Essential Forest Ranger Equipment

Last Updated on June 12, 2023 by Real Men Sow

Working as a forest ranger can be hugely rewarding. You’ll spend a lot of your day outdoors, you’ll get plenty of physical exercises, and you’ll get the satisfaction of seeing the natural world grow and prosper around you. There are a few risks inherent in the work, however, which you’ll want to offset by investing in the right essential forest ranger equipment before you get started. Let’s take a look at a few of the most important items.


It should go without saying that rangers need to be able to cope with the weather, even at its most extreme. That means having a wardrobe that will keep you protected during all bouts of weather ranging from radiant sunshine to heavy snow blizzards. Your clothing should be breathable and robust. Generally speaking, it’s worth investing in premium-quality gear. Since you’ll be outdoors for most of your working year, you’ll suffer much greater wear and tear than any member of the public.

Of particular importance are your feet. If your shoes are a poor fit, then you’ll end up developing blisters, and suffering problems as you walk. Look for shoes that are robust, waterproof, and with enough grip to cope with muddy trails and forest paths.

What’s in the bag?

As a ranger, you’re going to spend most of your time carrying around your equipment in a quality backpack. The bag itself should be durable enough for every situation, with multiple compartments for different items. What should you stock your bag with, then?


A good penknife is essential. It’s something that you’ll spend a surprising amount of time with, and that you should know how to use. If you’re caught in the middle of nowhere and need to cut something, then a knife is critical – and it’s the sort of thing you can invest in just once and then use repeatedly. 

Spare clothes

It might be that you need to add layers or subtract them as the day goes on. Having spare clothes will allow you to do this easily. Hats and gloves are particularly small and useful.


You don’t want to be rubbing sticks together. Having a few firelighters in your pack can be critical. 

Food and water

Since you’re going to be walking a lot of miles, you’ll need a lot of calories. Pack food that won’t go bad, and a generous supply of water.

A torch

You’ll need to see where you’re going, especially at night. The torch on your phone won’t cut it; get something that’s more substantial.

Essential skills and training

Of course, to thrive as a range you’ll need not just the right gear, but the right constitution. You’ll need to be able to read a map, and you’ll need to be able to perform basic first-aid, too. Basic fitness and survival skills are also essential. While the job might provide an opportunity to develop these, having a base from which to work can be invaluable.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.