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Safety Tools

Part Two of an illustrated compendium of trail tools by Jim Schmid

-- download a printable version in Word: text and cover

First Aid Kit: A standard first aid kit should contain the basic components to handle minor incidents (blisters, splinters, small cuts, etc.) that may occur during a workday.

first aid kit

Gloves: Work gloves are necessary to protect the hands from blisters, thorny brush, poison oak or ivy, or any other minor scratches associated with trail work. Also help with gripping tools.


Safety Glasses: Glasses should be worn when working with picks in rock or hardened material, or anywhere flying debris is present. Also required when using power tools.

safety glasses

Hard Hat: Protective headgear (hard hats) are used where there is a danger of falling debris from above the work area (tree canopy or falling rocks), or where one crew may be working above another, such as near a switchback.


Two-way Radio: In remote backcountry areas, a two-way radio or cell phone may be required in case of emergency. Radios should be assigned to crew leaders or agency personnel as determined by the number of crews, remoteness of the work site, and accessibility to emergency facilities.


Footwear: Sturdy shoes or boots are preferred due to the rugged terrain associated with trail work. They are necessary to protect the feet from glancing tools, and provide good footing when working.


Water: All workers should carry adequate water supplies, and crew leaders should carry extra water. Workers should minimize or stop work if there is not an adequate supply of drinking water at the worksite.


Protective Creams: Creams can be used as a pre- or post- treatment for poison oak or ivy exposure. Other creams are insect repellents and sunblocks.


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