How to Pack Your Line Gear

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WHEN YOU’RE ON A FIRE LINE, everything that matters is on your back. You may be required to haul 70 lbs. in and out of a remote spot. How you pack is as important as what you pack. Proper pack fit is crucial—the waist belt should ride just above your beltline, with the hips bearing the majority of the load.

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For a stable, balanced pack:

  • Center heaviest items closest to your back
  • Organize gear in pouches
  • Distribute weight evenly side-to-side
  • Use pack’s stabilizer straps to pull weight into the hips
illustration of wildland firefighter pack contents

Gear to include in addition to mission-specific items:

  • Canteens
  • Headlamp & spare batteries
  • Compass Rain jacket & insulating layer
  • Watch cap or beanie
  • Gloves
  • First aid kit
  • Signal mirror
  • Space blanket/bivy sack/tarp
  • File for saw or tools
  • Flagging Eye & ear protection
  • Rations/snacks
  • Incident Response Pocket Guide


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