What we provide

GSSD will provide the following items to guests and members on workouts and missions:

  • Handheld Radio
  • Area Maps
  • **Handheld GPS Device (Various Garmin Devices)
  • **Dog Tracking Device (Garmin Astro 320)
  • **Car Radio

** = Members only, not available for guests



Guests are required to have some version of the 10 Essential Systems, plus a little extra for comfort during workouts.  If you are missing gear, let us know in the New Member Survey or via email, and we may be able to let you borrow some stuff. 

Older and/or more durable gear is ideal, your SAR gear will need to survive brambles (bad for rain gear), swamps, and other unpleasant situations.

DO NOT WEAR OR BRING COTTON CLOTHES.  Cotton Kills.  You will be sent home.


  • 10 Essential Systems
  • Day Pack
  • Waterproof Tarp
  • Plastic bag for maps, pens, paper
  • Insulated Pad
  • 2L of Water
  • Synthetic or wool clothing
  • Emergency Whistle
  • Rain Gear
  • Sturdy, high-ankle Hiking Boots


  • Redundant Essentials or Nice to Haves
    • Sun/Rain Hat
    • Insulated jacket/vest for layering
    • Insect Repellent
    • Secondary Fire Source
    • Extra Headlamp or Flashlight
  • Waterproof Backpacking Boots
    • High Ankle
    • All-Leather is more durable
  • Environmental Protection
    • Durable, knee-high Boot Gaiters
    • Leather Work Gloves
    • Clear Goggles or other eye protection
    • Pack liner or garbage bag for rai n
    • Sealable plastic bags for extra clothes
  • Bathroom Kit
    • Hand Shovel
    • Pack out bags
    • Toilet Paper or Wipes
    • Hand Sanitizer


You are the one carrying your dog's gear.  Don't expect your dog to wear a pack.  Keep in mind that we sometimes have missions or workouts in environments with ticks. 

* = Optional


  • Leash
  • Collar and/or Harness w/ tags
  • Food for ~24hr
  • Water
  • Water Bowl
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Bathroom Bags
  • *Tick Repellent 
  • *Musher's Wax
  • *Winter Jacket
  • *Winter Booties


  • SAR Vest
    • Ideally High Visibility
  • Nighttime Visibility, ex:
    • Glow Sticks
    • Light Vest
    • Vest/Collar Lights
    • Reflective decals


Gear is expensive and SAR work can be rough on certain pieces.  Durability and Reliability are important.  Please try to borrow gear and then gradually buy your own instead of buying it all at once.  When buying gear, check out out Thrift Stores, REI Garage Sales, Craigslist, or Costco.

Remember, you need to carry gear for you, your dog, and the subject(s) you are searching for.

This is still in progress, for now see the Pierce County ESAR Equipment List, but note that GSSD's requirements are not identical. 


First Aid Suggestions

We have no hard requirements for first aid kit contents.  You can either build your own or purchase a pre-made kit.  Pre-made kits are fine, but you may need to add some stuff to them and gradually replace expired things over the years.   The following are suggestions:


  • Dog First Aid Training Course
  • Bootie or Sock for pad injuries
  • Vet Wrap
  • Tick Remover (can stay in car)
  • Muzzle
  • Styptic Pencil

Seasonal Gear

Recommended seasonal items.  Regardless of season NO COTTON CLOTHING.


  • Layering System
    • Insulated Jacket
    • Fleece vest/jacket
    • Synthetic Base Layer
  • Neck Gaiter or Balaclava 
  • Foot/Hand/Body Warmers
  • Vaseline or wax for face


  • Extra Water
  • Bandana/Buff
  • Sun Hat
  • Sun Screen
  • SPF Lip Balm
  • Water filter