Holiday Guide for Woodland Lovers: Part I

Running a chainsaw is more fun when it works well and you are safe!

You would think holiday shopping would be easier for someone with obvious hobbies. My Dad spends a lot of time tinkering on cars, bird hunting, and sailing. All the really important things he gets for himself, so it can sometimes be challenging to think of something useful that he will get a kick out of. With my own struggles in mind I bring to you three posts on cool and useful gifts for the loved one in your life who owns, manages, or spends all their time out in the woods.

Disclaimer. As an educator, I cannot really recommend a specific brand or product. I suggest you go to your local farm or forestry supplies store, the people there are often very knowledgeable and helpful. There are also several reputable online forestry supplies stores, I have linked to a couple throughout this post.

I also encourage those of you who have a preference to a particular brand or article to comment below!

You will never go wrong with a large framed aerial photo of your loved one’s land, either historical or current. If you live in Oregon your local Oregon Department of Forestry office can get you going in the right direction. If you live outside of Oregon, I suggest starting with a Stewardship Forester or Extension Forester. Also, if the land in question abuts industrial land, chances are they have photography of your place.

Outdoors 101: Safety

Person with a chainsaw cutting wood

I don’t know why this is, but most folks who work out in the woods like to do it with really expensive trucks, chainsaws, and other equipment but lacking the appropriate safety gear.

The following are my favorite safety goods, and most are featured on the photo to the left.

1. First Aid Kit. One for the rig, one for the ATV, one for home.

2. Chainsaw chaps. They are bright orange and work by clogging the chain up with thin fibers. They also keep your pants (and legs) from getting thrashed by thorny shrubbery and keep you warm.

3. Chainsaw helmet. I like the kind with attached ear protection and full face protection (see photo on left). Keeps chips and slivers from flying into your face (and eyes) not to mention a chainsaw, should you have a kick back incident.

4. A new chain. Chainsaws cut better and you have less chance of an accident when you have a nice new sharp chain.

5. Insulated neoprene muck boots. Both OSU Extension Forester Amy Grotta and I are coveting these boots. They keep your feet warm and dry!!

Outdoors 101: Measuring and Data Collection

Woodland owners like to know if their hard work is paying off. The following tools will help them know if they are headed in the right direction.

Man measuring tree

6. Cruising vest. These have all sorts of pockets and loops for your tools, and even a big pocket in the back for your clipboard and papers!

7. Increment borer. These bore a teeny hole into a tree, allowing you to see how old it is, and learn about it’ growth, both past and current. If I could only have 1 forest tool, this would be it.

8.  Diameter tape. This tape automatically converts circumference to diameter, useful for figuring out volume of timber and density on your land, when used with your increment borer.

9. Clinometer. This allows you to measure the height of a tree.

10. Of course, none of these tools are useful at all if you don’t know how to use them. You might consider a more experiential gift. Oregon State University Forestry and Natural Resources Extension offers several Tree Schools around the state. Why not give them the gift of registration, and a hotel stay or restaurant gift certificate somewhere nearby?

Outdoors 101: Stocking Stuffers

Tecnu. Necessary if you live near poison oak or ivy. Available at most drug stores.

Flagging Tape. Helps you find your way, identify certain trees.

Aluminum tags. Helps you mark trees for permanent plots

Rite in the rain notebook. This stuff works!

Tree marking paint. Another way to ID trees to keep, trees you’ve measured, or trees to remove.

Zip ties. Problem solvers! Available at all hardware stores.

Stay tuned for the next posts… for the Techie and the Wildlife Lover