Alternatives to a Caving Suit?

Discuss caving lights, packs, helmets, clothing, etc.
For rope and vertical equipment, go to the On Rope! forum.
Cave electronics enthusiasts can also visit the Communications and Electronics Section forum.

Moderator: Moderators

If you didn't have a caving suit, what would you wear?

Jeans / Denim Overalls
16
34%
Synthetic Athletic Wear
16
34%
Shorts, Sandals, and Pads
0
No votes
Petroleum Jelly
6
13%
Other (Describe Below)
9
19%
 
Total votes : 47

Postby ian mckenzie » Jan 25, 2007 3:00 pm

Get back to your sewing machine Ms. B; you don't have time for this!

And, wait 'till you see MY suit...
User avatar
ian mckenzie
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Sep 16, 2005 9:40 am
Location: Crowsnest Pass, Canada
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Alberta Speleological Society
  

Postby killian » Jan 25, 2007 3:12 pm

Some of you guys are talking about people wearing sandals when they cave. How ever is doing this must be slow or an extreme hippie. if i ever saw some one wear sandals i would probably smack them in DA BACK OF DA HEAD.... :grin:
killian
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 13, 2006 10:31 pm
Location: Calvert County, Maryland
Name: Killian McCarthy
NSS #: 58343
  

Postby Squirrel Girl » Jan 25, 2007 3:20 pm

killian wrote:Some of you guys are talking about people wearing sandals when they cave. How ever is doing this must be slow or an extreme hippie. if i ever saw some one wear sandals i would probably smack them in DA BACK OF DA HEAD.... :grin:
Wayyyyyy back during the Pleistocene when I was barely a teenager and just getting started at caving, I took the Spelunker Tour at Mammoth Cave. Two girlfriends joined their BFs on the tour. The guide discouraged them from coming in their pantsuits and sandals, but they came and survived. They weren't exactly happy, but they made it.
Barbara Anne am Ende

"Weird people are my people."
User avatar
Squirrel Girl
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3177
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 5:34 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM
NSS #: 15789
  

Postby Squirrel Girl » Jan 25, 2007 3:26 pm

ian mckenzie wrote:Get back to your sewing machine Ms. B; you don't have time for this!

And, wait 'till you see MY suit...
I'm at work again. I have the weekend to finish my last little bits. I'm almost done.

Is your suit almost shredded or something???? Don't forget it won't be quite so nippy at latitude 25 as it is at latitude 55!
Barbara Anne am Ende

"Weird people are my people."
User avatar
Squirrel Girl
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3177
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 5:34 am
Location: Albuquerque, NM
NSS #: 15789
  

Postby ian mckenzie » Jan 25, 2007 3:35 pm

killian wrote:Some of you guys are talking about people wearing sandals when they cave. How ever is doing this must be slow or an extreme hippie.
Surveyed a little cave in Belize wearing only shorts, sandals and a helmet... we were camped in the entrance so access wasn't an issue. Just goes to show, clothes depend on location...
User avatar
ian mckenzie
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Sep 16, 2005 9:40 am
Location: Crowsnest Pass, Canada
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Alberta Speleological Society
  

Postby Ozymandias » Jan 25, 2007 3:40 pm

I've been glancing around the 'net looking at the alternatives mentioned here... I'm still having trouble. Why can't I just type in "cordura pants" and find some nice tough, waterproof, lightweight outdoor pants?

:hairpull:

I'm from Atlanta, and I'm sticking with TAG-area caving. Not too cold, but wet and muddy. Not wet enough to need a wetsuit, but not dry enough to make jeans all that comfortable after 5 hours. Aren't most Carhartt products made out of cotton? It seems like they'd be similar to jeans when wet -- heavy and *definitely* not moisture wicking.

I've been looking around at coveralls, but it still seems like very few of them are > 50% synthetic (and the few that are won't fit someone who's 6'4").

Maybe I'll just have to to a military supply store and try on everything in sight... :grin:
Ozymandias
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Dec 16, 2006 10:10 pm
  

Postby killian » Jan 25, 2007 4:18 pm

Surveyed a little cave in Belize wearing only shorts, sandals and a helmet... we were camped in the entrance so access wasn't an issue. Just goes to show, clothes depend on location...


I don't knock the small caves in hot areas with little to no real hard, wet, dangerous areas, but personally i still think sandals are a little dangourus. Shoes maybe but sandals i don't know..... :question:
killian
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Nov 13, 2006 10:31 pm
Location: Calvert County, Maryland
Name: Killian McCarthy
NSS #: 58343
  

Postby Scott McCrea » Jan 25, 2007 4:29 pm

Ozymandias wrote:I've been glancing around the 'net looking at the alternatives mentioned here... I'm still having trouble. Why can't I just type in "cordura pants" and find some nice tough, waterproof, lightweight outdoor pants?


Cordura is not waterproof, only water resistant. And that's only because of the DWR (durable water-resistant) finish, similar to Scotch Guard, which will eventually wear off.

"Tough, waterproof, lightweight" are three words that rarely describe a single pair of pants. You can get one, maybe two of those words to describe a pant, but you're going to have to settle for something.

For TAG, I usually wear coveralls or tights and shorts. Depends on what the pace of the trip will be.
Scott McCrea
SWAYGO
User avatar
Scott McCrea
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:07 pm
Location: Asheville, NC USA
NSS #: 40839RL
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Flittermouse Grotto
  

Postby NZcaver » Jan 25, 2007 4:50 pm

Before I got my nice red Meander caving suit, I was using some synthetic coveralls I got from Wal Mart (back in the northeast).

