Caving - What To Bring

What To Bring

Everyone participating in underground activities is required to bring the following personal gear:

  • Overalls or loose fitting old clothes with long sleeves
  • Full coveralls are ideal. Don’t forget a t-shirt and shorts to wear under the overalls. You won't need anything warmer
  • Boots that provide ankle support and have a good grip are essential
  • Don’t wear your good walking or hiking boots because they will become severely scuffed and soaked in mud in the caves. Sneakers or runners are unsuitable as they may cause the caver to slip and get injured

  • A primary light source such as a Dolphin torch. Make sure the battery is new as it will get from 6 to 10 hours of use. Also make sure that there is a spare bulb in the torch. A shoulder strap is useful as this will free up both hands for maneuvering at some spots in the caves. Other types of torches are OK, such as 2 or 3 D-cells. Alkaline batteries are the best; they are more expensive than ordinary carbon heavy duty, but they last much longer and are better value for money.

Head torches are great because your hands are free, but remember that caving is tough on gear, so if you get a cheap one it is not likely to last the weekend

  • A secondary light source in case your primary light source fails. Use a penlight (AA batteries) or other small torch with spare batteries and globe. This can be stored in a pocket or tied to a string around your neck. Glo-Sticks and wind-up torches are prohibited as they do not provide enough light for a cave
  • An emergency light source for use if the other two light sources fail. A small ordinary candle and matches in a waterproof container in your pocket is ideal.

Use this as a check list as you pack your gear. REMEMBER – if you don’t bring all the required gear – you won’t be able to go caving.

  • Gloves and knee pads are optional. They do provide protection against sharp rocks and give a slight improvement in grip. Of course they will soon get very muddy, scratched and worn in the cave environment. At Mount Eccles, the rock is very hard and crawling around on the lava can be slightly painful unless knee pads are worn. Gloves are not required for abseiling as it is done in a slow and controlled manner in caves.

What the Caving Team Supplies

  • The team will supply everyone with a caving helmet for the weekend and any other climbing gear required in the caves, such as harnesses, rope, descenders, wire ladders etc. The caving party leaders in the team are proficient in the use of climbing gear in a caving situation and will provide instruction for those who have not abseiled or climbed a wire ladder.
  • Campsite bookings and payments will have been done by the team to cover the number of personnel you have booked for.

For Scouts who complete their Caving Badge, the team will present Certificates at the conclusion of the weekend.