. Yes there is a new shelter that is coming out, it might even be out this year in 9 days they will say who gets the contract and what one they are going to use, this will add a little size to the shelter but like only 2 pounds or less.

    For what you said about the water, I would carry some water in a smoke jumper style canteen or a military style canteen this is good because I have had the bags pop or the tub break and most of my water was lost. you can get bags to attach them with alice clips, *carry like 2 extra, they always break*

    The leather laces work best, I have talked with all of the boot guys and they all recommed staying away from everything else. Also a good grease for your boots is Obenauf's LP keep an small thing of it in the fire engine or your crew transport.
    Parra cord, well I would use leather laces, if you step in a burn out stump or so it will burn very fast.

    But keep some nylon in your pack as well. In the sig pouch (area that holds oil and gas) I keep like 15 feet, its good for making forts to keep the water off or sun off.

    Longest time with out a shower was 7 days we were on a fire in Idaho. But when you know your going out for a few days always take an extra pair of socks, shirt, boxers. On that note, some of us use a machine that seals the bags and makes it smaller, always keep anything you want to stay extra dry in a bag that you can close or rip open when you need it. You never know when a helo or plane will miss its mark and hit you.

    For the boots, I have seen danner boots used on the fire line but I would say get a pair of whites or nicks or drew's boots you will enjoy those more in the long run. Its kind of like wearing basketball shoes on a golf course you can do it, but if you have the ones that are ment for it you will be better off.

    yeah and the MRE's I like the new ones in the light tan pouch only down fall is not enough tabasco sauce. I know one guy that would carry a large bottle in his fire pack. It was great for when we got fresh eggs (green) or fresh hashbrowns (under cooked) flown into us.

    As you get on more wildland fires you will see what you need, and if you need help with anything else email me, smkjump@hotmail.com

    http://www.firecache.com/ also has some good gear

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    RxFire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    301

    Post

    Shrike, if you are going to be living off your back, space is a premium in your line gear. As for food, MRE's are good, but very bulky... highgrade out what you will use and trash the rest, and put it all back in the large bag and reseal with some tape. I like to have a few of the energy bars (powerbar, clif bar, etc.) in my gear. They pack a pretty healthy punch in a small packet. I recommend getting ones that will hold up to heat better, i.e. peanut butter fudge may be tasty, but when you are looking for a quick snack, who wants to mess with the melted bar?

    I didn't see anyone mention flagging and a sharpie.... This way you can write on the flagging. This is best carried in your radio bra or other handy location.

    As for the boots... If the Danners can take the abuse, I guess they will work fine, but the Whites/Nicks/Wesco, etc. may go last longer in the end. Take care of your feet if you are going to be out... they will make or break you in this job.

    As for your personal gear... a book or two or 3 even. Spent more time on standby a few years back there in Rawlins, then I ever saw fire.

    As for contact lenses... I have worn mine on fire with no problems for years. I do like the disposable ones... easy to pack extra and not hard on the pocket book. Some guys I have worked with have said they can tolerate smoke BETTER with contacts than without.

    Keep asking questions if you have any... we are all here to learn and share.

    Remember LCES and your 10 and 18 will be pretty much covered.
    Last edited by RxFire; 02-26-2002 at 03:33 AM.
    IACOJ
    Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!
    http://www.wy.blm.gov/fireuse/fums.htm

  10. #10
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Yakima, WA
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Very true about the Sharpee and flagging tape.
    I carry at one in my radio bra along with a pad and ballpoint pen.
    Lets also not forget a orienteering style compass with sighting mirror, very useful tool and should not go anywhere in the woods without one. Also think about bing map of area. A zip-lock back is good idea to protect it from moisture.

    A great use for a Sharpie: medical emergency.
    I used one my first summer on the hand crew kept one in my medical pack. A crewmember was stung by a bee and was allergic to them he started anaphylactic shock. We were 3 miles from the nearest road.... Anyway the pen was great for writing a medical history on his arm looked like a bunch of tattooís but served very useful for the ambulance and hospital staff of time of injection, vitals, time of transfer to ambulance... Granted his arm had a bunch of permanent ink but heís alive with a well-documented Hx.

    Also back to my nylon statement. I was a little too general but if you look at a lot of packs including the FSS model they are made of Cordurra and or Ballistic Nylon both are in the Nylon Family.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register