Equipment and tips
Much of this list is optional or should be based on your personal preferences, but you should have the ten essentials. For rescue, you’ll need a couple of additional items, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) like a helmet, safety glasses, and gloves. Feel free to include other items you need for yourself personally, like portable cell chargers, but keep in mind you’ll be carrying it everywhere and the weight adds up fast. If you are looking for a backpack, 45 liters is a reasonable place to start. They all fit differently so get fitted and try a bunch on with weight in it at someplace like REI.
Keep in mind you don’t need to get everything at once. Build small and slow with what you need. Put what you need to keep dry, like socks, in a ziplock or some similar protective bag. Ziplocs are also great for grouping like items such as food. It’s helpful to line your backpack with a garbage bag to keep the contents a bit more dry.
The links listed here are only examples so you get a chance to see what we are talking about. They are not the exact item we suggest/require. Amazon links have an affiliate code in them so some of the money comes back to us, but feel free to search on your own without it.
Everything else is optional and some is more optional than others. Go hiking/traveling with it and see what works for you and what doesn’t.
If you have questions, ask a senior team member. We’re happy to help and all of us have made mistakes we’d love to help you avoid.
Required is denoted with an *.
Required and Recommended Gear
Helmet* – when handling large animals and when technical rescue is going on Example: Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet (REI)
Emergency Worker Badge* – Provided on completion of training
Shirt* – Green or black WASART logo shirt, extra shirt or thermal layer suggested for your backpack
Jacket* – Waterproof and layering recommended. WASART yellow jacket preferred.
Rain pants Example: Rain Pants (REI)
Pants* – Non-cotton for field response. Cotton is okay for sheltering work. Example: hiking pants from REI.
Hiking boots* – Waterproof suggested
Shoe spikes for winter, Katoolas work great on icy trails
Extra socks* – Synthetic or wool, no cotton, at least one extra pair (dry socks are magic, people)
Food* – 24 Hour supply of shelf stable food you like to eat, like energy bars, dried fruit, nuts, etc.
Water* – 2 quarts or more. Recommended: Filter or purifying tablets, filter preferred. Info on filters.
First Aid Kit* for personal use Example: First Aid Kit (REI) or build your own
Personal Medication* like insulin or allergy medication
Headlamp, extra batteries* Example: Black Diamond Cosmo Headlamp (REI)
Lighter or waterproof matches*
Whistle* – Check your backpack’s straps. They are sometimes built into the buckles.
Complete change of clothes to replace wet, dirty, contaminated gear. You should have spares in your bag, but it’s also good to keep a change of very comfortable clothes in your car for when you are muddy and wet and on your way home.
Compass and navigation tools (Okay, you should know how to use these if you are going up a trail. This is a good one to talk to a senior member about.)
Flagging tape (also in the van/trailer)
Ear plugs (Good for sheltering assignments)
Emergency Space Blanket/Bag* Example: Reflecting emergency blanket (amazon.com)
Glow sticks (very, very optional)
Knife* – sheath or folding
Rite in Rain Notebook – pocket size, check with the person you buy your WASART shirts from – they sell them. Rite in the Rain Weatherproof Notebook (amazon.com)
Hand sanitizer (also good for starting fires)
Hand warmer packs
Toilet paper / Feminine products
Sites worth checking
We also get deals from some manufacturers. Check with one of the senior members for info on signing up.