Caving is a great experience, but it comes with dangers if you’re not adequately equipped for the adventure. Without the right clothing to keep you warm/dry and a headlamp to see, you’re going to run into problems.
Today, we wanted to take some time out to show you all the equipment you need for a successful caving trip.
But first, let’s talk explain what caving is and how it differs from potholing:
What Is Caving?
In the simplest terms, caving is the exploration of caves and caverns. A guide will usually lead it due to the complex nature of cave systems.
Caving and potholing are usually lumped together as the same sport, but that’s not necessarily true. You see, there are a few differences between the land formations that need addressing to determine which bracket the experience falls under.
Let me explain:
- Potholing: It consists of more vertical passages and tighter holes to squeeze through. You’ll also require more specialist equipment.
- Caving: Caving can also consist of tight spaces, but the land formations are more horizontal and don’t require special gear.
With both activities, safety is paramount, which is why it’s best to go with a guide if you’re not experienced. And even if you’re experienced, you should never go alone.
Even though caving is a dangerous activity, it very rarely leads to any fatalities. To lower the risk of you getting hurt, you’ll need the right equipment.
So, let’s take a look at what you should bring with you:
The Basic Caving Equipment You Need
Getting geared up correctly for your first caving experience is essential. Without the right equipment, you’re asking for trouble. To make it worse:
A good guide won’t take you with them unless you’re properly equipped:
Protecting your head is vital when you’re caving; there’s many low hanging ceiling waiting for you to bang your head on. They also offer protection against anything falling on your head and causing concussion or bleeding.
LED Head Torch
Ideally, you want to have a bright LED head torch with you when caving. After just a few turns in the cave, it will be impossible to see anything without lighting.
Hand-held torches aren’t ideal in a caving situation; it limits movement too much. A head torch can attach to your helmet, so you don’t have to hold it.
You should always take at least two torches; if one breaks, you know you have a backup.
See more LED torches at Olight store: https://www.olightstore.uk
Caving requires you to have traction in your shoes, so ideally, you’re looking for hiking boots. Plan old running shoes won’t do the job here.
You could use a pair of heavy-duty rubber boots, or wellies (depending on where you’re from) can also provide suitable footwear. Personally, I prefer hiking boots; they don’t limit your movement as much.
Caves are cold and wet, no matter where you’re in the world. Make sure you dress in layers to keep yourself insulated. When you layer your clothes, try to use fast-drying materials, like synthetic clothes like nylon or polyester.
As you can see, you don’t need much equipment to go caving, but you must take the right stuff with you. If you don’t take it, there’s a good chance the guide won’t take you, and if he does, you’re going to have a bad time.
Before we go, I want to remind you that having a spare LED flashlight is vital. Having no lights in a cave is not an experience you want… trust me.