Essential Items To Include In A Wildland Fire Pack: Be Prepared For Any Situation

what to put in a wildland fire pack

When it comes to fighting wildfires, being prepared is essential. Wildland firefighters face unpredictable situations, extreme weather conditions, and fast-moving flames on a daily basis. To ensure their safety and effectiveness, they rely on a well-equipped fire pack filled with essential items. From protective gear to communication tools, these packs are a lifeline for firefighters battling the elements. In this article, we will explore the must-have items that every wildland fire pack should include, so that firefighters can be prepared for any situation that comes their way.

Characteristics Values
Fire Shelter Yes
Fire Gloves Yes
Fire Helmet Yes
Fire Boots Yes
Fire Pants Yes
Fire Jacket Yes
Fire Goggles Yes
Fire Whistle Yes
Fire Tool Yes
Water Bottle Yes
Snacks Yes
First Aid Kit Yes


What are the essential items that should be included in a wildland fire pack?

Source: True North Gear

A wildland fire pack is an essential piece of equipment for firefighters battling wildfires. These packs contain everything a firefighter needs to stay safe and effective in the field. There are several items that should be included in a wildland fire pack to ensure the safety and well-being of the firefighter.

One of the most important items in a wildland fire pack is personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes a fire-resistant shirt and pants, leather boots, a helmet with a face shield, and gloves. PPE is crucial for protecting the firefighter from burns and other injuries while working in close proximity to the fire. It is essential that the PPE is made of fire-resistant materials and fits properly to provide maximum protection.

In addition to PPE, a wildland fire pack should also contain a fire shelter. A fire shelter is a last resort safety measure that firefighters can use if they become trapped by the fire. The shelter is made of heat-resistant material and can provide temporary protection from flames and heat. Firefighters should be trained in how to properly deploy and use a fire shelter in an emergency situation.

Another important item in a wildland fire pack is a water bottle or hydration bladder. Staying hydrated is crucial when working in hot and physically demanding conditions. Wildland firefighters often work long hours in extreme heat, and dehydration can lead to serious health problems. Having access to water at all times is essential for maintaining hydration and preventing heat-related illnesses.

A wildland fire pack should also contain a first aid kit. Injuries can occur while fighting wildfires, such as cuts, burns, and sprains. Having a well-stocked first aid kit can help firefighters treat minor injuries on the spot and prevent further complications. The first aid kit should include items such as bandages, antiseptic ointment, burn dressings, and pain relievers.

In addition to these items, a wildland fire pack should also include tools that are necessary for fire suppression. This may include a pulaski, which is a combination tool used for chopping and digging fireline, as well as a collapsible shovel and a lightweight hand tool. These tools are essential for creating firebreaks, cutting down brush, and digging trenches to contain the fire. Having the right tools can make a firefighter's job easier and more effective.

Furthermore, a wildland fire pack should also have a communication device such as a two-way radio. Communication is vital when working in a team, especially in a fast-paced and dangerous environment like fighting wildfires. Two-way radios allow firefighters to stay connected and coordinate their efforts efficiently. They can also be used to call for backup or assistance if needed.

In conclusion, a wildland fire pack should contain several essential items to ensure the safety and effectiveness of firefighters. These include personal protective equipment, a fire shelter, a water bottle or hydration bladder, a first aid kit, tools for fire suppression, and a communication device. Having these items readily available can help firefighters stay safe, hydrated, and equipped to battle wildfires effectively.


How do you decide which tools and equipment to prioritize in a wildland fire pack?

Source: The Last Mile - goTenna

When it comes to fighting wildfires, having the right tools and equipment can make all the difference. A wildland fire pack is an essential piece of gear for a firefighter, as it contains everything they need to effectively and safely combat a fire. But how do firefighters decide which tools and equipment to prioritize in their pack? Let's explore the factors that come into play.

