Caving equipment and clothes
The air temperature inside Irish caves is generally about 8-10°C. However, this air is very damp and can cause severe heat loss leading to hypothermia if warm clothing is not worn.
For your first few trips, clothing such as below will be adequate:
- Pair of rubber-wellies for foot and ankle protection
- Some thick socks (x2 for each foot) or “wet/surf-socks”
- For underclothes: warm thermals, a few layers of old warm clothes
- For outerclothes: old overalls, old anorack, old tracksuit
- Knee pads (if you have them)
- Neck buff, balaclava, old beanie-type hat
- Rubberised gardening gloves
- A change of clothes
- A wet suit can be handy for underclothes
Most caving clubs will provide you with a helmet and lamp for your first few trips.
Regular cavers choose between a wet suit for very wet caves or a one piece fleece (fibre pile) undersuit combined with a one piece PVC/Nylon/cordura over suit.
It is very important to bring a complete change of clothes and towel to use after your caving trip.