The Different Materials Used in Wildland Protective Clothing

The Supply Cache Blogger |

The Different Materials Used in Wildland Protective Clothing

When fighting wildfires, your clothing can be a factor in determining whether you stay unscathed on the job. The materials that make up outerwear, gloves, boots, and other apparel need to be tough and able to resist the searing effects of heat and flame. Here’s a quick breakdown of wildfire-fighting apparel and the different materials used in such wildland protective clothing.

Essential Outerwear

Wildland firefighters wear combinations of brush shirts, pants, and overalls. General-style brush pants, shirts, and overalls are made of tough fabric, allowing firefighters to explore the wilderness while staying protected from scratches, abrasions, cuts, and other injuries from plants and rough country. Wildfire fighter brush clothing, like wildland brush pants, has extra protection by incorporating fire-resistant materials like Tecasafe® Plus and/or Nomex created from cotton, acrylic, and other materials. Synthetic fabric clothing should not be worn under these items because they can melt under high heat and cause severe burns.


Boots are indispensable when fighting flames. They protect the feet from heat, sharp objects, and more. Wildland boots are made of toughened leather that provides support for the wearer and protection against the elements. The soles are extra thick and made of rubber that resists melting in high heat.


Supply Cache sells gloves made from cowhide for hand protection against heat, cuts, punctures, and blister-raising activity. The leather remains flexible and supple even in the presence of water. The gloves can also be cinched closed to protect against debris, embers, and other hazards from entering. Finally, the leather palms allow firefighters to keep a grip on their tools.


Helmets are famous pieces of equipment for any sort of firefighter. They protect the head from crushing blows and flaming embers. Wildland firefighters tend to wear full-brimmed hard hats molded from heat-resistant thermoplastic. These helmets can protect the wearer from strikes from branches and other heavy objects.

Shrouds and Masks

Shrouds and masks are pieces of wildland protective clothing that use unique materials. Shrouds and masks protect firefighters’ faces and necks from smoke and ash (though not as much as a respirator). Masks and shrouds can be made of Carbon X constructed from carbon filaments and Tescasafe® Plus materials made from heat- and flame-retardant cellulose fibers.