Caving Basics

Caving Basics :: What you need to know before you start

So you’re thinking about going caving?  Before you go, we hope you’ll contact us or one of the other Arizona grottos listed on our links page.  We’d love to introduce you to caving the safe way!

If you’ve never been caving, we recommend you download A Guide to Responsible Caving from the NSS website.  The guide is 26 pages long and provides great introductory info on basic caving practices.

Basic Caving Gear :: Keep yourself safe

(The following information is provided courtesy of the NSS, with some modifications for Arizona caving)
The safety of every caver is always the primary consideration. The trip leader will advise trip members which items are required.  Those arriving without the required items will typically have to skip the trip.

  1. Helmet – preferably a climbing helmet
  2. Helmet-mounted light
  3. Sturdy shoes / boots
  4. Gloves
  5. Knee and / or elbow pads
  6. Pack
  7. 2 Backup light sources
  8. Batteries
  9. Spare bulbs
  10. Drinking water
  11. Pee bottle
  12. Trip Food  – e.g. granola bars, beef jerky
Vertical caving gear. Gum optional.

Other Items to Bring

  1. Duct tape
  2. Personal Medications
  3. Complete change of clothing and shoes
  4. A large, plastic garbage bag for dirty clothing
  5. Parental consent form and/or waivers, health form, trip permits

Optional Equipment

  1. Camera
  2. Magnifying glass
  3. After-trip snack
  4. Money for incidentals

Group Equipment Check List

  • First aid kit for in-cave use
  • Pencil and small note pad for each adult
  • Out-of-cave emergency cache
  • Space blanket

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Liability and assessment of responsibility
All who read this must assess the quality and applicability of this information.  No liability will be accepted for the use or misuse of this information or for consequences that result from its use or misuse.