Veterans Green Corps Suggested Gear List

Please note:  You do not need to buy all new gear.  Often times you can find good deals at thrift stores or places listed below.


Campmor 1
1 (800) 226-7667,

Sierra Trading Post 
1 (800) 713-4534, www.sierra trading

1 (800) 426-4840,

1 (800) 237-4444,

General Work Gear

Work Pants

Your best bet is to look for carhartts or dickies that meet the requirements listed.  They need to be dark (or chocolate) brown color and professional fit and cut, with straight leg cut to fit over boot  Please do not purchase pants that are baggy or tight in fit.  Also not allowed: bib overalls, cargo pockets or colors other than dark brown. If you obtain the wrong uniform pant color, you will be asked to purchase another pair.

Work Boots/Hiking Boots

Your feet are one of the most important tools out there.  Take the time to find boots that fit well and will continue to protect you feet through out the season. Our boot requirements: No steel toe. All leather with a minimum of a 8 inch upper with lug soles. Lightweight army desert and other lightweight boots do not cut it. It is strongly suggested to purchase boots that meet the minimum fire line requirement. There may be limitations encountered during trainings if boots do not meet specifications.  Visit with regional staff about the boot requirements.

Leather Work Gloves

MCC will provide a pair of gloves, leather palmed with fabric back. They are not the most ideal for project work. It is strongly suggested to invest in some quality all leather gloves. Take the time to find some that fit.  There are plenty of farm stores that sell a variety of sizes.

Rain Gear: Jacket and Pants

They need to be durable and effective- make sure it says waterproof, not simply water resistant. Windbreakers do not cut it.  You will not be a happy camper if you’re wet for days on end.  Work does not stop because of rain (ponchos do not work).  It is nice if they have pit zips. 

Day Pack

You will use this almost everyday so find something that is comfortable to hike and wear for long hours and is about 1200 cubic inches so it can hold your lunch, water bottles, rain gear, personal first aid kit and extra layers- this could be one of the most important pieces of gear you have.

MCC will provide eye protection, ear protection and uniform work shirts.  If you choose to get your own eye protection, please be sure it is OSHA approved.

MCC will also provide a group first aid kit for emergencies.

Camping Gear


This is not a necessity unless you want to do some backpacking on your days off.. . You will at least want to have a duffel bag or other bags to pack your personal belongings to and from projects.  Most project work will be front country at a designated camp site or project site with access to a MCC vehicle.


It does not need to be bigger than a 2-person tent, though as these are front country projects you may want a little bit larger tent—personal choice.  Three season tents work well.  Six pounds is an average weight. You will want a rain fly.  A footprint or tarp is great for underneath the tent also.

Sleeping Bag

Getting a good night rest is an important part of enjoying your time in the woods.  The main thing to think about with sleeping bags is warmth and fit.  If you tend to sleep warm, a 20 degree bag with the option of a liner should work for you.  If you tend to sleep cold, go with a zero degree bag.  Make sure you find a bag the fits your height, too much room at the bottom leaves space for cold air and not enough room leaves you cramped.  Down is very warm when it is dry but not when it gets wet.  Synthetic materials will hold warmth even if they get wet, although they do not pack as small as down. 

Sleeping Pad

A pad that acts as a mattress for comfort and warmth. (closed cell foam type or backpacking air mattress).  Air mattresses (Thermarests) can be heavy and may puncture during the season.  Foam sleeping pads are light and very durable but there is not quite as much cushion.

Water bottles

To be effective and safe you must stay hydrated.  You should plan on carrying at least 3 liters of water for a day, more in the heat of the summer.  You can carry some of that in a hydration bladder (Camelback/Platypus) but you should bring at least one bottle with you in case the bladder is punctured. 


You always seem to need one when you didn’t bring one


Finding the latrine in the middle of the night can be difficult with out one.  Search the stores for one you like, they start as low as $10.  Ex: Black Diamond. Flashlights also work.  Headlamps have become popular because they free your hands for other tasks. 

Tupperware/Eating Utensils

Tupperware is great for eating breakfast/dinner and packing lunches.  And it helps prevent your lunch from getting squished.  It should be something you can fit more than just a sandwich in (approximately 6-8 inches x 6-8 inches x 2-4 inches.)  Bring a spoon/fork too.


Hot drinks in the morning/at night can make a world of difference in your day.  The plastic variety is a fair bit lighter.  Coffee press mugs are also popular if you need your caffeine in the morning.


If you like to record your experience in writing.

Personal First Aid Kit

Each crew will have an MCC first aid kit, but you should have your own personal kit for moleskin, ibuprofen, band-aids and an emergency blanket and any other items you use frequently.


Optional. This is useful to have if you know how to use it. 


Base Layers

This layer pulls moisture away from the skin.  Light base layers can be used in summer or winter.  The mid and heavy base layers are good to have in spring, fall and winter.  You should have a couple of pairs, ideally of varying weights.  The most important factor is that they should not be COTTON!  Cotton holds moisture against your skin, which pulls heat away from your body.  In the heat that can be nice, in the rain and snow it can be deadly.


This provides you some insulation.  Fleece, wool and synthetics are materials that will continue to provide warmth even when they are wet.  You can have a couple of items for this layer.  Some fairly light for minimal insulation and some thicker/ warmer for maximum insulation.  They should fit under your rain gear. 

Other Layers

Bring one more layer to go over the other two and under the rain jacket.  This can be a fleece/down/wool vest, jacket or hoodie. 

Warm Hat & Gloves

Getting the stove going at 5:45am can be a chilly experience in Montana in June.  Bring some pair of gloves besides your work gloves.


These are helpful for comfort and you’ll be surprised how loosely your pants fit after a week of work.

Plenty of Warm Socks

Your feet are one of your greatest tools, take care of them – Look for synthetic or wool socks.  NO COTTON!  Cotton holds moisture against your skin and can be the cause of blisters and rubs on your feet.  In cold weather cotton will not keep your feet warm once they are damp. 



Brushing and flossing are important parts of feeling clean in the back country.  Try to avoid bringing too much soap or lotion.  Look for bio-degradable soap.

Packable Musical Instruments...

...are great.

Sandals/Camp Shoes

MCC requires sandals to have a heel strap if they are to be worn on MCC time.  Flip-flops are not acceptable.  It is nice to have something to change into at the end of the day. 

Whatever other personal belongings that might help you enjoy your months in the outdoors.

If you need to borrow a tent or sleeping bag, please let us know ahead of time as we have a limited supply at the regional office

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