This garment is designed and constructed in accordance with NFPA 1977 standards for wildland fire fighting. This garment is not suitable for structural firefighting, fire entry, or urban interface firefighting. Do not use this protective garment alone for firefighting. Other protective equipment, helmet, gloves, footwear, fire shelter is required for protection.
All components of this garment have been certified to NFPA 1977 requiring approved testing methods and equipment and most procedures cannot be duplicated outside of a certified laboratory. There is no practical field test capable of confirming these laboratory results.
This garment is intended for use consistent with NFPA 1500 Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety, Health, and Wellness Program along with Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.132, “Personal Protective Equipment”.
For correct fit try on garment prior to washing or service. Garments should be loose fitting and non-restrictive of movement. Garments should be washed and dried before placing into service. Store garment away from direct sunlight.
When donning bottoms; pull bottoms up and over the hip, secure zipper fly closed and cinch ankle straps if applicable. When donning tops; put top on, securely fasten all center front buttons, cinch all wrist straps, and close collar strap if applicable. When doffing tops; uncinch all wrist and collar straps, unfasten all buttons at center front. When doffing bottoms; unfasten waist cinch, leg straps, unzip fly and remove bottoms. When donning a wildland uniform consisting of a shirt and pant, ensure the shirt is fully tucked into the pant to have complete skin coverage by the garment(s) in the area where the two garments overlap.
While wearing garments all pocket flaps should be in the closed positions and cuffs should be adjusted tight around gloves and footwear during service. Appropriate undergarments should be worn in conjunction with this protective garment. Undergarments of a knit material that will not melt or shrink at elevated temperatures and will wick moisture from the body are recommended. (FR base layers, Cotton, Wool).
Garment should be frequently inspected for wear to major seams and any seam fatigue should be immediately repaired using compatible threads. Repairs made to garment must be made using NFPA 1977 recognized components. Garments that have exceeded their safe serviceable life with holes, seam voids or worn fabric should be retired, taken out of service and then recycled or destroyed, according to appropriate guidelines.
Only use garments that have been properly washed and dried after each service. Avoid touching areas of tops/bottoms that may have been contaminated. IF contaminated, do NOT launder at home and remove from service. If garment cannot be decontaminated, it should be taken out of service and destroyed and disposed of according to Hazmat guidelines.
NFPA 1977 recommends that emblems, embroidery, patches etc. NOT be affixed to your Wildland garment unless they meet the flame and heat resistance requirements of NFPA 1977. Do not mark thru any information on the garment labels.
All True North products are covered by a lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. We will repair or replace any gear with a manufacturing defect for the lifetime of the product, free of charge. Damage due to wear and tear will be repaired at a reasonable charge.
Preparation for Use
Before using the load bearing system in the field, ensure proper fit. True North provides sizing instructions with each item and on our website. Go to www.truenorthgear.com to assist with correct sizing and fit. Read all safety labels prior to use. The safety labels are located in each component of the load bearing system.
This load bearing system should be used in accordance with NFPA 1977 Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Firefighting and Urban Interface Fire Fighting, and also NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program , and 29 CFR 1910.32, General Requirement of Subpart 1, Personal Protective Equipment.
This load bearing system is designed to provide the user with the ability to safely carry the personal items, tools, and equipment necessary during Wildland firefighting operations. This system is not designed to protect the user or the contents from direct contact with flame and should only be used in conjunction with the appropriate personal protective clothing designed for Wildland firefighting.
The user of this load bearing system must have completed formal training in the proper use of firefighting equipment, including personal load bearing systems and have the background and training necessary to select the right load bearing system. Only use a load bearing system that will interface properly with your protective clothing. You may use permanent marker to mark your load bearing system but do not use any heat transfer or bonding of any kind.
Fit and Sizing
What The Pros Know: To get the best results and greatest comfort, remember to always loosen the waist belt, side compression straps, and front shoulder strap adjusters every time you put the pack on. Once the pack is back on, retighten the straps starting with the waist belt, then the front shoulder strap adjusters, and finally the side compressors. Otherwise, you may find that the pack starts to ride up on your body, and that the waist belt doesn’t feel as comfortable.
Loosen webbing on shoulder harness and waist belt. Put pack on. Padded waist belt should ride low, covering the points of your pelvic bones (in front). Pull waist belt webbing until very snug. Remember, 60-70% of the load will be carried on your hips, where you are the strongest and most balanced. Now pull on the rear shoulder strap webbing that attaches to the outside of the pack until the top of the harness is about three finger widths (2”-3”) below where the bones at the base of your neck meet the shoulders. Adjust the front straps on the shoulder harness until the weight of the pack feels snug against your back. Last, gently snug the silver side compression straps on the waist belt and you’re good to go! As needed, you can change the load distribution slightly between hips and shoulders by tightening or loosening the harness straps. This can help prevent “hot spots” and excess muscle fatigue.
How To Pack Your Pack
Besides proper fit, the other key to comfort is correctly loading your pack. While everyone has their own individual system for loading a pack, there are a few universal guidelines about weight and gravity.
At True North, we design packs to keep the load close to your natural center of gravity, making it easier for you to move, change direction and perform critical tasks. The best way to pack depends on what you are packing, what activities you are doing, how long you are doing them, weather conditions, terrain, and other factors. The following are guidelines to help you pack optimally in a variety of situations.
Dense items (such as water or metal) should be closest to your back so that the center of mass is as close to your torso as possible. Pack dense items higher or lower according to how high or low you want the center of mass: a lower center of mass promotes better balance in rough terrain; paradoxically, a higher center of mass can be easier to carry over gentle terrain.
Pack items you will not need access to during the day, such as a future day’s food or shelter, at the bottom. Items you use frequently, or that you want quick access to in case of emergency, such as food for the day, rain shells, sunscreen, navigation, and medical gear, should be packed at the top of the main compartment and in the exterior pockets. However, you decide to pack, strive for consistency. When you know where items are, you spend less time searching for your gear.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Hand wash or machine wash in a front-loading washing machine (DO NOT use top loading machines as webbing may get wrapped around the agitator and ripped out of the seams). Before washing use a stiff brush to loosen and remove soil. If hand washing, use mild detergent and cold or warm water, then rinse. If machine washing, utilize normal cycle and the “warm” or “cold” water temperature setting. Whether hand or machine washing dry the load bearing system by hanging to air dry in a well-ventilated area. DO NOT bleach. DO NOT machine dry. DO NOT dry clean. Store the load bearing equipment in a cool, dry place. If excessive wear or damage is noted beyond what can be repaired, remove from service immediately and destroy to prevent further use. Dispose of in accordance with local, state, and federal standards.
Most NFPA performance properties cannot be tested by the end user in the field, however, careful inspection of the load bearing system prior to use can help overcome the inability to test the load bearing system during field operations.
Your load bearing system should be inspected after each use. Look for cut and worn areas, damaged seams, stitching, or burns. Damaged load bearing equipment should be removed from service or repaired prior to further use.
If your load bearing system does not perform to reasonable accepted standards, notify True North. Defective equipment must be returned to True North for inspection.
All True North products are covered by a lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. True North will repair or replace any gear with a manufacturing defect for the lifetime of the product, free of charge. Damage due to wear and tear will be repaired at a reasonable charge.
QUESTIONS? Please Contact Us:
True North PO Box 28789, Seattle, WA 98118
Toll Free 800-873-5725 Intl 206-723-0735
ONLY THE END USER OF THIS LOAD BEARING SYSTEM SHOULD REMOVE THE HANG TAGS AND READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY PRIOR TO USE.