  • Risk assessment: The first step in deciding which tools and equipment to prioritize is conducting a thorough risk assessment. This involves evaluating the terrain, weather conditions, and the size and behavior of the fire. For example, if the fire is burning in steep and rugged terrain, a firefighter may prioritize tools that help with stability, such as a fire shelter or hiking boots with good traction.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE): The safety of firefighters is of utmost importance, so personal protective equipment is always a top priority. This includes items such as a helmet, gloves, fire-resistant clothing, and boots. Firefighters will ensure that they have the necessary PPE to protect them from heat, flames, and falling debris.
  • Tools for fire suppression: The primary objective of a firefighter is to extinguish the fire. Therefore, tools for fire suppression are essential. This can include a fire hose, nozzle, and water supply, as well as various hand tools like shovels, axes, and pulaskis. Firefighters will prioritize tools that are reliable, efficient, and easy to handle.
  • Communication devices: Communication is crucial during firefighting operations, as it allows firefighters to coordinate their efforts and receive vital information. Tools such as radios, satellite phones, and handheld GPS devices are prioritized to ensure effective communication on the ground.
  • Medical supplies: Firefighters can often encounter injuries or medical emergencies while working in hazardous conditions. As a result, having medical supplies readily available is vital to provide immediate care. Items like first aid kits, emergency medication, and trauma supplies are prioritized to ensure the well-being of the team.
  • Equipment for fire containment: Firefighters may need tools and equipment to create fire breaks, establish control lines, or perform backburning operations. This can include items like drip torches, chainsaws, water pumps, and portable water containers. The prioritization of these tools depends on factors such as the type of vegetation, fire behavior, and the overall strategy being employed.
  • Environmental considerations: Firefighters must also consider the impact of their tools and equipment on the environment, especially in sensitive ecosystems. For example, in areas where there are endangered species or protected habitats, alternative tools may be prioritized to minimize damage or disturbance.

To further illustrate the prioritization process in a wildland fire pack, let's consider an example scenario. Imagine a wildfire burning in a remote, mountainous area with limited access. In this case, the firefighter may prioritize tools that allow them to access the fire, such as a chainsaw to clear fallen trees or a portable water pump for distant water sources. They may also prioritize lightweight and easily transportable equipment due to the terrain's challenges.

In conclusion, deciding which tools and equipment to prioritize in a wildland fire pack requires a careful assessment of various factors, including risk, personal safety, fire suppression needs, communication, medical care, fire containment, and environmental considerations. By considering these factors, firefighters can ensure they have the necessary tools to effectively battle wildfires while ensuring their safety and minimizing environmental impact.


Are there any specific clothing or personal protective equipment (PPE) items that should be included in a wildland fire pack?

Source: North Ridge Fire Equipment

A wildland fire pack, also known as a fire pack or line pack, is a critical piece of equipment for wildland firefighters. It serves as a portable storage solution for essential tools, supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed during firefighting operations. When preparing a wildland fire pack, it is crucial to include clothing and PPE items that prioritize safety and comfort in the challenging and hazardous environment of a wildfire.

Clothing plays a crucial role in protecting wildland firefighters from heat, flames, and debris. Here are some specific clothing items that should be included in a wildland fire pack:

  • Fire-Resistant Shirt and Pants: Fire-resistant clothing made from materials such as Nomex or Kevlar is essential. These fabrics are designed to withstand heat and flames, providing a layer of protection against burns.
  • Sturdy Boots: Wildland firefighters should wear sturdy, ankle-high boots with deep, aggressive treads for traction. Boots must be made of fire-resistant materials to protect against hot ash and embers.
  • Fire-Resistant Gloves: Heat-resistant gloves made from materials like Nomex or leather are necessary to protect hands and forearms from burns, hot surfaces, and sharp objects. Gloves with a good grip facilitate better handling of tools and equipment.
  • Helmet: A helmet with a chin strap and full brim or visor is essential for head protection. It should be made of fire-resistant materials and designed to withstand impact from falling debris.
  • Goggles or Safety Glasses: Eye protection is critical to prevent eye injuries from flying debris, ashes, and smoke. Goggles with anti-fog and impact-resistant features are recommended for better visibility in hazardous conditions.
  • Fire-Resistant Neck Gaiter: A fire-resistant neck gaiter or face shield protects the neck, face, and airways from heat, smoke, and ash. It should be made of breathable fabric and fit securely to prevent debris from entering.
  • Fire-Resistant Bandana: A fire-resistant bandana can be wetted and worn around the neck or over the nose and mouth to provide additional protection against heat and smoke inhalation.
  • Fire-Resistant Jacket: A fire-resistant jacket or outer layer with a zip front and high collar offers additional protection against heat, flames, and embers. It should be made of fire-resistant materials and have reflective tape for visibility.

