What Equipment do I need to cave?

A very good question, not very much as we provide most of it!

So... What equipment do I need?

It is important to have the appropriate clothing and equipment when caving to ensure a high standard of safety and maximise your enjoyment. Detailed below is the gear that you’ll need for weekly SRT climbing practice and monthly trips. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions regarding the gear below or where to get it.

For Weekly Wall Practice, we will provide you with all the equipment you will need - so just get yourself down to the wall and we'll train you up!

Monthly Caving Trips

If you decide to go on one of our monthly caving trips we run to Fermanagh (which we highly recommend you do to try it out) here is a list of all the equipment you will need to buy.
You'll notice it's not alot and everything doesn't cost very much. 

What to pack

Here's a list of Equipment that you'll probably want to pack for a Caving Trip.

General
 > a sleeping bag and roll mat/airbed (essential), the warmer the better warm 
 > set of clothes and coat/jacket 
 > head gear optional (i.e. a warm hat) 
 > some snacks e.g. a pot noodle/chocolate may come in handy 
 > money for the pub (there are no holes-in-the-wall machines for MILES, come prepared) 
 > money for food (we usually club together a couple of quid for breakfast food) 
 > carry-out (beverages from the off-licence, for those not in the know) 
 > sense of humor 
 > ear plugs – many cavers snore loudly! 
 > couple pairs of clothes for non-caving purposes!

For Caving 
 > a few pairs of old socks 
 > track-suit bottoms/combats – NOT jeans as they get wet and cold 
 > couple of old t–shirts preferably long sleeved or sweatshirts 
 > footwear: wellington boots are the best by far (they only cost about £10-£15 if you dont own any) or old, strong walking boots  will usually do, but are not recommended (Doc Martens are not suitable and especially not old trainers – no grip) 
 > don’t use anything you want to wear in public again – footwear in particular gets trashed 
 > wetsuit may occasionally be useful if you have one, however normally provided by club 
 > binliners to hold dirty gear (normally club provided)
 > mars bar or two 
 > towels (2 is a good number)

Equipment you will have to purchase

Synthetic Clothing 

For going down a cave we recommend you wear a top and trousers made from synthetic materials. Try to avoid wearing cotton clothing as synthetics will keep you warmer if they get wet – just don’t wear jeans! Make sure to bring a change of clothes for wearing on the surface and pack a couple of towels too. 

You can get synthetic clothing from Sports Direct, Trespass, or Discover Outdoors (Scout Shop NI).

Wellington Boots

The ideal caving footwear. They provide excellent grip and durability for clambering through a cave. 
Avoid a pair with steel toe caps a they’re prone to giving cavers foot injuries. 

We recommend a cheap pair of Dunlop wellies from ScrewFix or Sports Direct.

Gloves 

Keep your hands warm and snug with a pair of these. Gloves with rubber palms will help you grip onto cave surfaces and keep your hands well protected.  

We recommend a cheap pair of builders gloves from ScrewFix or Discover Outdoors (Scout Shop NI).

Knee Pads 

Spare your knees, wear these. 
While not essential they do act as a great protective layer when crawling on the cave floor. Avoid a pair with a hard plastic shell as they’re prone to breaking easily from caving. 

You can get a pair of nylon-covered gel knee pads from ScrewFix.

Sleeping Bag 

We don’t sleep in caves but our accommodation is akin to camping indoors. There are beds to sleep on but no blankets so you’ll want the warmest sleeping bag you can find. 

You can get a sleeping bag in Argos, Trespass, or Discover Outdoors (Scout Shop NI).

Additional Supplies 

We stop at a supermarket on the way to County Fermanagh but you may want to pack some food, toiletries, and earplugs. 
A small torch for use on the surface at night and plastic bags to store muddy gear are useful supplies to take with you if you have them. 
Remember to pack a change of clothes and a couple of towels, and make sure to bring any medication you need for the weekend.

Equipment we will supply you with

Caving Helmet 

The most important piece of gear for going caving. They protect your head and light your path, and come with a fully adjustable headband and strap to fit all head shapes. For a bit of fun while caving we get everyone to turn off their light and stare into the void!

Caving Oversuit 

An overall layer of warmth and protection from rough surfaces and muddy crawl spaces. We have them in all sizes and they’re easy to slip in and out of.

Wetsuit 

You’ll be provided with a wetsuit if we’re caving in a particularly wet cave. This will keep you warm in the cold water and provide protection from rough surfaces.

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