There is much misunderstanding about what a 'Forest Ranger' is. When you use the word ranger you are typically referring to someone who works in a park, but isn't a forester. A forester is a scientist who works in the timber or forestry industry. My husband is a professional Forester. He worked for the USDA Forest Service for 25 years, then the US Army as their Forester and now as the US Air Force Ecologist. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Forestry from a highly ranked Forestry College and has a Masters in Environmental Science. A forester must have at least a bachelors degree in Forestry. They do many things but they are not 'rangers.' A 'forest ranger' is the manager (per se) for a district in a forest. Such as my husband (before going into research) worked in the Wallowa Whitman National Forest in La Grande Oregon. It had 2 districts in that National Forest (National Forests are not parks they are under the Dept. of Agriculture, not the Park Service), he worked in the La Grande District. The head of that district was the Ranger. But he was a forester like the rest, just in charge. A Park Ranger will work for the Dept of the Interior in the National Park Service. They do not need a specific degree but it is encouraged to have something having to do with park management etc. But the parks are there for the recreation of the people of the USA. The National Forest is to study, growth and use of forest products. There are recreational opportunities in every National Forest but that is not their purpose like it is in the Park Service. So you need to decide do you want to deal with people and basically a glorified tour guide and teacher of nature, or do you want to help save forests hands on. Both are vital but very different. I mean NO disrespect saying 'glorified tour guide.' They are very necessary to the education of the general public on our natural resources. Some foresters will work for the NPS too. But they aren't Rangers. Foresters see to the health and growth of the entire forest; from the trees, to the water, to the soil to the wildlife who live in it. But a Forester's first concern is the forest itself. My husband was part of a research team for abut 17 of his 25 years. They collected research data to ensure that good forest practices are doing their job of growing and sustaining good healthy forests. Trees are important. We need them for many reasons. And cutting them is not a bad thing. It needs to be done at the right time. This is what a forester must do. He needs (with his education) to ensure that the practices used in the timber industry etc contribute to the good of the most. We need wood products. Trees eventually die and they should not be left to waste. Because of good practices, the USA has more trees now than it did 100 years ago. That is all thanks to a forester. And education is the most important tool. But yes, I agree with the above....boots.....really good boots. And waterproof paper. My husband has a lot of both. They also need pulaskis to dig fire breaks, shovels to help plant, tape measure...to measure and a decent compass much more I don't know the names of. But all that is provided on the job in most places. I'm honestly not sure what tools are needed for a Park Ranger.....probably a great map. But again I'm sure that's provided. Both are excellent and fun governmental jobs. And both need a great sense of direction.