In addition to clothing, other essential PPE items to include in a wildland fire pack are:

  • Personal Fire Shelter: A fire shelter is a last-resort safety measure in case a firefighter is caught in a dangerous situation. It should be kept in a protective case within the pack and easily accessible in an emergency.
  • Radio: A portable two-way radio is crucial for communication with other team members, incident command, and emergency services. It should be fully charged and programmed with the appropriate frequencies.
  • Leather Work Gloves: Leather work gloves provide additional protection and durability for heavy-duty tasks such as handling tools, cutting vegetation, and moving debris.
  • Compass and Map: A compass and map are essential navigation tools to help firefighters orient themselves in unfamiliar terrain and locate their position in the field.
  • Multi-Tool: A multi-tool with various features, such as pliers, wire cutters, knives, screwdrivers, and a saw, can be useful in various firefighting tasks and emergency situations.
  • Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial during firefighting operations. A durable water bottle should be included in the pack to ensure access to clean drinking water at all times.
  • Snacks and Emergency Rations: Lightweight, high-energy snacks and emergency rations should be packed to provide sustenance during extended operations or in case of unforeseen circumstances.

When packing a wildland fire pack, it is important to consider the specific needs and requirements of the firefighting agency, the length and intensity of the operation, and the environmental conditions of the area. Regular maintenance and inspection of the pack are necessary to ensure all items are in good working condition and ready for use in any firefighting emergency.


Source: True North Gear

When it comes to fighting wildland fires, it is crucial to be prepared and have the right supplies and provisions in your fire pack. Extended assignments can last for several days or even weeks, making it even more important to have everything you need to stay safe and well-equipped. Here are some recommended supplies and provisions to have in your wildland fire pack for extended assignments:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): This includes fire-resistant clothing, such as a Nomex or Kevlar shirt and pants, as well as a helmet, goggles, gloves, and leather boots. PPE is essential for protecting yourself from heat, flames, and other hazards.
  • Communication Devices: It's crucial to have reliable communication devices to stay in touch with your crew and receive updates on the fire's progress. This can include a two-way radio, a satellite phone, or a cellphone with a backup battery or charger.
  • Fire Shelter: A fire shelter, also known as an emergency fire shelter, is a last-resort safety device that provides temporary protection in case of an entrapment. It should be stored in an easily accessible location within your pack.
  • Water and Hydration System: Staying hydrated is essential during extended fire assignments. Pack enough water to last for the duration of your assignment, along with a hydration bladder or water bottle to keep you hydrated while on the move.
  • Food and Snacks: Pack non-perishable food items that are high in energy and easy to consume on the go. Granola bars, trail mix, dried fruit, and jerky are all good options. Don't forget to pack enough food to sustain you for the length of your assignment.
  • First Aid Kit: A well-stocked first aid kit is a must-have in any fire pack. It should include bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, tweezers, and any necessary prescription medications. Familiarize yourself with the contents of your kit and know how to use them.
  • Tools: Depending on the tasks you'll be assigned, you may need various tools such as a Pulaski, a shovel, an axe, or a chainsaw. Make sure your tools are in good working condition and properly stored to prevent injury.
  • Personal Items: Don't forget to pack personal items such as toiletries, a spare change of clothes, extra socks, a sleeping bag, a tent or tarp for shelter, and a headlamp or flashlight with spare batteries. These items will help you stay comfortable and prepared for any situation.

It's important to note that the specific contents of your fire pack may vary depending on your agency's guidelines, the specific fire assignment, and personal preferences. It's always a good idea to consult with experienced firefighters or your crew leader to ensure you have all the necessary supplies for an extended fire assignment. Regularly check and update your pack to make sure everything is in good working condition and within its expiration date. Stay safe, stay prepared, and be ready to tackle any wildland fire assignment that comes your way.


Are there any special considerations or additional items to include in a wildland fire pack for specific roles, such as a crew boss or a firefighter working in a specific environment?

