Victorian Scout Caving Team - Personal Gear
Everyone participating in underground activities is required to bring the
following personal gear:
- Overalls or loose fitting old clothes with long sleeves. Full coveralls are ideal (available at
Aussie Disposals). Don't forget a T-shirt and shorts to wear under the overalls.
- Boots which provide ankle support and have a good grip are essential.
Sneakers or runners are unsuitable as they may cause the caver to slip and injure themselves.
Don't wear your good walking or hiking boots because they will become severely
scuffed and soaked in mud in the caves.
- A primary light source, such as a "dolphin" torch. Make sure the battery is
new, as it will get from 6 to 10 hours of use. Also make sure that there is a
spare bulb in the torch. A shoulder strap is useful as this will free up both
hands for manouvering at some spots in the caves. Other types of torches are OK,
such as 2 or 3 D-cells. Alkaline batteries are the best; they are more expensive
that ordinary carbon heavy duty, but they last much longer and are better value for money.
Another alternative is a Petzl Zoom or similar head mounted camping light which can be
attached to your helmet with the light at the front and the battery pack at the back. It will need
to be secured with gaffer tape or it will just fall off.
- A secondary light source in case your primary light source fails.
Use a penlight (AA batteries) or other small torch with spare batteries and globe.
This can be stored in a pocket or tied to a string around your neck.
"Glo Sticks" are prohibited as they do not provide enough light for a cave.
- An emergency light source for use if the other two light sources fail.
A small ordinary candle and matches in a waterproof container in your pocket is ideal.
Use this as a check list as you pack your gear. Remember - if you don't
bring all the required gear - you won't be able to go caving.
The team will supply everyone with a caving helmet for the weekend, and any other climbing gear
required in the caves, such as harnesses, rope, descenders, wire ladders etc.
The caving party leaders in the team are proficient
in the use of climbing gear in a caving situation and will provide instruction for those
who have not abseiled or climbed a wire ladder.
Gloves and knee pads are optional. They do provide protection against
sharp rocks and give a slight improvement in grip. Of course they will soon get very muddy, scratched and
worn in the cave environment. At Mount Eccles the rock is very hard and crawling around
on the lava can be slightly painful unless knee pads are worn. Gloves are not
required for abseiling as it is done in a slow and controlled manner in caves.
Some words about Safety
As a safety precaution, all long hair MUST be tied back.
Plaited hair is safer than hair that is just
in a pony tail. Long hair is dangerous as it can get caught in the gear used for
descending. This can be a very painful experience and may result in an unwanted hair cut.
While caving, the Cave Party Leader is in charge. They are responsible for your safety and
for the safety of the party in and out of the cave. You must always obey them as they know
what to do in all situations. Failure to follow their directions could result in a serious
accident. The Cave Party Leader is telling you what you can and can't do for YOUR safety.
Designed by Glenn and Erica Baddeley.
http://home.pacific.net.au/~gnb/ldct/gear.html was last updated 26th April 2004.
Report problems and send comments to Glenn Baddeley.
Copyright © Victorian Scout Caving Team 2004.