Tag Archive: hard hats

We work in some crazy ass places. Some of you will say, “Tut tut – we do that all the time”. Super! Then you will understand when I say that there are some things that happen that just plain HURT! The things that can hurt you come in many shapes and sizes. I thought it would be helpful to list some of the things THAT CAN HURT YOU.

Smilax or Catbriar - This one hurts pretty badly and is tough

Thorns – So many plants have thorns. You don’t realize how many until you sweat in the places they have gotten you.

Insects – Giant water bugs, carpenter ants, caterpillars, wasps, and other creepies

Logs – under water, unseen, these are not your friend – snake boots help protect your shins!

Bark – rougher than it looks! Inside of the thigh is my least favorite spot for bark to scrape.

Tree limbs – when you have on a baseball cap or hard hat and duck – wham!!

Violated by a Cypress Knee? Call 1-800-SIT-ONIT

Sunscreen – RIGHT! You are thinking “How can sunscreen hurt?” Just sweat your balls off and wipe it in your eyes…then call me.

Unknown pokey things – yep – pokey things – reaching into aquatic plans you grab all sorts of weird pokey things.

Fish – Especially catfish. Teeth, barbs, fins and all other sharp edges.

Cypress Knees – I recently had a nasty surprise when I accidentally landed on my rear ON A SMALL KNEE….needless to say – I will never be the same.

Seeds – Mostly sweet gum seeds but there are a few others that hurt under bent knees.

Cogan grass – had to list this one on its own – SHARP – I once got seven slices before I knew what happened.

Yes – there is a lot out there. This year alone – we have had a lot of run-ins with caterpillars but I will leave that for another day.

white-caterpillar -- no ID

The duct tape would have helped!!

Lots of things can hurt – be safe, look before you leap, use the stick – stick it in first duh! Have fun and get out there and GO ANYWHERE!!


If you thought hard hats were just for construction workers, you thought wrong! Chicks with Ticks have also been known to sport them from time to time (along with our snake boots and waders). “Why?” you might ask. Because sometimes we just plain have to. Simple as that. Some of the places we work require everyone on the property to wear a hard hat for protection against overhead hazards. No exceptions. Not even for geeky ecologists collecting data out in the middle of the woods! For awhile this perplexed us, because what kind of overhead hazards could we possibly come across in the freaking woods?? Well, it turns out there are more than you might think…. and if they exist, Jacque or I have probably encountered them! Here are some examples of pesky overhead hazards:
1) Tree limbs – I swear they just appear out of nowhere and WHACK you right in the head! And trust me, it HURTS. Hard hats definitely lesson the blow, and therefore are the #1 reason to wear a hard hat in the woods.
2) Spider webs – Have you ever walked straight into a spider web? We have, and it’s gross. Usually if you’re wearing a hard hat the stickiness (and the creepy crawly living on it) will end up there rather than all over your face.
3) Spiders, grasshoppers, ticks, etc. – While related to #2, these get their own hazard category. Think of it this way… would you rather have these things in your hair or on your hard hat? I think the answer is pretty simple.
4) Survey rods gone wild – Some field partners have been known to drop long metal rods and WHACK (see #1 above)!
5) Trips and falls – It’s a jungle out there, and even though we are careful, we do sometimes trip. Like falling off a bike with a helmet on, it’s always safer to trip over a root with a hard hat on!
6) Bird poop – Bombs away! Look out below! Does this really need an explanation?
7) Sunburns – This might be stretching it…
8) Cold weather – I know this isn’t technically an overhead hazard, but hard hats are nice for keeping your head warm on cold days (like today.. brrrrrr).
Needless to say, we have grown to embrace wearing our hard hats in the woods!
%d bloggers like this: