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Gearing Up to Climb Down

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Photo by Jospeh Chambers

You don’t need a degree in environmental science to explore the wilderness or a degree in geology to go caving. You do, however, need the appropriate gear! Gear included, there’s a lot that goes into planning a caving trip. This list isn’t comprehensive, but hopefully it gives you a good look into the kind of equipment you need for caving.

Keeping Your Feet Dry

Depending on the area you’re in, your caves may be wet or dry, and your choice of sock will reflect that. You also don’t want to layer up too much. You might restrict your circulation and get cold and numb anyway. The best bang for your buck is going to be neoprene or neoprene-hybrid socks, since they are sturdy against water and able to keep you warm—all in a thin package!

Keeping Your Eyes Peeled

When caving, you need three sources of light packed on your person for safety. Caves are dark, and if you drop one or even two, then you won’t be stuck without any light. Most people opt for headlamps for their first two light sources, since this leaves their hands free to do the fun stuff that keeps you moving and alive in a caving environment. But for your third, you can be a bit more flexible, and many people go for a handheld light.

A popular and durable handheld option (that you can customize every aspect of!) is the Emisar D4V2 High Power LED Flashlight. This is a good bang-foryour-buck option for starting out.

Keeping Your Core Warm

Tight spots, muddy walls and pools of murky water— all of these common cave experiences will shred, ruin, and soak even the sturdiest everyday clothes. Getting a good set of caving coveralls that can and will keep you safe is crucial to surviving and enjoying your caving experiences. There are several considerations to make when buying coveralls: budget, lined versus unlined, and normal nylon versus the stronger cordura.

We can’t cover all of the options in this article, but Aventure Verticale is a shop with all the selection you could need from a reliable and rugged brand, with a few options designed specifically for women.

Photo by Salajean

Getting Out There

There is a lot more than gear that goes into caving, however. Do your research, buy your gear (from this article’s advice and other sources), and always take a buddy. To get more information and to link up with like-minded explorers, look for your local grotto online, and make some new friends to explore the dark and dank recesses of the world.
—Joseph Chambers