Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

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Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

Postby cavercrane97 » Jan 13, 2013 12:01 am

Alright. So some cavers just aren't fulfilled with simple one day trips and require a little more to satisfy them. I am one of those. What I need to know is what type of supplies do you need for overnight to 2-day trips underground and where can it be purchased. So far, I haven't had much luck in my research. Helping-hand someone? :grin:
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Re: Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

Postby NZcaver » Jan 13, 2013 4:07 am

You might get some ideas from the previous topic camping out in a cave, for a long survey.
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Re: Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 14, 2013 5:38 pm

Here's my Lech camp packing list. This is for 8 days (7 nights). Many adjustments would be needed for the types of activities you're doing, length of trip, type of cave, etc. I'd generally avoid cotton clothing and down insulation, but I've seen them used selectively with success. In very warm caves (>60F) you can get away with a 45-55F rated sleeping bag. For caves that are 50-60F I would recommend a 30F bag, and below 50F cave temperature you'll probably want a 20F rated bag (i.e. add 15 to 25 degrees to the rating). Many other adjustments can be made depending on how far you intend to travel to camp and through what type of terrain. If you're camping 10 minutes from an entrance in walking passage then it doesn't much matter. Otherwise you'll want the smallest and lightest pack possible. I tend to favor smaller over lighter.


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Re: Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

Postby tncaver » Jan 14, 2013 6:32 pm

Derek, I can't read your list on the NSS website. It is too small. Would you mind sending the list to my email address?
idigcaves@yahoo.com
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Re: Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

Postby boogercaver71 » Jan 14, 2013 10:30 pm

cavercrane97 wrote:Alright. So some cavers just aren't fulfilled with simple one day trips and require a little more to satisfy them. I am one of those. What I need to know is what type of supplies do you need for overnight to 2-day trips underground and where can it be purchased. So far, I haven't had much luck in my research. Helping-hand someone? :grin:


Go to the Fisher Ridge website: http://home.comcast.net/~alex_frcs/packlist.html

They do lots of "mini trips" of 2-3 days.
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Re: Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

Postby tncaver » Jan 15, 2013 8:47 am

I read Derek's list. I wish I owned as much stuff as he takes in Lech. Amazingly his list says his personal pack weighs only 24 pounds, not
counting vertical gear.
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Re: Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 15, 2013 11:42 am

tncaver wrote:I read Derek's list. I wish I owned as much stuff as he takes in Lech. Amazingly his list says his personal pack weighs only 24 pounds, not
counting vertical gear.

That doesn't include any water (generally another 2-4 lbs for 1-2 quarts), or group gear. My pack weight has ended up being between 30 and 50 lbs depending on whether we're carrying lead climbing gear and rope. On Jewel Cave camp trips of 4 days, where sleeping bags, pads and stoves are left in the cave, my pack weight is around 15-16 lbs. But in many ways it's easier to carry a 50 lb pack to camp in the West branch of Lech than it is to carry a 15 lb pack to the SE branch of Jewel.

I'd reinforce the statements made in the thread from 2008 ... if the goal is to be more productive in exploration and survey, then camping should be an absolute last resort. It works in certain circumstances, but there are many more examples where camping is less productive and causes more impact to the cave than doing long day trips. In order to make camping efficient and productive you have to be extremely organized and have very focused goals.
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Re: Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

Postby Ernie Coffman » Jan 15, 2013 6:37 pm

John H. just double-click Derek's list a couple of times and it'll come up to where you can read it real easy-like. :woohoo:
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Re: Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

Postby tncaver » Jan 15, 2013 7:38 pm

Thanks Enrie. I didn't know that I could click on Derek's list twice to enlarge it, but Derek already sent me the full sized spread sheet. It's amazing how much stuff he took in the cave and how light his pack was. My daily vertical pack is almost as heavy as his personal expedition pack. But my gear is old school and weighs a lot. I'm fascinated with the lightness and completeness of Derek's pack. Derek provides a really good example of modern caving technique for extended underground stays.

Ernie Coffman wrote:John H. just double-click Derek's list a couple of times and it'll come up to where you can read it real easy-like. :woohoo:
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Re: Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

Postby Extremeophile » Jan 16, 2013 10:35 am

tncaver wrote:It's amazing how much stuff he took in the cave and how light his pack was.

Everything is made of titanium ... and I only bring one pair of underwear :yikes:
Titanium underwear does chafe though.
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Re: Gear and Supplies for Extended Trips Underground

Postby tncaver » Jan 16, 2013 12:22 pm

I can recommend another item for any extended cave trips that I did not see on Derek's list. A light weight polyester/spandex balaclava that can be carried inside the helmet along with an emergency garbage bag. While surveying in Big Dog Cave a while back everyone got a bit chilled except for Julie Schenck. She was wearing a light weight stretchy balaclava under her helmet and she remained cozy while the rest of us were definitely cold. I now own one of those. It is perfect for caving. It is thin enough to fit under a helmet and is very comfortable yet not too hot. It is also very light weight. Much better than other types of balaclavas.
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