"Step By Step" Training

Camping Gear

This page has been set up to share photos & video relating to the "Camping Gear" chapter of "Step By Step, A Tree Planter's Handbook." Visit www.replant.ca/books to see books about tree planting.

Bama socks can be quite comfortable to use as liners inside a work boot.

Nitrile inner gloves can be quite useful underneath standard work gloves, in several situations: to avoid chemical exposure to pesticides, to keep your fingers warmer on especially cold days, or just to keep your hands cleaner.

Nitridex and nitrile sound similar, but they are completely different types of gloves. Nitridex are used as an outer glove on top of nitrile gloves in cold weather (or by planters who want to minimize exposure to pesticides), or as a sole glove for normal planting work.

Blue vikings are a popular caulked boot in many areas. A non-caulked version is also available. These boots are not too expensive, although a lot of planters tend to rip holes in the sides.

For those who wear caulked boots, a caulk wrench is an important tool to enable you to put on sharp new caulks when your existing spikes start to get dull.

This photo shows some of the clothing that a coastal planter is trying to organize.

A day bag comes out to the block with you. You can use it to carry your lunch, spare gloves and clothing, insect repellent, antihistamines, your tally book, sunscreen, and any other relevant items.

It's good to carry a small Tupperware container in your day-bag, to keep some items organized and dry (medicines, tally book, fingernail clippers, etc.).

In some parts of the country (especially northern Ontario, or far northern BC or Alberta), many planters would go crazy without using insect repellents on a regular basis.

A dry bag is a good type of pack to bring out to the block with you, as it is waterproof. This keeps your lunch and backup clothing and other items dry on a rainy day. The planter doesn't wear it while planting. This planter is merely walking in to her cache.

A duffle bag is a good option for packing your gear when travelling between camps and contracts.

Hockey bags are also popular for travelling (although a backpack will force you to be more economical in what you bring with you, and is easier to carry around).

Here is some planter's gear, sitting at a cache. Planters should make sure that gear is never left on the ground where a truck could run over it. Drivers should always do a walk-around before moving a vehicle, to ensure that they aren't about to drive over someone's gear (or a sleeping planter).

Any inexpensive hand cream (especially one containing Vitamin E) help keep the skin on your hands from becoming dry and cracked. Mind you, this is much less of an issue for planters that [wisely] plant with gloves.

A battery-powered lantern can be useful in a tent at night.

Proper rain gear is essential on a cold, wet day. It may cost you quite a bit, but do you want to lose a couple hundred dollars worth of earnings because you felt miserable and skipped a day of work? It is important to try to stay comfortable (and warm) on the block.

Lower back pain is a problem that many planters deal with, especially at the start of a season. During cold weather, your back muscles may "clench up" which can make your back even more sore than usual.

Some effective solutions to minimizing lower back pain are to adjust your straps (tighten the waist belt) so your hips and legs take more of the weight of your bags, or to take smaller amounts of trees with each bagup.

Mountaineering boots are pretty expensive, high-end boots, designed to take extreme punishment. They are often a prohibitively expensive investment for a first-year planter.

A sun hat is a great idea for keeping the sun off your head, and reducing the risk of heat exhaustion.

You can never drink too much water. Using an old milk jug is a great way to save money, rather than paying for an expensive insulated water jug.

Matt knows that it's healthy to drink lots of water, and baller that he is, has invested in an insulated water jug.

Molly is on a budget, but she also knows that it's healthy to drink lots of water.

Wool socks, worn over the top of polypro socks, can make your feet a lot more comfortable.

Here's a standard type of work boot, which some planters prefer. It may be useful to have a pair of rainboots as a backup for swampy ground or rainy days.

Hiking boots are comfortable to wear for casual work around camp, or for trips into town. In some rare cases, on blocks that are quite clean (of slash) and dry, planters find that hiking boots are light and easy to plant in. A drawback of a light hiking boot such as this one is that there is no ankle support, so it would be very easy for a worker to twist or sprain their ankle.

Duct tape comes in handy in all kinds of situations. Also, these coloured rolls are available at Home Hardware.

The wool henley sweater (made by Stanfield's) is a top choice when it comes to outdoor forestry wear.

On those chilly nights in early May, there's no better feeling than crawling into a warm sleeping bag at the end of a hard day. Buy one with a rating down to -20oC if you can find one. Don't skimp on a good sleeping bag, because your comfort on a cold night is of huge importance. Pro tip: Scour the thrift shops over the winter and buy TWO used bags, for probably a fraction of the price of a single new one. Layering two bags will do a better job of keeping you warm, and once night-time temperatures are better later in the summer, the second bag makes for better padding underneath you while you're sleeping.

Click here to see a page listing books related to reforestation in Canada. If you received a photocopied version of this book from your planting company, or you're a trainer at a Canadian planting company, click on this link for more information.