8 Ways To Prepare For Your Underground Caving Adventure

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Beware: You should never explore wild caves alone or without proper gear. Consider getting in touch with a Grotto of the National Speleological Society at www.caves.org or a qualified cave club. These groups are skilled and will train you. Without sufficient knowledge, preparation, and equipment, cave exploring can lead to serious injury or death.

Caving is an adventure that many people have heard about, but few have experienced. This is mostly because of lack of knowledge and potential danger. Even today, with proper equipment and a guide, there are accidents that can occur. But with proper preparation, your underground expedition can be safe and enjoyable.

In this guide, we will go over some of the main steps you can take to ensure your next trip is a good one. It doesn’t hurt to overprepare, but it certainly can hurt if you find yourself in a sticky situation without the right gear or tools to help you get out.

Without further ado, let’s get to it!

1.   Bring The Right Clothes

When preparing for caving, ensure that the clothes you wear are comfortable and won’t restrict your movement. You’ll also want clothes that can handle getting dirty and being wet in case of water crossings.

If there’s a chance that it will be cold outside where you’ll be caving, or even if it’s not, bring a few extra layers. This way you can adjust depending on external temperatures, and stay prepared in case temperatures drop inside. This does happen quite often in deep caves.

The same goes for hot weather: pack some breathable fabrics like cotton or lightweight polyester blends. These materials wick moisture away from your body while keeping cool air flowing through them.

See some of the best jackets we reviewed here.

Diamond Candy Women's Waterproof Rain Jacket

This Diamond Candy rain jacket outfitted with water-repellent technology is suitable for rainy or misty weather, and holds up well in most cave environments.

2.   Carry a Good Pair of Hiking Boots

A good pair of caving or hiking boots will help protect your feet from sharp rocks, possibly slippery terrain, and other hazards deep inside the cave system.

If you’re going underground, you’re going to be in many dark places. You must have the proper hiking boots to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

Look for sturdy boots with good tread. They can be expensive, but they make up for it by being highly durable, which means they’ll last longer than cheaper options.

Top Seller
Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II

This Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Suede Waterproof hiking boot features the Columbia signature lightweight midsole for long-lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and high energy return.

3.   Be Prepared for Wet and Muddy Conditions

You may already know to do this, but bring extra clothes! Depending on where you go, your caving adventure may cross paths with rain or even flooding. If you have the option, bring an extra pair of shoes and socks to change into ont the way back.

You will be walking on wet and muddy surfaces, so you must be prepared for this by wearing comfortable shoes that provide good traction when walking on wet or slippery surfaces.

Our personal suggestion, however, is to bring a towel or blanket. You will want something to sit on during the trip, especially if you’re not bringing a tent. It’s also possible that a towel may come in handy if you encounter flooding or water dripping anywhere inside. You’ll want to dry off properly before making you emerge.

Oceas Outdoor Sandproof and Waterproof Pocket Blanket

This pocket blanket is made with durable ripstop polyester, and comes with a nylon spandex bag with polyurethane coating. Fitting nearly anywhere, it is also super-compact and highly-portable, perfect for outdoors adventures.

4.   Carry a First Aid Kit for Emergencies

It’s imperative to carry a first aid kit for any outdoor adventure, and caving is no exception. It will help you in emergencies, and you can perform minor medical procedures on yourself or others in the group.

Many factors must be considered when preparing a first aid kit for caving, such as storage and portability.

Recommendations are to keep it small and portable so that it can easily fit into your backpack during the tour but large enough so that there won’t be any items missing from it once you need them most.

It’s also important not only what types of items should be included in your kit but also how they should be stored together so they don’t go wrong (or get lost!).

Best Seller
First Aid Only 442 All-Purpose Emergency First Aid Kit
10/10Our Score

First Aid Only 442 All-Purpose Emergency First Aid Kit

This extensive First Aid Kit contains adhesive fabric and plastic bandages, antibiotic ointments, BZK antiseptic towelettes, burn cream packets, aspirin, ibuprofen, gauze roll and pads, wound closures, cold pack, and other multi-use first aid items.

