Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby Amazingracer » Oct 31, 2012 8:54 am

graveleye wrote:I see the merits of having your third around your neck, but I would worry about some freak accident happening and getting strangled more than losing my light.
Unlikely, but in a cave environment, the unlikely can be likely.


Kevin, good to see im not the only one with this fear.

Two on the helmet(Scurion P7 and PT Quad) and two in the pack (PT Apex and Petzl eLite) for me.
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby BrianFrank » Oct 31, 2012 11:07 am

OK....Great comments. After reading through these posts, I have decided to carry a spare around my neck, put one in my pack and take the two side mounted lights off my helmet. It seems to be the best practice. Its good conversations from good people to the benefit of better caving. :kewl:

Groundquest, I can see why in some situations you are in that you can't wear a helmet, but I disagree with this comment you made "Is there any reasonable chance that I could be incapacitated in these caves due to my lack of a helmet?" The answer is absolutely yes, you could be incapacitated if not killed in a cave that is as short at 50' or even miles long. All it takes is one 3 pound rock to fall from the ceiling onto your head from your movements/sounds/vibrations as you are exploring a virgin cave, to ruin your life. But, that is your life and your decision, the problem is that by choosing not to follow the most primary caving basic rule may put others in danger who have to rescue you. Now, I say the following with a little humor :wink: ......It might be a good idea going forward to leave a note outside the entrance of a cave you are exploring that says the following: "TO RESCUERS AND PARAMEDICS, I CHOOSE NOT TO WEAR A HELMET. IF I HAVE AN ACCIDENT IN THIS CAVE BECAUSE OF THIS CHOICE, JUST LEAVE ME SO THAT MY AVOIDANCE OF THIS BASIC SAFETY CAVING STANDARD DOESN'T PLACE ONE OF YOU IN DANGER" :help:
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby Phil Winkler » Oct 31, 2012 1:07 pm

Brian, That's funny. :clap:

As someone else mentioned having a helmet with a light on it leaves your hands free so you can navigate more safely whether crawling or climbing. The safety factor cannot be minimized either.
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby GroundquestMSA » Oct 31, 2012 3:32 pm

BrianFrank wrote:The answer is absolutely yes, you could be incapacitated if not killed in a cave that is as short at 50' or even miles long. All it takes is one 3 pound rock to fall from the ceiling onto your head from your movements/sounds/vibrations as you are exploring a virgin cave, to ruin your life.


I don't want to keep going 'round on this topic (at least on this thread) but I need to clarify that the cave LENGTH is not the issue. A three pound rock can't really fall on my head if my head is 2" from the ceiling. I am especially eager to wear my helmet when there is danger of rockfall. I've been hit on the shoulder by just a tiny rock, and it hurted.

Phil Winkler wrote:having a helmet with a light on it leaves your hands free


:question:
As does having a head with a light on it...
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby NZcaver » Oct 31, 2012 4:42 pm

For those who wish to continue the helmet-less caving discussion, Jonah started a new topic/poll here.
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby Chads93GT » Nov 1, 2012 2:20 pm

all lights you own on yoru helmet = dumb as hell to put is mildly.

Goto the rescue forum and read my thread there.
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby Chads93GT » Nov 1, 2012 2:25 pm

GroundquestMSA wrote:
NZcaver wrote:
GroundquestMSA wrote:If I'm surveying, I don't bring my helmet at all and I keep one light around my neck or in my pocket. The same applies to most of my solo caving or local trips with my brother. Helmets cause more problems than they're worth if you are caving in Ohio.

No rock to smack your head against in Ohio caves?


I'm really not trying to be subversive, I just don't feel that helmets need to protect us from bumping our heads. It isn't that hard to watch where you are going. I wear one when on rope, or when in the company of those who would be otherwise irritated. Ohio caves are indeed made of rocks. They are also mostly crawls. Helmets are a pain in crawls, and how much damage can I do to my own head while crawling? Even if I did have the tendency to whack my head on the rocks, I'd rather have some bumps and scrapes and gashes than always have to mess with a helmet.


Wrong. Ive compressed my spine twice by violently ramming my head into a wall. When you are tired, hungry, cold, and leaving the cave after a long survey, SHIT happens. You tend to hang your head down, you stare at the floor and all the sudden you ram your head into a small outcropping. A guy i know put his eye out on a rock flake. Not wearing a helmet because you think its easy to watch where youa re going, yeah ok.

