Caving With Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania Council 11-18-18

Yes, they were at it again. This time there were two new Troops to introduce to caving. Eastern PA Council set this one up at the same time as the one in October. This trip originally had sixteen people, but one Troop backed out at the last minute. It’s a shame because they missed a very good time with these girls. Maybe they’ll come out again when they can. We have been having a tremendous amount of rain and unprecedented snowfall for this time of year. As a result the cave actually had a good bit of water in it.

I like to use this cave for beginner trips because it is stable. But I’ve never seen this much water in this cave. Parts that usually have a little sticky mud had water over the top of my thigh. I choose to avoid the lower parts of the cave. For most of the girls this was their first wild caving trip. I didn’t want to take any chances with them and I didn’t want anyone cold and miserable. But they all got very muddy, and had a blast. How could I tell? Watch the video. L…

Personal Caving Equipment – Cave Exploring Elective for the Ranger Award – Change of Clothing

One of the elements for the Caving Elective requires you to know what equipment you will need for caving.

There are some very basic pieces of equipment that every caver should have when entering a cave. This is equipment that must be in good working condition and every one must have their own without sharing. Each issue will discuss one or two items in more detail so you get an idea of why each item is important and where to find what you need cheap. I’ll later go into optional equipment that is a very good idea to have and WNS decontamination procedures for those who face that challenge.

Here’s you basic list:
Helmet Mounted Light Source
Two sets of fresh batteries
Two additional Light Sources
Sturdy Boots
Sturdy Work Gloves
Old rugged Clothing
Thermal Layering Underwear
Synthetic Socks
Small pack w/
Small First Aid Kit
Plastic Trash Bags
Change of Clothing

Change of Clothing

We mentioned in another issue about plastic bags and storing your muddy caving cloths. When you are done caving you should be prepared with a complete change of clothing. Not just your outer garments. There’s a very good possibility that you will get dirt, mud, sweet, and water in every layer of cloths, right down to your underwear and socks. The person you drove to the cave with could rightly so get very upset with you if you tried to get into their car with cave mud on you.

Decontamination of caving gear, whether your in a WNS area or not, is a very good idea. After scraping off as much mud as possible, put all your cave gear into a sealed plastic bag. Use some antibacterial lotion like Purell on exposed skin before you enter the vehicle is important to help reduce the possibility of transmitting any bacteria or fungus from one cave to another. For the most current decontamination procedures, please visit the National Speleological Society’s White Nose Syndrome web pages for links to what is current and new.


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