What's Your Favorite Tool?
Every trail maintenance volunteer has a favorite tool, sometimes by the end of their very first work party. Mine is the shovel. I remember exactly when my fondness for this particular tool came about. We were working on the Old Sauk Trail near Darrington, building a portion of new trail to reroute hikers away from a massive washout along the Sauk River. There I was, scraping away soil and digging out rocks as I'd done all morning with my trusty shovel, when a fellow volunteer asked to borrow my useful tool so that he could move some dirt. I watched him walk away with that shovel, and never had it in my gloved hands again that day.
I learned a hard lesson on the Old Sauk Trail. No matter how kind and generous I may wish to fancy myself, I must never let my shovel out of my site. Never. Or I might get stuck chopping up roots with a Pulaski.
For some enthusiastic volunteers, that would be a real treat, of course-- spending the whole of an afternoon root-whumping with the axe end of a Pulaski.
On a work party with WTA, volunteers are encouraged to try all of the tools, from the McCleod to the grub hoe. They each have their own unique attributes, and some will be more useful in a project like honing new trail while others will reach their full potential for a crew that is building a rock wall support. (Of course, a trusty shovel excels in all areas).
So, what's your favorite tool to use on the trail?