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Gear Required for Caving

All caving-specific gear can be borrowed from CUCC, but there are a few less technical items that you'll need to bring on meets.


  • Warm clothes for normal wear
  • Raincoat
  • Robust trainers/boots for normal wear
  • Old underwear and socks for wearing in the cave
  • Old T-shirt/vest for underneath a furrysuit. Cotton is not ideal as it keeps you cold when wet; a rash vest or thermal top is better
  • Gear set (can borrow from CUCC): undersuit, oversuit, wellies, helmet, belt or harness, karabiner, survival bag, whistle
  • Lamp (can borrow from CUCC)
  • Cave food (e.g. a few Mars or Snickers bars, for when you need a sugar fix)
  • Towel
  • Sleeping bag (CUCC have a few sleeping bags that can be borrowed)
  • Money for food when travelling & more chocolate supplies
  • Experience: have climbed a ladder on the surface if possible
  • Knowledge: what's the plan for this meet?
  • Communication: tell meet leaders of medical things, ask if unsure of anything, be briefed before going underground.

Should have...

  • Wash kit: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc. (Or just don't wash!)
  • Second pair of old underwear & socks for wearing in the cave the next day (putting on dry underwear is more pleasant)
  • Cave gloves (e.g. washing-up gloves). Although some people claim it's warmer to not wear gloves.

Nice to have...

  • Thermal top
  • Head torch (e.g. Petzl Tikka, Princeton Tec Eos).

If you become a regular caver with CUCC you'll eventually want to purchase your own set of gear; it's best to ask club members for advice on what will suit you best, as there are lots of products available. Muddy caving gear, especially metal work, all looks similar so you will need to mark your stuff with a unique colour combination, or label it with your name. Look at the gear tape colours list to see which colour combinations are currently in use, before choosing your own.

Information regarding the operation of the tackle store, and the club inventory are also available online.

The Tackle Store


The CUCC tackle store is located on Grange road; it is a garage with blue doors, next to the building number 6. It is shown on this map (marked with a red arrow, near the bottom): CUCC tackle store location.

Access to the tackle store requires a set of keys, so borrowed gear is best returned at ropewashes, training sessions or pubmeets (when the chosen pub is near the tackle store!)

Contact the President or Tacklemaster if you need to access the tackle store at a different time, or if you feel you require a set of keys.

Gear return

Borrowed gear should be returned as soon as possible, and before the next training session or meet. Gear should be washed before it is returned and not left in a muddy pile to accumulate rust and mould. Upon returning any gear, please tick the gear off in the gear logbook (usually on top of the filing cabinet in the tackle store).

Gear inventory

Compiled by Jess S, Jess H, Laurence and Ollie on 14/10/2008.

  • 8 harnesses
  • 10 helmets
  • 8 working backup lights (and 1 broken one)
  • 14 fursuits of which XL:2, L:6, M:4, S:2
  • 14 oversuits of which XL:1, L:7, M:5, S:1
  • 10 functional pairs kneepads
  • 5 working lamps
  • 14 lamp belts
  • Wellies (pairs)
    • Size 12 : 1
    • Size 11.5 : 1
    • Size 11 : 2
    • Size 10 : 4
    • Size 9 : 6
    • Size 8 : 5
    • Size 7 : 2
    • Size 6 : 4
    • Size 5 : 4
    • Size 4 : 1

Gear Tape Colours

To avoid confusion it is best to tape all of your gear with a unique combination of colours. Pick a combination and add yourself to the list. The list is ordered by approximate frequency of caving with CUCC, then in alphabetical order by colour.

Please avoid combinations using purple - purple is reserved for club equipment.

CUCC gear

Purple, Red CUCC SRT Kit 1
Purple, Black CUCC SRT Kit 2
Purple, Orange CUCC SRT Kit 3
Purple, White CUCC SRT Kit 4
Purple, Blue CUCC SRT Kit 5
Purple, Yellow CUCC SRT Kit 6


Colour Name Often seen?
Black, Blue, Black Edvin Deadman Current Member
Black, Blue, Yellow Mark Shinwell Current member
Black, Brown Tony Rooke Current member
Black, White, Red Adam Kessler Current member
Black, Yellow, Black Toby Speight Current member
Blue James Hickson Current member
Blue, Black, Red Ollie Stevens Current member
Blue, Black, White Kathryn Hopkins Current member
Blue, Green, Red John Billings Current member
Blue, Orange Richard Mundy Current member
Blue, White Stuart Bennett Current member
Blue, White, Red Chantalle Mouwer Current member
Brown, Green Wookey & Tess Current members
Brown, Grey, Earth Tom Handford Current member
Brown, Red Emma Wilson Current member
Earth, Red Pete Harley* Current member
Earth, White Olly Madge Current member
Green, Grey Sarah White Current member
Green, Red Aaron Curtis Current member
Green, White, Red Serena Povia Current member
Green, Yellow Nial Peters Current member
Orange, Red Peter Clifton Current member
Orange, Yellow Djuke Veldhuis Current member
Purple, Yellow Mark Shinwell Current member
Red, White Simon Redhead Current member
Black, Yellow Anthony Day Frequently
Blue, Yellow Becka Lawson Frequently
Earth Frank Tully Frequently
Earth Jenny Black Frequently
Earth, Earth Earl Merson Frequently
Green, Orange Olly Betts Frequently
Green, White Julia Bradshaw Frequently
Orange, Orange Martin Green Frequently
Red, Blue, Red Julian Todd Frequently
White, Yellow David Loeffler Frequently
Black, Blue Chris Densham Sometimes
Earth, Red Brian Outram* Sometimes
Grey Sam Lieberman Sometimes
Black, Black Steve Jones Sometimes
Black, Red Steve Bishop Rarely
Black, Red, Black Erin Lynch Rarely
Blue, Green Letty ten Harkel Rarely
Earth, Purple Duncan Collis Rarely
Purple, Red Julian Haines Rarely
Black, Grey Alex Cheesman Ever?
Black, Yellow Penny Reeves Ever?
Blue Mike Richardson Ever?
Blue, Black, Red Jeremy Rodgers Ever?
Blue, Green Tanya Savage Ever?
Blue, Yellow, Red Ally Graff-Fearon Ever?
Red, Yellow Mark Fearon Ever?
Yellow Andy Waddington Ever?
Yellow, White, Yellow Dave Fearon Ever?
*Pete Harley's colours currently conflict with Brian Outram's, but he will change them if it becomes an issue or there are complaints.