Spanish Moss Cave
Join The Grotto

Michael LeavittThe following gear is recommended for horizontal caves:
  • HELMET - UIAA Approved Helmet. The Petzl Ecrin Roc is the most popular, but many other helmets including bike and skateboard helmets are UIAA approved.
  • HEADLAMP - There are lots of options on the market. In the last year I have become a true convert to the eGear line of LCD headlamps. They are efficient, bright, and extremely economical.  Those wanting the best on the market , that need absolute waterproof housings, and who also have a large wallet should check out Sten Lights.
  • 2 SPARE LIGHTS - Two Alternate Light Sources
  • COVERALLS - Cheap cotton coveralls will work for many things but eventually you will want to get quality caving coveralls. The Petzl Sud Oversuit (K40), Lost Creek Coveralls, coveralls by B & C Wunderwear, and coveralls by Daleswear are all excellent choices.
  • BOOTS - Quality Boots w/great ankle support
  • PACK - Small Caving Pack that might include...
    • First aid kit
    • 15 ft hand line
    • Maps for each caver
    • Compass for each caver
    • Pee bottle
    • Whistle
    • Power snack
    • Pencil/Paper
    • Knife/Multi-tool
    • Duct Tape
    • Plastic trash bag
    • Light jacket/Warm over-shirt
    • Camera
    • Positive attitude

ABOVE GROUND: A cell phone is highly recommended so that you can call for help if needed.

The following notes apply to the above equipment list.
  1. Three independent light sources are the minimum safe standard. Extra batteries do not count as a light source. Dual bulbs in a light do not count as two independent light sources.
  2. Gloves are required even if you don't mind getting your hands dirty. Caving without gloves is a conservation problem due to the oil that is deposited in the cave from your hands.
  3. Even though cotton coveralls are fine for starters, consider getting quality caving coveralls as soon as possible. Caving coveralls will last longer, perform better, and will not generate lint.


WARNING: Do not use this ascending system without first receiving training from experienced vertical cavers

There are many different configurations that can constitute a safe and effective vertical system. The most popular caving setup known as the frog system are presented here.

Frog system gear list:


The following notes apply to the vertical equipment list:
  1. You should be fully trained by an experienced caver before using any of the above equipment. Failure to do so could result in injury or death!
  2. It is advisable to train with an experienced caver before buying any of the above equipment. This will allow you to make more informed buying decisions.
  3. ATC type devices are not acceptable caving descenders. Figure 8’s are marginal. Racks, mini-racks, and bobbins are the best options.
  4. The Petzl Fractio Harness REQUIRES a Maillon Rapide 10mm Semi-Circle; a normal carabiner cannot be used due to the multi angles the gear places upon the connector.
  5. It is important to not attach bobbin type descenders directly to the harness maillon. The bobbin must be attached to the maillon with a locking carabiner. There is a safety notice on this subject from Petzl.
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