Year-round and usually without the recognition of the general public, wildland firefighters are faced with the difficult tasks of preventing and suppressing wildfires. If you have a wildland firefighter in your family and would like to recognize their dedication and selflessness over the holidays, on their birthday, or just because, you can do so with a gift.
The best gifts for wildland firefighters are those that help them to be effective, efficient, and comfortable while working. Gifts they can utilize while on the job to provide safety, convenience, or relaxation are usually a hit.
If you’re still undecided on what to buy your wildland firefighter, you should think about what their needs are and if they’ve mentioned any items they would like to receive. Here’s some advice on how to choose a gift for your firefighter friend or family member.
Your # 1 priority is keeping your family safe. As a firefighter, I recommend everyone has updated smoke detectors that don’t require battery changes, like these ones from Kidde, a fire extinguisher, like this one from Amerex, and a fire escape ladder if you have bedrooms above the first floor, I recommend this one from Hausse.
Also read: The 10 Best Firefighter Radio Straps
Choosing a Gift
Before you make a purchase decision, you need to think about the wildland firefighter in your life. Who are they? What do they enjoy? Have they mentioned anything they want or need? How can you make their life easier or better with a simple gift?
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to get them an item that they can use while on the job or an item they can use while at home or with friends and family. Here are some thoughts you should consider:
Gifts for the Job
Every time your wildland firefighter comes home from a shift or deployment, they probably make mention of what they did and how they did it. After months or years of these conversations, you likely know about most of the tools or items your loved one uses on a daily basis or requires in case of a greater emergency.
You might not physically be able to put out a wildfire on your own, but you know a lot about the job because of these conversations.
You should be taking note of the items or tools they mention frequently or the items they currently have that are experiencing gradual wear and tear. For example, they might mention that the outsoles of their boots are fading away or that their pocket knife is slowly becoming duller. These would be great ideas because you know they would use the gift.
Gifts for Off-Duty
If your wildland firefighter has the best of the best equipment or would rather purchase tools and equipment on their own, don’t fret just yet. Your loved one is a wildland firefighter, but there’s a good chance it already takes up enough of their life. They might not want a work-related item to remind them of how much work already consumes their time.
There are plenty of gifts related to being a firefighter that can be used during leisure time with friends and family. You know how much your loved one enjoys their job, and you might just want to recognize them for their bravery and commitment.
Whether you’re purchasing a movie, tumbler or mug, or a T-shirt, they’ll appreciate the thought and effort you made when selecting their gift.
When deciding the best gifts for a wildland firefighter, I used the criteria above (on the job vs. at home). I considered the questions of, “What do wildland firefighters need while on the job?” and, “What would a wildland firefighter want when they’re off the clock?”
The rankings are based on practicality and the likelihood that a firefighter would want it as a gift.
For the most part, any item that can be used both on and off the clock ranked much higher than other items that are on the list. Additionally, I also considered recent user reviews, as well as my personal experience as a firefighter, to provide you with a list of the highest-quality products for the wildland firefighter in your life.
Here are my top 14 choices for the best gifts for wildland firefighters.
The G-SHOCK Analog-Digital Mudmaster Twin Sensor watch isn’t just a great watch for everyday use. It’s also an incredibly durable tool that your wildland firefighter can use while out on the truck or in the wilderness. The greatest thing about this watch is the brand, G-SHOCK, which is known for producing high-quality watches that can withstand any environment.
Like every G-SHOCK watch, this model is shock-resistant, meaning it can handle any bump, scrape, or vibration that a wildland firefighter may encounter while on the job. It’s also water-resistant up to 200 meters, so whether your loved one is putting out a forest fire or jumping in the pool on their time off, they don’t have to worry about taking off their watch.
Regardless of whether your loved one prefers to use digital or analog watches, this model allows them to view both modes at the same time. They can also easily switch between 31 different time zones, adjust for daylight savings time, and illuminate the face of the watch when they’re in the dark.
The practicality of this gift is immense, especially because it’s likely that your wildland firefighter already wears a watch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And this is the best firefighter watch I have found.
For more firefighter watch recommendations, read: The Best Firefighter Watches
If your wildland firefighter’s work boots are slowly wearing away or have begun causing them pain or discomfort, then purchasing a pair of high-quality wildland firefighter boots is an obvious solution for a gift no matter the occasion.
When you’re looking for quality wildland firefighter boots, your first choice should be Danner. The Wildland Tactical 8″ boot was built specifically for wildland firefighters and meets the NFPA 1977 Standard for protective gear for wildland firefighters.
What makes these boots great are the breathable, moisture-wicking with a cushioning open-cell OrthoLite footbed. These boots are very comfortable, which is essential for a wildland firefighter boot and they don’t take as long to break in as many other types of popular boots.
