What Equipment Do You Need for Caving?


Caving is classed as an extreme sport.  This is not so much due to the potential risk to life associated with the sport (although there are many), but more due to the extreme physical nature of it.  Caving is generally a safe sport if the right equipment is used, but any accident can have devastating effects even resulting in death, due to rescue operations being made very difficult.  In order to prevent accidents, it is important to have the right type of equipment.

Caving Equipment Minimum Requirements

Although not governed by law, many caving guides will not allow anyone to partake in a caving trip unless they have certain equipment as a minimum.  This includes:

  • A good attitude, an interest in caving and a commitment to cave conservation – caves are fragile natural and biological environments and need to be respected.

  • A head mounted light with four sets of spare batteries and two spare bulbs.  The most recommended lights are Night Blaster and Coleman and both are available at very reasonable prices.

  • A flash light with four sets of spare batteries and two spare bulbs, to back up the head mounted light in case of an emergency.

  • A hard hat – although specialist caving helmets can be found and are very useful, the most important thing is to have a hard hat, whether that is a skater helmet or a construction helmet.  Whilst caving, you are very likely to bump your head, so this equipment truly is vital.

  • Boots that are suitable for hiking under strenuous conditions.

  • Water bottles with sufficient water.

  • High energy snacks, such as a granola bar or a candy bar for example.

  • Duct tape – this can also be useful to strap a torch to your helmet.

  • A space blanket (you can also use extra large sized trash bags).

It is important that all this equipment can be carried on your body whilst leaving your hands free, as you will be needing your hands whilst caving.

Caving Equipment Suggested Extras

It can be advisable to bring the following items as well:

  • A small bag or back pack to store your items in. Shop high quality mens handbag here.

  • Gloves

  • Very warm socks such as thermal socks

  • Thermal underwear

  • A camera with flash

  • An extra flashlight

  • Spare sets of batteries and light bulbs

  • Knee and elbow pads

  • A first aid kit

  • A change of clothes

  • Candles and matches or a lighter

  • Waterproof packaging (particularly for the electric equipment, candles and matches)

  • A whistle

  • Pen and paper

  • A compass

  • Extra boot laces

Generally, caving is done through organised trips and any additional equipment will depend entirely on the cave that will be explored.  The company that organises the caving trip should provide you with all other equipment such as ropes, safety harnesses, clamps and so on.  They should also hold responsibility for checking weather conditions in relation to possible floods, but you could also research this yourself, of course.  The most important thing is to be in good physical health, to enjoy strenuous activity and to be committed to conservation.