On my very first wild caving trips I wore old jeans and a sweatshirt, a bicycle helmet with a cheap headlamp, and carried an old book bag from high school to carry food, water, and a couple of spare flashlights. The total investment in specialized gear was negligible. Now I have many sets of caving-specific coveralls, several premium LED headlamps, elaborate vertical caving kits, and high-tech digital survey equipment. The gear used in caving, as with almost any sport, is a means to an end. Choosing the right gear for the cave that’s being visited, the conditions you’re likely to encounter, the length of trip you plan to take, and the activities you’ll be engaging in, will enhance your effectiveness and enjoyment of the trip. For some cavers there is great joy that comes with researching and buying new gear, while for others they would rather someone else do this work and just recommend what harness or cave pack they should get. This section of the website will contain information that is part tutorial, part review, but any view or opinion is purely my own personal bias, and none of the content is paid for or sponsored by a gear manufacturer or retailer.
caving gear storage and organization
There is a certain amount of inertia that must be overcome to get out of your house or apartment and get underground. There are endless excuses or reasons for not getting out and caving, but very seldom do any of us look back and wish we hadn’t gone. I have found that by cleaning and organizing my caving gear following each trip it takes away many of the excuses. By using pre-trip checklists, keeping batteries fully charged, and putting gear in a place where it’s easy to find and pack, I can be ready for almost any trip or expedition on very short notice and I’m free to make spontaneous decisions. I use the utility room in my basement to organize gear and I prefer to store things on hooks or open shelves rather than in closed bins. The video below is a tour of my gear storage system.