- Helmet with chinstrap. Must be worn at all times.
- Three sources of light. Your primary light source must be helmet mounted. A carbide lamp is recommended as it gives off heat. Your other two light sources should be carried in separate places, i.e. a flashlight in your backpack and another light source strapped to your helmet, kept in your pocket, or otherwise readily accessible. Make sure that the extra light source can be held in your mouth or strapped to your helmet so your hands are free.
- Water. For drinking or carbide lamps, if you have one.
- Large trash bag, preferably stored in your helmet. If you have to wait for any reason, take your trash bag out, punch a hole in the top, put it over your body, and place your carbide lamp or candle between your legs. Remember: that’s a large trash bag, like for leaves and stuff. Lawn bags are great.
- Heat source. A carbide lamp can be used as a heat source. If you do not use a carbide lamp, another heat source must be carried. Some suggestions are a candle and matches, and many foot warmer packs.
- Boots with lug soles and ankle support. Tennis shoes don’t work very well.
- Clothes. Many beginners dress in heavy jeans, thick socks, and a long sleeves t-shirt with extra short sleeve t-shirts for extra insulation. Dress for 54-degree weather. For wet caves remember that cotton wicks heat away from your body, while wool, polypropylene, nylon, and many other synthetics keep you warm while wet.
- More clothes.
- A change of clothes for the ride back.
**Helmets and one source of light are available in the club equipment for those that do not have them.
Recommended Additional Equipment
- Pack. An old book bag, gas mask pack, or specialized cave pack will work. The bag should be small and compressible with few straps.
- Spare batteries for your headlamp and flashlights. Make sure you know what type of batteries your lights accept. Lithium based batteries can catch fire and explode if not properly stored!
- Duct tape. It’s a good idea to put a bunch of Duct Tape around your water bottle.
- Food. Candy bars, granola bars, pop tarts, or whatever else lights your fire.
- Webbing. 20 to 30 feet of 1 inch tubular webbing (also called sling) is useful for belays, hand-lines, arm rappels, and climbing harnesses.
Extra Equipment for Vertical Trips
- Seat harness or webbing.
- Rappel device – rack, figure 8, bobbin, etc.
- ~$5 climbing system – a set of knots
- ~$150 climbing system- a frog system
- ~$300 climbing system- a ropewalker
- Rigging gear. Enough ropes, rope pads, webbing, cable ladders, etc. to rig all the drops you plan to do.