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Wellington Caving Group

First Trip

First Caving Trip

What to Bring?

This is information about the clothing and equipment suitable for people going on their first caving trips. You can use clothing and equipment you already have, or is cheap and can be reused for other purposes.

The caves we are go to are excellent for beginners. They have streams in them, so you may get wet, and involve some scrambling, clambering, and crawling. You are never far from the entrance and can come out at any time. We sometimes have lunch and a brew outside.


Helmet (caving, climbing, bike, kayak), must have a chin strap. You must have a helmet. The club has hire helmets.


Head light (LED recommended), small hand torch (LED recommended), spare bulbs (if not LED) and alkaline batteries.

Torch can be attached to helmet with duct tape or (better) cable ties.
Top layer
Overalls. Alternatively parka, or long sleeved top & trousers, track pants, or overtrousers.
Polypropylene long johns, polypropylene top. Thin balaclava (so it fits under your helmet). Under your overalls polypropylene or pile are a must. Wear several layers of clothing.
Bring warm clothes for afterwards. A change of clothing for travelling, you won't want to wear your caving clothes after caving for anything else until cleaned.

Please do not wear cotton clothing for caving.


Save your hands, the cave, and your good tramping gloves, by bringing clean gardening gloves (heavy long rubber recommended). Polypro gloves may assist in keeping your hands warm in the rubber gloves.


Gumboots or tramping boots or running shoes. You will get wet feet. Thick warm socks, wool recommended). Gaiters or puttees can be useful to keep the dirt out. Wet suit booties can help keep your feet warm. Cavers generally wear gumboots.


A small day pack or large bum bag, to carry food, drink, spare lights, and spare piece of clothing. Don't bring a good one, as it will get dirty and worn.


Compass, Topographical map, Road map, knee pads (recommended)

Towels and
plastic bags:

Dry off with the towels, put dirty clothes and footwear in the plastic bags.

Note that caves are hard on clothing and equipment, and can cause considerable wear and tear. White clothing may well end up coloured brown from muddy caves.