You will be prepared for just about anything with one of these. Don't go to any wild caves without it.

5.   Use a Headlamp for Lighting

A headlamp is a must when exploring caves, as it is the primary light source and can be removed quickly in an emergency.

As with any gear, test your headlamp before going. Make sure it is in good working condition. The last thing you want to do when exploring underground is to deal with faulty equipment.

Save battery power by turning off your headlamps periodically throughout each trip into the cave—this will help extend battery life. This will help you take in the beauty of nature without feeling like you’re trying to navigate through it blindfolded.

Top Seller
GearLight 2Pack LED Headlamp

This Headlamp by Gearlight offers powerful hands-free LED light, with a runtime of 10+ hours on the lowest settings. While made for work, they are a great choice for cavers as well. Perhaps most importantly, they are weather and water resistant.

6.   Bring a Fully-charged Cellphone in Case of Emergency

You should also ensure you have a fully-charged cellphone in an emergency. Waterproof cases are available for most phones, protecting your device from dust, dirt, and water damage.

Get a waterproof case that is tightly sealed and properly fitted to the phone; otherwise, it will not be protected against water when you’re underground.

Finally, bring a portable or car charger so that if your phone battery runs out during your adventure (or while waiting for someone else), you can still call for help if necessary.

To be even more safe, bring a water-resistant container like the one below. Place your electronics inside this, inside your backpack or bag. Don’t take the chance with valuables and wet environments.

Top Seller
Plano 3440-10 Waterproof Stowaway (3400 Series)

A sealed waterproof container like this is ideal for storing your phones and other precious valuables when you're entering the harsher climates of the outdoors and wild caves.

7.   Bring Plenty of Water and Snacks

It is a great idea to carry plenty of water and snacks to keep yourself hydrated and energized. You can buy bottled water at nearly every gas station, so make sure you stock up on these before you head out for your adventure.

Then, pack them in your backpack along with some energy bars or trail mix. Snacks are essential because they will help keep you going through long car rides, making it easier to stay awake and enjoy the scenery as much as possible.

ImageProductWhat's In It?How to Get It
Top Seller
Jack Link's Beef Jerky Variety Pack (15-Pack)

Jack Link's Beef Jerky Variety Pack (15-Pack)

Keeping your diet packed full of protein keeps you satisfied and energized all day long.

This pack features 15 bags of 1.25 ounce of beef jerky, with 6 Original, 5 Teriyaki and 4 Peppered.

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Vegan's Favorite
Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky (12-Pack)

Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky (12-Pack)

And if you're looking for a vegan option, you can try Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky as an alternative without sacrificing that protein.

This is a 12 pack of 1.0 ounce of vegan jerky, with 3 Teriyaki, 3 Hickory Smoked, 3 Texas BBQ, 1 Thai Peanut, 1 Hot & Spicy, and 1 Mesquite Lime.

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8. Go to the Restroom Before the Tour

Going to the bathroom before entering the cave is a good idea. There are no restrooms in the caves, and there may be a lot of walking. It’s best to go in feeling light and comfortable.

Most people go for just an afternoon, but some more passionate explorers may take an entire weekend. You will also want to bring at least one set of clothes for each day of your caving adventure. Consider a towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, and maybe even a tiny mirror.

If you have long hair, consider bringing an elastic band or two just in case. Sweat or rain can cause headaches when trying to leave the cave later.

The same thing goes for a moisturizer; just put some on before going into the cave so that you will feel refreshed, and unencumbered by the elements both inside and outside the caves.

An Underground Adventure is Fun with Proper Preparation

Preparing for your underground adventure will help you to enjoy the experience more. You will be more comfortable, safer, composed, and relaxed.

You will have more fun, and create some new memories. And most importantly, you will be better prepared for anything that might happen during your trip.

Start preparing for your next underground caving adventure if you’re excited about it. Preparedness is key to how successful your trip will be. It is a beautiful experience to go out on a caving adventure with your family and friends; it creates good memories and helps bond relationships. The important thing is to remember that this is an adventure and not just a tour; so be adventurous, explore new places, be safe, and enjoy yourself!

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