No matter what environment or weather the wilderness brings, you can guarantee that your firefighter’s feet will be protected and their boots will withstand any physical trauma they encounter on the job.
When the weather is poor and the rain’s coming down quickly, the slip-resistant outsole will allow your firefighter to grip almost any surface without their firefighting performance suffering. These are by far some of the safest wildland firefighter boots around.
For wildland firefighters, keeping your feet happy is one of the most important things to ensure you can do your job well. Buying these boots for them is your way to keep them happy while they are working.
For more information about firefighter boots, read: The Best Firefighter Station Boots
This military-style tactical duffel bag is a remarkably durable bag that can handle any situation your firefighter finds themselves in. Since it’s designed by firefighters, you know it’ll be a terrific tool for a wildland firefighter.
The bag is made of high-quality spec 1000D Cordura and also has a “High-Visibility Blaze Orange” high-density 400D packcloth lining which makes it easy to find stuff in your bag, even in low light. If your firefighter’s bag is left outdoors during a storm or a flood, there shouldn’t be a concern about the destruction of the items inside.
This bag has 1 large main compartment, 3 small side pockets, and 1 large side pocket. It has US-made hardware and can be used as a duffel bag or a backpack.
There are at least 5 design options for this particular bag that include a range of solid colors as well as digital camo patterns. With that said, you can pick a color and design that best fits your wildland firefighter’s personality.
One of the most practical gifts you can buy for your wildland firefighter is a multi-use pocket knife. This is ideal for firefighters both on and off the clock, as they can use it basically whenever.
Measuring 8.5-inches opened (less than 5 inches closed), your firefighter can use the unique features of the knife to slice seatbelts to free trapped vehicle occupants, break glass to gain entry to a vehicle, or repair/adjust deteriorating equipment. When they’re not on a shift, they can use the knife for family camping trips or while fishing with their buddies, or even for jobs around the house.
This knife has a spring-assisted stainless steel blade that can be opened easily with one hand. The handle is anodized aluminum to keep it lightweight and strong. There is a locking mechanism to keep the knife from closing during use. It also has a pocket clip for easy carrying while working.
As a loved one to a firefighter, you know how important relationships are to them, especially their crew members. Firefighting (in general) is a career field designed around the concepts of loyalty, respect, and teamwork.
The “thin red line” has become a heartfelt symbol used to memorialize firefighters lost or injured in the line of duty. The thin red line is usually incorporated into flags and flag designs as one of the stripes directly below the stars.
By getting your wildland firefighter a thin red line T-shirt, you’ll be recognizing the commitment they make to protecting society while also allowing them the opportunity to demonstrate their respect for fallen firefighters.
This particular T-shirt sports a grey American flag with the red line design replacing one of the stripes, but the shirt also includes a red forest design attached below the line to signify the wildland firefighters lost.
The front of the shirt displays a sleek and grey wildland firefighter logo on the upper left chest region. Whether they’re on or off the clock, you can’t go wrong with a piece of clothing that also provides significant meaning to them.
Recycled firefighter is a company run by a firefighter from Kentucky who uses old (recycled) fire hose to make wallets and other gear.
The Captain is a traditional bifold style wallet, but it has the toughness and durability of fire hose. It is designed to sit flatter in your pocket and be much more comfortable. It can hold about 20 cards and 15 bills.
These wallets are 100% US-made and are 4 inches wide by 5 inches tall.
The Snagger tool is unlike anything else. This is a creative multi-use tool made by a company called Motis Fire Rescue.
What really makes this tool different than any other is the hose management feature. This tool creates a handle that can “grab” or “bite” onto different sizes of charged firefighter hose. This makes it easier and more ergonomic to control and move charged hose-line.
Every firefighter knows how much work this can be and this tool can make the job easier and conserve energy for days and weeks of hard work.
Here is a video that better shows how the Snagger tool works:
This tool also functions as a hose spanner wrench, gas shutoff, and window breaker/windshield cutter. All this and the tool only weighs 10 ounces. I recommend this tool for all types of firefighters.
For more firefighter tool recommendations, read: The Best Firefighter Personal Tools
This is another one from Recycled Firefighter. This bag is made from real, recycled fire hose, so you know it can handle a lot of abuse.
This 7-inch by 12-inch bag is designed to be used as a tool or toiletry bag. It has 4 interior pockets and is made in the USA.
This bag is great for wildland firefighters as they need to carry enough personal supplies for two weeks or more when on a deployment. They could also use it to carry all their personal tools while working or at home.
In continuing with the theme of the thin red line, this travel tumbler is a great travel and work tool that also demonstrates support for fallen and injured firefighters.