They weren't real Cordura, but they were fairly tough. They were the "blizzard proof" type, with the insulated lining. It took me about an hour or so to carefully cut the insulated lining out - if I'd left it in, the suit would have soaked up water like a sponge. I got the full suit, but there was also a "farmer john" version available. Both were about $50, and I think Wal Mart still stocks them (probably just seasonally, in cold climate states). I just did a quick search, and found this link. (They only seem to list the farmer john right now.)

I still have that old suit of mine somewhere - it survived a bunch of caving trips no problem, but hasn't been used since I upgraded to the Meander suit. The old one does use a metal zipper, though - which I imagine would eventually fail in the cave environment. Having said all this, the reason I got mine was simply because it was cheaper. With the benefit of hindsight, you are probably better off just saving up for a "real" caving suit that will last - if you choose to go with a suit at all, of course.

Like many others, when I'm caving in warmer climates I leave my suit behind. Standard Lech-wear includes a wicking T-shirt and synthetic shorts over light polypro long johns or even girly tights - for protection from abrasion more than warmth. For day-trips in the desert climate, I swap the shorts and long johns for lightweight synthetic pants (the type you can zip off the legs for hiking to/from the cave). Warm climate lava-tubing wear consists of a little more armor for me - heavy cotton cargo pants or BDUs, sometimes with an army shirt over my T-shirt. If it's not-so-warm I wear my polypro top and bottom underneath. In lava (especially new razor-sharp lava), I also swap my regular Bomber Gear kneepads for the cheap, hard-but-flexible contractor-type ones. Destroying and rebuilding my Bombers one time was enough. I also tend to wear my elbow pads in lava tubes and warmer caves, but not in cold caves.

Good luck with your quest for the perfect caving-wear... :grin:
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6353
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Postby cob » Jan 25, 2007 8:13 pm

I have never owned a caving suit (always wanted one, just could never quite justify the cost). I have found that as long as I can shed the water, I am fine. (we do a lot of wet caving in Ozarkistan, I only wear a wet suit if I am surveying in water)

Basically polypros (or their equivalent) with light cotton shorts (from Salvation Army) reinforced with latex. I DO get some funny looks when I show up wearing the "equivalent".... if I can find a pic I will post it.

tom
If fate doesn't make you laugh, then you just don't get the joke.
cob
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 477
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 7:54 pm
Location: Ozarkistan
  

Postby kmstill » Jan 25, 2007 9:59 pm

second the earlier comment about military BDUs. check out your surplus store.
Kelly Still NSS50801
kmstill@gmail.com
User avatar
kmstill
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Dec 3, 2006 4:34 pm
Location: Ames, IA
Name: Kelly Still
NSS #: 50801
  

Postby mabercrombie » Jan 25, 2007 10:27 pm

find a place that sells "used" work uniform pants. the kind that mechanics, janitors, etc... wear. They are 60-85% polyester so water logging them is not an issue. theres a place outside of chattanooga that sells them for about two dollars a pair. I will usually wear a pair of medium weight polypro's under them and a light polypro top under the ugliest synthetic shirt i can find at the thrift store.
Im Marty Abercrombie
and I approve this message
User avatar
mabercrombie
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 382
Joined: Feb 14, 2006 9:13 pm
Location: Trenton GA
Name: marty abercrombie
NSS #: 51557
Primary Grotto Affiliation: chattanooga
  

Postby Ozymandias » Jan 25, 2007 11:43 pm

mabercrombie wrote:find a place that sells "used" work uniform pants. the kind that mechanics, janitors, etc... wear. They are 60-85% polyester so water logging them is not an issue. theres a place outside of chattanooga that sells them for about two dollars a pair.


If you don't mind my asking... What's the name of the place? For others here... any direct web links to pants / coveralls that you own? Or if you happen to live in Atlanta, names of stores (aside from the typical chains...)?

I think that might be fabulously helpful! :-)
Ozymandias
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Dec 16, 2006 10:10 pm
  

Postby mabercrombie » Jan 26, 2007 11:49 am

the name of the store is Hood manufacturing (I think) and its not much more than a trailer on the side of the road in Tiftonia (right outside of Chattanooga). Theres not a weblink that i know of. Sorry thats not a lot of help but this place is really more of a flea market stall on the side of the road.
Im Marty Abercrombie
and I approve this message
User avatar
mabercrombie
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 382
Joined: Feb 14, 2006 9:13 pm
Location: Trenton GA
Name: marty abercrombie
NSS #: 51557
Primary Grotto Affiliation: chattanooga
  

Postby JoeyS » Jan 26, 2007 12:43 pm

mabercrombie wrote:the name of the store is Hood manufacturing (I think) and its not much more than a trailer on the side of the road in Tiftonia (right outside of Chattanooga). Theres not a weblink that i know of. Sorry thats not a lot of help but this place is really more of a flea market stall on the side of the road.

Mmmm... Caving gear flea market, eh? I may just have to pack up and move to Chattaboogie. Our flea market really stinks these days. Mostly expired groceries, silk flowers, knock off perfume and stolen stuff...
________________
Joey Stuckey
JoeyS
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Aug 8, 2006 11:22 am
Location: Middle Tennessee
NSS #: 57719
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Nashville Grotto
  

PreviousNext

Return to Equipment Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron