Get Dressed: Felling Trees Deep in Western Wisconsin Woods
If a tree is felled in the forest and no one is around to see the lumberjack, is he still stylish?
As you ponder that philosophical thought experiment, here's what we're wearing as we head out to inhale 2-stroke exhaust fumes and face a non-zero chance of sudden death.
1. Stihl Forestry Helmet System. A must, even for the weekend lumberjack. The only thing these are missing is Bluetooth and the Sony WH-1000XM4's noise-canceling technology.
2. Woolrich Reversible Padded Shirt. A giant buffalo check for limbing and bucking by day, puffy quilted black nylon for clubbing — or tavern-hopping — by night. Woolrich fits true to size.
3. Makers and Riders 3 Season Weather Proof M1Z Jeans. These will be in the forthcoming MB Hall of Fame. We wear 'em for just about every outdoor activity from November to March. Owner Chris Ontiveros said he was going out of business way back in 2019, but thankfully that turned out to be false. Vanity sized by an inch or two.
4. Pro Mark 9-Layer Apron Chaps. When you're 30 miles from the nearest hospital, the last thing you need is to rip open your femoral artery. These chaps' 9 layers of cut-retardant material can prevent that, have a handy front pocket, and add an additional layer of warmth.
5. Wells Lamont Winter Weather Work Gloves. We've been through a bunch of winter work gloves and these are the warmest, most rugged we've found. 4.5/5 at Amazon with over 1000 reviews. Runs about 2 sizes small (that's the reason for most of the negative reviews). Made in Ethiopia!
6. Carolina Steel Toe Work Boots (Model CA7503). Red Wing gets all the glory, but for actual work Carolina is better. Great for all sorts of labor beyond lumberjacking, especially when your toes are at risk from being crushed or cut off. Made in USA (and they never let you forget it). Carolina runs one size small.
7. Stihl MS 261 C-M. If there is a single piece of advice you take away from this site — besides, say, proper sleeve-rolling technique — it's this: never, ever buy any hardware or tools or machinery labeled "homeowner." Or even "farm & ranch." Always buy pro gear. It's more but always less expensive. This Stihl saw is light and powerful and could last your lifetime.