Phillip Rykwalder wrote an excellent article on "Cave Now" about BOOTS (http://cavenow.com/?p=1446). He says that when asked what to wear when caving his first answer is "boots".
Good Answer. I've not thought about that as the number one answer until now. After all when we take Scouts and other youth groups caving we supply helmets and lights. The rest of the gear they must supply themselves. So he's saying not worry about the helmet and light, I'm taking care of and worrying about that. Here's your number one concern for personal safety equipment. BOOTS!!
What He Said!! He goes on to explain, "The correct footwear can literally save you underground. Boots offer great traction to save you from spills, slips and falls - and the wrong footwear leaves you more prone to all of the above. Caves are full of mud, loose rocks and crumbly dirt that are properly dealt with by footwear with deep, open lugs and a firm (but compliant) sole. Overly soft shoes (…
A Squeeze Box is a device that is designed, built, and used by cavers to practice and determine how small of a space we can get into. While this is originally intended as a tool to be use for serious preparation for cave exploration it is also a source of entertaining competition that can get impassioned.
The basic squeeze box is just two parallel “walls” that lay horizontal. The bottom one is fixed and the top one is adjustable up and down in one quarter inch increments. The one we use is about four feet wide by 6 feet long. This is large enough to encompass most people.
There are many variations on the squeeze box. Some are larger, some have turns, some have obstacles between the two walls, and some are even vertical. I have some ideas of my own that someday I’ll implement, but for now what we use is relatively easy to transport and set up and help novices to understand what they are really capable of achieving.
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Thanks to Boy Scout Troop 864 from Wildwood, Mo and Christa Droste from Oakfield, Wisconsin for helping with WNS Winter surveys in Northeast Missouri yesterday!
The group learned about caves, cave safety, formations, cave biology and conservation while counting 241 bats, 11 live and 9 dead pickerel frogs, 10 creek chub, 2 wolf spiders and 1 dead raccoon. 127 tricolor, 11 little brown, 2 endangered gray and 8 endangered northern long-eared bats that were visibly WNS free. 1/3 of bats seen showed visible WNS, some quite extensive: 50 tricolor, 39 little brown, 1 endangered Indiana and 3 endangered northern long-eared bats.
This site has suffered an 87% loss of overall bat populations: 63% of tricolor and 74% of little brown. Since some recent movement has been seen in big brown bats already, we're assuming the 100% loss of those is due to early spring warm temps. Hopefully these same warm temps will allow some of these WNS bats to fly out, forage and survive at …