When you’re out on a fourteen day roll supplies can get scarce. The situation is only more dire if you happened to be spiked out away from Incident Command.
There are a few small essentials we make sure to bring with us to help us get through those long rolls. We find a couple creature comforts go a long way.
Here are our must-haves, in order of importance.
1. Merino Wool Boot Socks
Keep your feet cool and comfortable
These Darn Tough Merino wool boot socks helps keep your feet cool and cushioned.
After your boots, your socks are the second most important item you’ll need to get as a wildland firefighter. We like these Darn Tough boot socks because they’re 66% Merino wool. Merino is naturally moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, and odor resistant.
These socks are a longer ‘boot’ size that covers your leg up to just below the calf. They’re thick enough to provide excellent cushioning, and thin enough to keep your feet cool and dry.
2. Sock liners
Another layer of protection
The Bridgedale Ultralight Sock Liners are a second line of defense against heat and moisture.
Sock liners provide another layer of protection against moisture and odor. By using the liners in tandem with the socks you’re creating a wicking machine around your foot.
An added bonus is that when they inevitably get dirty on day ten or so you can set them aside and still have a relatively fresh pair of socks.
3. Jet boil
Coffee on the go
Every firefighter needs fresh brewed bean
Sure, there’s usually coffee at camp–and we’ll drink it, if there’s no alternative available. But, given a choice, we prefer to brew our own bean rather than drink watered down camp coffee.
Plus, there’s always those times you’re on night ops or spiked out and camp coffee isn’t an option. In times like those a jet boil and a french press are a lifesaver.
4. Merino wool underwear
Stay cool, dry, and looking fly
These boxer briefs will keep your under carriage cool and dry.
As we noted with the socks, merino wool is naturally moisture wicking and odor resistant. This makes it the perfect undergarment material. The reality is that you’re bound to sweat under your greens, so getting moisture wicking, fast drying underwear is imperative. Because you do not want to be chafing when you hike off the line at the end of the day.
5. Dude wipes
The one thing you never leave base without
A man’s best friend on the line.
We go through more wet wipes in a single season than a young Mormon family. Good for not only keeping the exit clean and dry, but as a makeshift shower when you’re spiked out or the shower trailer hasn’t showed up to IC yet.
These particular wipes are 25% larger than other butt wipes so you’re less likely to suffer from slippage. They contain aloe and vitamin E to leave your backside better than it was before. They’re also 100% biodegradable so you don’t have to worry about burying them in the forest. Oh, and please make sure you do bury it–and not in the black.