Cleaning gear

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

Postby Phil Winkler » Jan 11, 2006 2:57 pm

Scott,

What's the Bankhead project?
Phil Winkler
13627 FE
User avatar
Phil Winkler
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2375
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 8:48 am
Location: Wilmington, DE and Dewey Beach
NSS #: 13627FE
  

Postby JackW » Jan 11, 2006 3:39 pm

I once cleaned my wet suit after a muddy trip by wearing it while ridding and (repeatedly) falling off a jet-ski.

That was the most fun I've had washing cave gear.
JackW
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 142
Joined: Sep 6, 2005 11:46 am
Location: Denver
Name: Jack Wood
NSS #: 42272
Primary Grotto Affiliation: FRG
  

Postby Scott Shaw » Jan 11, 2006 4:04 pm

Phil,
The Bankhead project (formally known as the Bankhead Cave Survey) is a volunteer effort I've been heading up for the last three years to inventory and map all of the caves in the Bankhead National Forest in Lawrence County, Alabama. For each cave we do a biological and archaeological inventory, firm up the location with GPS, and survey the cave if it has not been mapped. We are also ridgewalking and finding new caves. The current count is up around 120 caves.

Our work is coordinated through the Bankhead Ranger District of the US Forest Service. Many trips include biologists, archaeologists, and /or wilderness rangers from the Forest Service, their help has been invaluable. While not a grotto project, most of the participation does come from the Huntsville Grotto. Also get a lot of help from cavers from the Office of Archaeological Services at the University of Alabama.

Anyone is welcome to help out. Send me an email if interested. We hold at least one trip a month, though February will see up to 4 to take advantage of prime ridgewalking season.

A more indepth writeup was in the 2005 Convention Guidebook.

Scott
Alabama Cave Survey - Cave Files Director (Send me your new caves and updates)
Scott Shaw
Prolific Poster
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 8:48 am
NSS #: 30571
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Alabama Cave Survey
  

Postby NZcaver » Jan 11, 2006 6:13 pm

Sorry to get back on topic...:grin:

Personally, I usually rinse and/or soak my gear as soon as practical after a trip. Then I do what George does, and put most of it through the washing machine. Works like a charm. My rope goes through in a separate load, and I always chain it first so it doesn't tangle. I know someone who uses one of those portable power washers, and swears by it. He brings it with him to share on all those multi-day, multi-cave trips. I'm still undecided about the merits of using it on a rope - they sure come out looking clean, but the high pressure water probably drives grit particles deep into the rope.

Once upon a time, I did wonder if I should really be bothered regularly cleaning my gear. Then I started noticing that other people's dirty stuff left a mess and a stink in my vehicle - and that was on the way to the cave! Sure - cavers don't need to look shiny when they pull up to go caving, but they don't need to leave a pile of crud where they get changed either. Cross-contamination of caves is another factor to consider if you're too lazy to clean your gear. If you always go to the same cave - no problem. If not, you're helping to take to small amounts of biota from one cave environment and introduce it into another.
And even if you don't clean your caving clothes, please regularly clean and inspect your vertical gear - for safety sake. :shock:
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6364
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

Postby randojl » Jan 12, 2006 1:01 am

Scott Shaw wrote:
I really enjoyed "On Station.


Hey Buddy, since you've read On Station, your ready for the Bankhead project, to put some of that to use.

Scott

:off topic: Yessir, Scott, I'm the cave surveying equivalent of what the army used to call a "90-day wonder." Mr. Dasher produced an excellent reference but I'm sure I could use just a wee bit o' field instruction and experience to go with it.

Seriously and even further off topic, I'd like to discuss offline data reduction/ mapping opportunities with you sometime, believing that the best way to learn how to take good surveying data is to first try to use someone else's.
User avatar
randojl
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Dec 10, 2005 4:36 pm
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
  

Postby mgmills » Jan 12, 2006 6:40 am

JackW wrote:I once cleaned my wet suit after a muddy trip by wearing it while ridding and (repeatedly) falling off a jet-ski.

That was the most fun I've had washing cave gear.


My favorite method is weather dependent. I like to hang it on the clothesline and let the rain wash it. . . of course, I don't live in a city apartment building.

Failing rain, I hang it on the line and hose it down.
Martha Mills
NSS 39864
User avatar
mgmills
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Sewanee TN
Name: Martha Mills
NSS #: 39864
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Dogwood City Grotto
  

Postby Cheryl Jones » Jan 12, 2006 6:26 pm

Mr. Dasher produced an excellent reference but I'm sure I could use just a wee bit o' field instruction and experience to go with it.