Source: LineGear Fire & Rescue Equipment

When it comes to fighting wildland fires, having a well-equipped pack is essential. However, the contents of a wildland fire pack can vary depending on the specific role and environment in which a firefighter is working. In this article, we will explore the special considerations and additional items that should be included in a wildland fire pack for specific roles, such as a crew boss or a firefighter working in a specific environment.

Crew Boss:

A crew boss is responsible for managing a team of firefighters and ensuring the overall success and safety of the crew. In addition to the basic essentials that all firefighters should have in their packs, a crew boss may need some additional items. These can include:

  • Maps and communication devices: A crew boss needs to have access to maps and communication devices to effectively coordinate with other crews and incident management personnel.
  • Incident management tools: This can include items like a clipboard, pens, and incident forms to record and communicate information about the fire.
  • Incident response plans: A crew boss should have a copy of the incident response plan for reference and to ensure that the crew is following the established protocols.

Firefighter working in a specific environment:

Depending on the specific environment in which a firefighter is working, there may be additional items that are necessary for their safety and success. Here are some examples:

  • Mountainous areas: Firefighters working in mountainous areas may need to include climbing gear, such as ropes and harnesses, in their packs. These items can be used to navigate steep terrain or assist in rescuing team members in difficult situations.
  • Desert environments: In desert environments, the risk of dehydration and sun exposure is high. Firefighters working in these areas should have additional water and electrolyte replenishment options, such as sports drinks or electrolyte powder, in their packs. They should also pack sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect themselves from the intense desert sun.
  • Forested areas: In densely forested areas, firefighters should consider including tools like chainsaws or hand saws in their packs. These tools can be used to create firebreaks or clear fallen trees that may obstruct their path.

Specialized roles:

Some firefighters may have specialized roles, such as smokejumpers or hotshots. These roles often require additional equipment and training. For example:

  • Smokejumpers: Smokejumpers are firefighters who are parachuted into remote areas to fight fires. In addition to the basic essentials, smokejumpers should have specialized parachuting gear, such as a parachute and reserve chute, in their packs.
  • Hotshots: Hotshots are highly trained crews that work in hazardous fire conditions. They may need additional tools and equipment, such as hand tools like Pulaskis and McLeods, in their packs to effectively manage and suppress fires.

In conclusion, the contents of a wildland fire pack can vary depending on the specific role and environment. Crew bosses may need maps, communication devices, and incident management tools. Firefighters working in specific environments, such as mountainous or desert areas, may require additional gear to navigate the terrain and protect themselves. Specialized roles, like smokejumpers or hotshots, may need gear or tools specific to their roles. It is crucial for firefighters to consider these special considerations and include the necessary additional items in their packs to ensure their safety, effectiveness, and success in fighting wildland fires.

Frequently asked questions

In your wildland fire pack, you should include essential items for your safety and survival during a wildland fire. These items may include a fire shelter, a lightweight fire-resistant coverall, a helmet, gloves, goggles, a first aid kit, a headlamp, a whistle, a compass, a map, a multi-tool, a water bottle or hydration pack, and high-energy non-perishable food items.

It is recommended to carry at least 2 liters (or half a gallon) of water in your wildland fire pack. Adequate hydration is crucial during a fire, as it can help you stay cool and maintain your physical and mental capabilities. Additionally, consider carrying a water filtration system or purification tablets in case you need to refill your water supply from a natural source.

While the primary responsibility of wildland firefighters is to create fire lines and suppress fires, carrying personal fire suppression tools in your pack can be beneficial. Items like a fire rake, a small shovel, or a pulaski can help you control spot fires or create fire breaks. However, it is essential to prioritize your safety and remember that your primary tool for survival in a fire is your fire shelter.

Yes, it is essential to have a communication device in your wildland fire pack. This device can be a two-way radio, a cell phone, or a satellite messenger. Having a means of communication allows you to stay in contact with your crew and call for help if needed. Remember to ensure your communication device is fully charged and protected from potential water or fire damage.

While the contents of your wildland fire pack should prioritize safety and survival, there are a few personal items you may consider including. These items might include extra socks, a lightweight rain jacket, insect repellent, sun protection (such as sunscreen and a hat), a change of underwear, spare batteries for your electronic devices, and any necessary prescription medications.

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