Sawyer's Best Practices

Safety First

  • Be familiar with the Trail Conference Sawyer and Swamper Policy.
  • Remember that individual sawyers and swampers have the obligation to say "NO" and walk away from any situation they determine to be an unacceptable risk and an obligation to notify others if it is a safety hazard to the general public.
  • If there is more than one certified sawyer on the trip, select one as the leader. If the team is an A and a B sawyer, the B sawyer is the leader, even if the A sawyer is doing the sawing.
  • Take time for a tailgate session before going out on the trail.
  • Read the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)
  • Safety Issues

First Aid

  • If more than one first aider is on trip, appoint one as the chief based on training and experience.
  • Talk to your party members before going out to find out if they have any medical issues, e.g. allergic to bee stings and have appropriate medications with them, e.g. EpiPen.


  • Bring at least two sharp chains with you.
  • Start saw before starting on trail to make sure it is working.
  • Check gas and oil supplies.
  • Do you have a spare bar? (useful if you get the saw bound up)
  • Do you have shapening tools, repair tools, and parts?
  • Electric chainsaws are not allowed - PPE chaps do not work well enough