newbie needs coverall info

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newbie needs coverall info

Postby briwill » Nov 3, 2007 8:06 pm

I am just getting equipment on a very limited budget. I have been looking on ebay for bargains. I ran across some flight suits made of a material called nomex which is supposed to be water resistant. Is anyone familiar with this who can let me know if it is or is not good for caving?

Thanks!!!
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Postby MessedUpMike » Nov 3, 2007 8:40 pm

If Nomex has any water resistance it's not much. Nomex is better known for it's heat resistant properties, which is why it's used in flight suits and sometimes still in firefighting gear. You can get jumpsuits for around 40.00 from lots of locations, WalMart and most army surplus carries coming immediately to mind. If you find any send me a PM and I'll see what I can dig up. they're not terribly moisture resistant, but I'm sure some waterproofing spray will help that a little.
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Postby wyandottecaver » Nov 3, 2007 8:52 pm

not sure a nomex suit would be that great for caving. The nomex I've worn was hot and not much better than cotton for sturdiness. Mike is correct that nomex is noted for not sustaining a flame. It does burn under a direct flame, but once you take away the fire the cloth wont burn on its own. better than spandex though :) if your patient you can find cave coveralls for $40-50 on ebay. If your in a hurry hit the goodwill or army surplus stores.
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Coveralls

Postby pacaver » Nov 3, 2007 10:44 pm

To extend the life of your coveralls, especially if you go with the polyester/cotton blends that are common on non-caving coveralls, use plumbers goop and thin it out with toluene or xylene so it's like a light syrup, then coat the knees, elbows and butt. You may want to use mutiple coats for more reinforcement. The fumes are fairly toxic so be sure you're doing this outside or in a well ventilated area.
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Postby briwill » Nov 4, 2007 5:10 pm

Thanks for the info! You saved me from wasting money. I do overheat easily. Any suggestions on the best material for me?
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Re: Coveralls

Postby adleedy » Nov 4, 2007 6:41 pm

pacaver wrote:To extend the life of your coveralls, especially if you go with the polyester/cotton blends that are common on non-caving coveralls, use plumbers goop and thin it out with toluene or xylene so it's like a light syrup, then coat the knees, elbows and butt. You may want to use mutiple coats for more reinforcement. The fumes are fairly toxic so be sure you're doing this outside or in a well ventilated area.


aquaseal works good too!

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Postby wendy » Nov 4, 2007 6:47 pm

briwill wrote:Thanks for the info! You saved me from wasting money. I do overheat easily. Any suggestions on the best material for me?


Where are you located? If we know what caves you are visiting and the temps we might be able to help ya better. I caved for almost 5 years without a coveralls, so you may not need any right off the bat.
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Postby briwill » Nov 4, 2007 7:21 pm

wendy wrote:Where are you located? If we know what caves you are visiting and the temps we might be able to help ya better. I caved for almost 5 years without a coveralls, so you may not need any right off the bat.




I am in Southeast Missouri. I have yet to go into any caves here, but I understand most are quite wet (lots and lots of springs here). I understand most caves to be in the fifties or so. If I could get by without any equipment on the big list I'm looking at that would be... :kewl: .
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Postby Jeff Bartlett » Nov 4, 2007 10:09 pm

yeah, get a good helmet and a worthy light and then you can buy other stuff at your convenience.

a lot of the older guys don't have the fancy nylon coveralls. just make sure you have something good for a base layer to keep you warm and dry. i just wear the cheap-o walmart brand underarmor knockoffs.

i cave with a guy who has been caving for 30 years with long sleeve lycra-spandex shirt and long-legged lycra spandex tights, and he just wears shorts and a t-shirt over that along with his knee pads. nothing at all wrong with it.

(don't get me wrong, i love my coveralls and can't imagine caving without them - but it's really a matter of personal preference).
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Postby CaveGimp » Nov 5, 2007 3:21 pm

The great thing about caving is its fairly cheap to get into and to continue doing for many years. Like xcathodex said, get a good helmet and light. Then cave a few times and see what others are using and what you like. Coveralls are nice, but they have draw backs. Folks in your local grotto should be able to give you their opinion and even places to look for gear. For warmth, remember to stay away from cotton as the base layer. Other than that, trial and error.
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