Full chain saw gear is pretty cheap and can be found online easily. Helmet w/ ear muffs, full chaps, and chain saw gloves. I was always afraid of chain saws so that is what I did. I feel like I'm protected. OH, yes the chaps really do save your legs, thighs, I found out a couple years ago. Take good care of your gear & you will have it for years to come. I keep all of my gear & the chain sharpening equip. in a back pack just for my wood cutting times. I touch up my chain ervery tank or two, gives my back a good break. On the wood splitting, I have done a lot by hand. As little as an hour a day you will be amazed at how much you can accomplish! This year I had 6 cord log length delivered & am renting a splitter for my brother & I. There are some good publications online you can download for cutting & splitting. Good luck, it will grow on you!