The most impressive feature of this tumbler is its vacuum insulated construction, which is designed to keep beverages hot for up to 8 hours and cold for up to 24 hours. This is exceptional for keeping water cold in the summer when your firefighter spends hours a day in the blistering heat and perfect for keeping coffee hot in the winter when temperatures drop below zero.
Another great feature of this tumbler is its portability. Because of its enclosed lid and handheld design, your wildland firefighter can use it while on a walk with the family, driving to the local fire station, or even out fighting fires.
If your firefighter takes their health extremely seriously, they’ll appreciate the fact that this tumbler is BPA-free. As a lover of the natural environment, your loved one will also enjoy the fact that this tumbler is reusable and environmentally-friendly.
These ESS wildland fire goggles are a highly versatile piece of equipment that’ll assist your wildland firefighter while they’re in the midst of fire season. Like any high-quality piece of firefighting gear, this pair of goggles is compliant with OSHA and NFPA safety standards.
This means you can guarantee your firefighter will be protected while out fighting fires.
These fire goggles are heat-resistant, which is an obvious feature that you would look for in fire goggles, but they’re also capable of preventing the build-up of fog inside the goggles. This will help assist with vision and will prevent your firefighter from having to remove their goggles while on an important job to clear the fog.
The high quality of these fire goggles prevents smoke from seeping into the goggles while they worn, which will ultimately allow for a greater field of vision and eye protection. The goggles are also very comfortable to wear as a result of their foam lining and comfortable fire-resistant head strap.
These are, without a doubt, some of the safest wildland fire goggles available on the market today.
When it comes to entertainment (movies and television shows), there are very few options related to wildland firefighters in particular. We’ve all seen firefighter movies, but they never seem to show the unseen struggles of wildland firefighters.
Wildland: Special Edition is an incredible first-hand look at what goes into being a wildland firefighter during the midst of fire season. Along the way, the movie documents the personal struggles of being a wildland firefighter and the effects these struggles have on concepts like loyalty and fear.
Over the course of the documentary-like film, viewers are exposed to the firefighter selection process, the physical environment wildland firefighters protect on a daily basis, and the brave people sacrificing their lives for the greater good of society.
Though your wildland firefighter will appreciate the movie and exposure it brings to wildland firefighters, as a loved one, you should consider viewing the film as well. It’ll allow you to visualize what your firefighter experiences while on the job and the hidden personal struggles they may encounter throughout their career.
For more great movies about firefighters, read: The 11 Best Firefighter Documentaries
This 14 in 1 stainless steel multitool is, by far, the most versatile tool on this list. Whether your wildland firefighter is in the wilderness fighting a forest fire, camping with friends at the local park, or at your home doing some work around the house, there are a million ways this tool can be used effectively.
Of the 14 tools included in this item are a knife, pliers, screwdriver, wire cutter, scissors, a wire stripper, a package opener, bottle and can openers, a file, and a ruler. Given the wide range of tools, the possibilities are almost endless.
Not only can this tool be used for almost any task you can imagine, but it’s also extremely durable. It even comes with a 25-year warranty.
This 16-ounce pint beer glass and coaster are an awesome gift for your wildland firefighter when they’re celebrating their much-deserved time off. If you were wondering, the glass itself is both microwave and dishwasher safe, so you can use it for almost any purpose you can think of.
The front of this glass and the added leather coaster depict an engraved firefighter logo while the back has three phrases at three different levels: “Good Day,” “Bad Day,” and “Don’t Even Ask.” Not only is this glass highly practical, but it also has a humorous touch to its design.
This U.S. flag thin red line patch is the perfect gift for a firefighter that’s proud of their career and would like to honor fallen firefighters. Measuring 3.5” x 2.25” inches, this patch can be added to a backpack, duffel bag, uniform, hat, or any other piece of clothing.
What makes this item unique is the fact that you can apply it to any material in two different ways. Like any other patch, you can iron the patch directly onto the clothing to become a permanent fixture on that particular clothing item.
If your wildland firefighter would rather have a removable patch or the ability to transfer the patch to other pieces of clothing, this patch also comes with a Velcro backing. What that means is you can attach Velcro to the desired piece of clothing and remove the patch as you please.
With the inclusion of Velcro, your firefighter can rearrange their favorite patches or transfer their patches to new clothing or uniforms as they get them. This prevents you from having to purchase a new patch with each piece of clothing.
When the holiday season rolls around or your loved one’s birthday is slowly approaching, you’re going to want to get them a gift that they’ll really enjoy. As a wildland firefighter, your loved one is undoubtedly 100% committed to their job, and getting them a gift they can use while on the job or at home is an excellent idea. I hope this article provided you with some ideas that will make your firefighter friend or family member happy.