Maryland Outdoor Club
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Required when caving with the MOC
  • Helmet with chin straps and securely mounted, VERY BRIGHT Water Resistant Headlamp
    (if you don't have them, check the event page on renting one, or check below for specifications on buying them.)

  • 4 (for each day) AA-size Alkaline, Lithium , or strong NiMH Rechargable Batteries (do not get the cheaper "Heavy Duty" ones) plus 4 more for back-up. These are for the helmet lights if you're renting. So, for 2 days of caving, you'd bring 12 batteries.
  • A Small Flashlight to be used as a backup light. Verify before you leave that it works.
  • Water to drink.
  • Old Clothes that can get wet, dirty and scuffed. The temperature inside the cave will be 58 degrees, so no jackets needed inside, unless your cold natured. A short sleeve T-shirt usually keeps me warm enough as long as I'm moving. Extra caving clothes may be wanted for multi-day trips. You may also get wet, so synthetic material may be advised.
  • Hiking Boots or Trekking Shoes with good tread (no smooth soles). Caves are hard on boots so I use a $20 pair from Walmart just for caving.
  • Knee Pads (soft only, no hard plastic). These can be bought at Wal-Mart or Home Depot for about $6-8.
  • A Large Plastic Garbage Bag to put your dirty/wet clothes into.
  • Gloves. Wear what you like. The cheap gardening gloves with the little rubber beads are popular to use. Very tight gloves can be difficult to take off when they get wet and muddy (not good if you’re trying to take pictures).
  • A Day Pack or Fanny Pack to hold water, snacks, flashlight, and anything else you want to bring in the cave with you. You must be able to keep your hands free.

Recommended when caving with the MOC

  • Clean Clothes to change into after the cave (this includes underwear in case they get wet also).
  • Wool or Synthetic Socks will help your feet stay warm when they get wet. Cotton will make you colder.
  • A fleece to wear when resting in the cave.
  • A Large Towel to wrap around you for modesty while you’re changing clothes.
  • Snacks or Snack or Lunch to be eaten inside each cave (depending on how long we'll be in the cave). Granola or power bars work well.

Other items you may want when caving with the MOC

  • Camera.
  • Padded Box or Bag to keep the camera safe in.
  • A Small Towel to clean your hands when using the camera.

If you want to buy a caving helmet and light
If you want your own gear, you need a good climbing helmet & a very bright headlamp.


  • The helmets I have are Edelrid Lightweight & one Petzl Ecrin Roc (the one that Charina has been using). Black Diamond also makes good ones (Half Dome).
  • For caving, you want good ventilation, which some climbing helmets don't have.
  • I would go for the thicker polycarbonate material, as opposed to the thin stuff filled with Styrofoam. The thinner stuff isn't made for repeated hits, which you will do in a cave. Bicycle helmets are really bad, which is why I don't allow them on my trips.
  • The cheapest place I know to buy them right now is


  • The right light is very important. Bright lights are expensive, but it's better than breaking a leg because of a weak light. The ones I use are the Princeton Apex & the Princeton Yukon HL.
  • You want to go with LED technology. Super bright LED's for close up stuff, and a Luxeon LED for the spot light. Getting something with a xenon or halogen bulb will produce a more yellow light, uneven light and burn your batteries a lot faster.
  • You also want something that is either waterproof, or at least dunkable. Remember, you may go swimming with it.
  • Finding out how bright it is, is a bit harder. Here's a web site that may help: Look at the light output from the lights I use. Whatever you get should come close to that.
  • Some headlamps have a battery pack that hooks to your belt with a wire going up and connecting to the lamp. I find these cumbersome, but others like them because they take weight off your head.
  • Other headlamps take a special battery pack instead of standard AA's. If you do this, you'll need to buy a couple extra batter packs for your trip because you don't know when you'll get a chance to recharge them.
  • The cheapest place I know to buy them right now is

Think we forgot something from one of our lists? Let us know.