Last year a friend drowned and lost his helmet in the process of saving his life. I rescued him, but we had to make it 3 miles out of the cave with no helmet on two guys. If you dont think a helmet is important, go drown yourself, get revived, then try to make it out of the cave on yoru own power before you go hypothermic, all without hitting your head.

Most cavers think nothing bad can ever happen to me, You are apparently one of them. I suggest you start wearing a helmet, even if you have to push it in front of you in tight crawls because ohio caves are no different than southern illinois caves and everyone who caves in SoIll wears a helmet, even if they are pushing it in front of them 50% of the time.
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby BrianFrank » Nov 1, 2012 5:00 pm

Chads93GT wrote:all lights you own on yoru helmet = dumb as hell to put is mildly.
Goto the rescue forum and read my thread there.

Just re-read the drowning incident, gave me chills once again.

It sounds like having a light around the neck in that situation would have been extremely beneficial. Easy to grab and position on the head without going back to where the packs were located.
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby Lava » Nov 1, 2012 5:17 pm

Chads93GT wrote:Last year a friend drowned and lost his helmet in the process of saving his life. I rescued him, but we had to make it 3 miles out of the cave with no helmet on two guys. If you dont think a helmet is important, go drown yourself, get revived, then try to make it out of the cave on yoru own power before you go hypothermic, all without hitting your head.


Chad, can you link to the incident... I can't seem to find it.
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby Chads93GT » Nov 1, 2012 9:49 pm

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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby Myrna Attaway » Nov 1, 2012 11:13 pm

Scott ....ROTHF LMAO
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby Scott McCrea » Nov 2, 2012 7:07 am

Myrna, put a helmet on if you're going to be rolling around on the floor.
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby potholer » Nov 2, 2012 7:49 am

ian mckenzie wrote:I wonder if the three-light-rule was developed when lights and batteries were not so reliable. Two seems reasonable now, except when soloing.

I'd tend to agree with that, especially if spare cells are available on the caver, (or within a team) for one or other light.

There used to be a distinct possibility of a reserve light blowing a bulb when turned on (or having had a failed filament from banging around while off) and some lights had a fairly limited maximum bulb life.

I'm trying to remember the last time In recent years I've heard of anyone I cave with having to use even a secondary light, and I'm not sure I can remember any cases where their main light was a decent and vaguely modern one.*

Personally I just have one light on the helmet, albeit one which is virtually two independent lights in one casing.
I find side-mounting anything to the helmet to be a pain in tight caves, and given that I really don't expect to need a secondary light, the chances are a helmet-mounted one would get trashed by wear and tear before I got around to using it.
An adequate-to-move-with light on the knife cord around my neck is my primary backup, and more use than a helmet-mounted one for the rare occasions I have to swap battery packs on the main light for particularly long trips.
On long trips and/or ones where I expect to be on my own (solo trips, or moving up/down deep alpine caves at my best pace) I'll usually wear a zebralight around my neck

(*Actually, I can think of one case, but that was where the primary light had a battery-headset connection fault which was known about in advance (and which was fairly trivial to fix for someone mechanically-minded). I'm not sure that really counts.)
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby harrym » Nov 3, 2012 8:05 am

I like having two (2) lights on my helmet for vertical work. It means that my backup light is readily available should my primary light fail while on rope.

But all 3 light on your helmet? What if you accidentally drop your helmet into an inaccessible place?

Wearing a lanyard around your neck is a invitation to hang yourself, unless you've got a break-away strap. But then you risk losing the item if the break-away strap accidentally comes undone.

Best to keep at least one source of light in your pack.
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Re: Bad practice to have all 3 lights on helmet?

Postby Lava » Nov 3, 2012 10:48 pm

ian mckenzie wrote:Is Marion caving with four lights? A bit much for pit-bobbing.
I wonder if the three-light-rule was developed when lights and batteries were not so reliable. Two seems reasonable now, except when soloing.


I agree that lights these days are much more reliable, but the problem with having only two lights is that if one should go out, suddenly you're caving on a single light. That'd give me the willies and I'd immediately leave the cave. If you carry three sources of light, then you can continue caving if the first one goes out and use your third light to exit the cave if the second one goes out.
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