What to Expect at an SCMTS Dig Day

July 29, 2021
Dig Days are SCMTS’ flagship volunteer trail work events! Dive in to know what to expect when joining us for one!

Every year, we host over a dozen Dig Days to tune up our local trails across Santa Cruz County and the Bay Area. All volunteers are provided breakfast and coffee in the morning, lunch and post-work refreshments, plus a raffle funded by generous sponsors. Dig Days are led by our professional trail crew and program staff, and all experience levels are welcome!

What to Bring and Wear:

These items are essential for having a great day out on the trails!


  • Water, water, water! Bring more than you think you’ll need.

  • Your own cup for coffee and beer. We will not provide any disposable cups in an effort to reduce waste, but we will have stainless steel pints and ceramic mugs available for purchase.

  • Sunscreen, even if it’s cloudy!

  • Any special snacks you’d like to enjoy throughout the day (we will provide lunch).

  • A backpack to carry everything! We’ll have to trek to and from the worksite with tools, and you’ll need your hands free.


  • Layers of clothes that offer full coverage. We may have to work in areas with variable weather and/or hazardous plants like poison oak.

  • Protective gear (if you have it..SCMTS will have extras!), including:
    • A helmet or hard hat

    • Gloves

    • Eye protection

  • Sturdy, weather-resistant boots with good tread are recommended. If you don't have boots then a pair of comfy sneakers that you don't mind getting a little dirty will get you through the day!

See our Apparel Guide for an in-depth look at recommended trail work apparel!


What SCMTS Provides:

  • Guidance from SCMTS Trail Crew Leaders and Trail Sages

  • Any protective gear you'll need (don't worry if you don't have any, we've got you covered!)

  • All the tools and equipment necessary for the day

  • Coffee and bagels in the morning

  • Bagged lunches (usually assorted sandwiches from New Leaf)

  • Post-dig celebratory refreshments and snacks

  • Great raffle prizes!


What if it Rains?

Good question! We monitor the weather closely during the days leading up to the project and hope we can rely on the forecast. In general, we intend to only work in dry weather or very light rain because of the impact of driving in and out on the road when it is wet. We will cancel a project if there has been heavy rain in the days leading up to the project that has saturated the dirt. High winds — with or without rain — will also cancel the Dig Day because of the hazards associated with "widow makers" in the forest.

We will check the forecast and issue a cancellation notice as soon as we believe canceling the project is necessary, and hopefully no later than 8:00 pm the night before. We may require participants to walk or ride to the work site if road conditions are not suitable for driving. Please check your email before leaving in the morning in case there is some unforeseen situation that requires us to cancel at the last minute.


Beginners are Welcome!

We welcome all experience levels, including no experience, and encourage all participants to take breaks throughout the day. One highlight of all SCMTS events is the opportunity to learn about how to steward trails — as much as the actual trail work part of the day. We will also take a trail break to eat lunch and take photos, of course! Please email us if you have a special request or concern; we’re happy to help: [email protected].


Check out these resources for new and returning volunteers:

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