Gear Required for Caving
All caving-specific gear can be borrowed from CUCC, but there are a few less technical items that you'll need to bring on meets.
- Warm clothes for normal wear
- Robust trainers/boots for normal wear
- Old underwear and socks for wearing in the cave
- Old T-shirt/vest for underneath a furrysuit. Cotton is not ideal as it keeps you cold when wet; a rash vest or thermal top is better
- Cave food (e.g. a few Mars or Snickers bars, for when you need a sugar fix)
- Sleeping bag (CUCC have a few sleeping bags that can be borrowed)
- Money for food when travelling & more chocolate supplies
Experience: have climbed a ladder on the surface if possible. Knowledge: what's the plan for this meet? Communication: tell meet leaders of medical things, ask if unsure of anything, be briefed before going underground.
- Belt or harness
- (Only for trips requiring Single Rope Technique) SRT kit: harness, cowstails and two karabineers, safety cord, footloop, stop, hand jammer, chest jammer, central maillon, dangly bag to keep all together
- (Should have...) Karabiner, survival bag, whistle
All of this can be borrowed from CUCC. See costs for current hire prices.
- Wash kit: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc. (Or just don't wash!)
- Second pair of old underwear & socks for wearing in the cave the next day (putting on dry underwear is more pleasant)
- Cave gloves (e.g. washing-up gloves). Although some people claim it's warmer to not wear gloves
Nice to have...
- Thermal top
- Head torch (e.g. Petzl Tikka, Princeton Tec Eos).
If you become a regular caver with CUCC you'll eventually want to purchase your own set of gear; it's best to ask club members for advice on what will suit you best, as there are lots of products available. Muddy caving gear, especially metal work, all looks similar so you will need to mark your stuff with a unique colour combination, or label it with your name. Look at the gear tape colours list to see which colour combinations are currently in use, before choosing your own.
The Tackle Store
Access to the tackle store requires a set of keys, so borrowed gear is best returned at ropewashes, training sessions or pubmeets (when the chosen pub is near the tackle store!)
IMPORTANT: Gear return
Borrowed gear should be returned as soon as possible, and before the next training session or meet. Gear should be washed before it is returned and not left in a muddy pile to accumulate rust and mould. Upon returning any gear, please tick the gear off in the gear logbook (usually on top of the filing cabinet in the tackle store).
See the latest gear inventory here
Gear Tape Colours
To avoid confusion, check the gear tape colours page.