Speaking of which, I think it would be great if George produced an updated version of On Station that covers new developments, equipment, tricks, methods, etc. George.......?? :waving:

Cheryl

:off topic:
User avatar
Cheryl Jones
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2469
Joined: Sep 2, 2005 11:53 pm
Location: Virginia
Name: Cheryl Jones
NSS #: 14479 FE OS
Primary Grotto Affiliation: BATS
  

Postby Patricia Bingham » Jan 13, 2006 6:24 am

Whenever surveying with Mr. Dasher, remember that he REALLY likes it when the instrument readers holler "On Station" to each other throughout the entire trip. I think this should be included in his updated version. :)
Patricia Bingham
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Oct 12, 2005 5:26 am
Location: Northern Virginia
  

Postby George Dasher » Jan 13, 2006 9:24 am

Actually, I kinda mighta put together a very abbreivated version of how to cave survey and offered it to the NSS at the ME convention. They weren't really interested. It was about 20 pages long without figures.

I'm not aware there are too many updated ways to survey... Distos? Taking computers in caves? LEDs to light up the stations? Granted there is a lot of new software (to reduce the data, draw the cave map, and for GIS purposes), but I purposedly stayed away from more than generalizing about software, because it changes so much.

Yea, an update could be made, but it should be a lot shorter.

And Pat, you were shooting the shots on our last survey trip, so why were yelling, "On Station!" I thought you were mostly yelling: "Oh no, not more bat sh-t!" "Oh no, we don't have to climb back up that mountain to get home, do we?" "Oh no, where are the cars?"
User avatar
George Dasher
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 693
Joined: Sep 22, 2005 2:00 pm
Location: West Virginia
NSS #: 16643
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Charleston Grotto
  

Postby Patricia Bingham » Jan 14, 2006 6:26 am

The only time I whine worse when caving (or trying to get to the cave) is when I'm cleaning gear!

I had to get this back on topic somehow. :)
Patricia Bingham
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Oct 12, 2005 5:26 am
Location: Northern Virginia
  

Postby randojl » Jan 15, 2006 12:41 am

We've covered some marvelous territory here (surveying and everything!) but I'm surprised no one has come forward with a 12V gear washer. Maybe a small tank in a pickup bed or perhaps something mounted to a 2" hitch. I'm wondering about a container with a coarse grid attached a few inches above the bottom to separate the mud from the gear while en route, with some 12V actuator to move gear and/ or water.:goodjob: Any experience or ideas before this thread goes away?
User avatar
randojl
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 29
Joined: Dec 10, 2005 4:36 pm
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
  

Postby eyecave » Jan 15, 2006 3:27 am

:rock band: :rock band: :rock band: .......toss it in the last source of falling water you pass.......
User avatar
eyecave
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 235
Joined: Nov 17, 2005 10:46 pm
Location: TAG....
NSS #: 16411
Primary Grotto Affiliation: sewanee mountain grotto
  

Postby mgmills » Jan 16, 2006 10:24 pm

I went caving Saturday - my caving "overpants" are hanging on the clothes line now and it is raining so they are getting washed. The cave wasn't that muddy so this is probably all they'll get this trip. . . they don't need the high pressure of the garden hose. Poly pros and socks have already been through the washer.
Martha Mills
NSS 39864
User avatar
mgmills
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Sewanee TN
Name: Martha Mills
NSS #: 39864
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Dogwood City Grotto
  

Postby Patricia Bingham » Jan 18, 2006 5:24 am

I've read in a Martha Stewart magazine not to add fabric softener to polypro as this will inhibit the insulation capabilities. So I put up with the static electricity. Is Martha a caver?
Patricia Bingham
Frequent Poster
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Oct 12, 2005 5:26 am
Location: Northern Virginia
  

Postby mgmills » Jan 18, 2006 6:25 am

Patricia Bingham wrote:I've read in a Martha Stewart magazine not to add fabric softener to polypro as this will inhibit the insulation capabilities. So I put up with the static electricity. Is Martha a caver?


I don't use fabric softner in my wash . . . I use dryer sheets. I don't put my polypro through the dryer and don't have any static problems.
Martha Mills
NSS 39864
User avatar
mgmills
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 1375
Joined: Sep 5, 2005 3:06 pm
Location: Sewanee TN
Name: Martha Mills
NSS #: 39864
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Dogwood City Grotto
  

PreviousNext

Return to Equipment Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

cron