Injury while caving and wearing rings

Caves and caving, beginning caving, joining the NSS, etc.

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Do you cave with rings on your fingers?

Yes, I cave with at least one ring and haven't had any finger injuries as a result
11
46%
Yes, I cave with at least one ring and have suffered a finger injury as a result, but I still wear them anyway
0
No votes
No, I don't cave with any rings because I'm worried about finger injury
12
50%
No, I don't cave with any rings because I have suffered a finger injury as a result
1
4%
 
Total votes : 24

Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby Lava » Oct 24, 2012 3:23 pm

I'm just curious... Please don't answer if your reason for not wearing a ring is not related to injury.
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby Scott McCrea » Oct 24, 2012 3:30 pm

I try to remember to take mine off, but always forget. I have only ever remembered once.

Are you gathering data to use in your defense for removing your ring?
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby Myrna Attaway » Oct 24, 2012 3:36 pm

What about I like my rings and dont want them slimed and scratched.
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby BrianFrank » Oct 24, 2012 3:39 pm

Better keep it on....in the movie Abyss a wedding ring saved a man's life.
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby NZcaver » Oct 24, 2012 3:51 pm

I don't wear my wedding band caving, partly for reasons of avoiding injury (and irritation) and partly because I don't want to lose another wedding band.

Actually, I seldom wear my ring at all except for special occasions. A gold ring on the finger was never a smart idea when working with electricity and power tools, and I just got into the habit of not wearing it on a daily basis. Even back when I was wearing it daily, I would always remove it for caving.

A wristwatch is the only functional jewelry item I can think of, and I wear mine religiously. I even have one just for caving so I can switch it out and not ruin my regular one. But unlike a ring, the plastic strap on a wristwatch will break-away under tension without taking one of your appendages with it.
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby Lava » Oct 24, 2012 4:20 pm

Myrna Attaway wrote:What about I like my rings and dont want them slimed and scratched.


Hence the "Please don't answer if your reason for not wearing a ring is not related to injury." :big grin:

I like wearing my ring while caving, but I have heard crazy stories of "some guy" getting the skin stripped off of his finger, etc. I'm just trying to sample a bunch of cavers to see if it's actually happened to anybody.
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby Tlaloc » Oct 24, 2012 5:29 pm

Ring avulsion injuries are nasty. Did you suffer from one?
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby Lava » Oct 24, 2012 5:51 pm

Tlaloc wrote:Ring avulsion injuries are nasty. Did you suffer from one?


Okay, this is what I was looking for, someone with first-hand knowledge... Have you actually seen a ring avulsion injury that happened during caving?

EDIT: Okay, googling "ring avulsion" is definitely enough to make a guy take his ring off when caving! Still, would like to hear how often it happens.
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby Grandpa Caver » Oct 24, 2012 6:14 pm

I wore a ring when I started caving but learned that irritating grit would accumulate under the band and it occasionally snagged on my glove. Haven't worn one since.
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby Chads93GT » Oct 24, 2012 10:21 pm

Net a guy who's ring finger was pulled out of his hand from his ring gettig snagged. His hand looked like he was born with four fingers. It didn't simply rip the finger off like a saw would cut it off. It literally ripped the finger. Tendons and all. Out of his hand. Not caving though. He jumped out of a truck and his ring caught the edge of the bed of the dump truck. I always forget to remove my ring though
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby Bob Thrun » Oct 24, 2012 11:39 pm

This topic was discussed here in July 2009. A short article with a photo was published in the Off Belay climbing magazine and reprinted on page 128 of the June 1977 NSS News.
Image
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby rebelfirefighter » Oct 25, 2012 9:05 am

I never remember to take mine off. I always wear gloves though.
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby VRcaver » Oct 25, 2012 9:30 am

I think this is another one of those "worry without reason" issues. The situations where rings catch on things is rare. It is unlikely that those situations would occur in caves. It is made even more unlikely due to your hand and ring being covered by gloves, which remove the opportunity to catch the ring.

I think the only real reason to avoid wearing rings in caves would be because they are more likely to fall off your cold, wet hands, especially when removing gloves, and then lost.

So, to answer the question: I sometimes cave with rings, and don't go out of my way to remove them for caving. I *NEVER* rock climb with rings for two reasons: 1. they catch on rocks and painfully dig into my fingers, and 2. my fingers swell slightly with the extra blood flow from climbing and the rings get tight. Neither of those is an issue with caving.
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby Carl Amundson » Oct 25, 2012 10:53 am

I choose the first option, but have stopped wearing my wedding ring while caving.
Just too many things that could potentially go wrong.
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Re: Injury while caving and wearing rings

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Oct 25, 2012 11:44 am

Like others have said, I intend to take mine off before cave trips but almost always forget to do so.
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