What Do You Wear to Caving

You are excited about your long-awaited cave tour, but you do not know what to wear.  Wearing the right caving gear can be the difference-maker between wallowing in misery and having a great experience. So, what do you wear to caving?

The suitable clothing for caving should be lightweight, dry, and warm because caves can be icy. Avoid wearing heavy cotton clothing because they absorb water become heavy if they get wet.

  • Helmet
  • Headlamp
  • Caving Suit
  • Boats
  • Waterproof backpack

In this post, we’ll tell you what you will need to wear when caving.  We’ll also cover what clothing works best if you don’t have a caving suit.  Keep reading, as you’re definitely not going to want to miss this!

What to Wear While Caving

The clothes and caving gear you wear varies greatly depending on where you cave. Environmental condition in caves differs considerably, from cave to cave, and from one region to the other. To be on the safe side, visit a local caving store to get some insight on what you should wear exactly.

Here is a list that you will need in most caves.


Wear a high-quality caving helmet to protect your head as you can severely hurt your head should you trip or fall while caving. Cave floors and ceilings are uneven, so the risk of falling is on the higher side. You also use your helmet to mount your headlamp. With $50, you can get a good quality helmet.


It would help if you had a reliable headlamp to help you get out of the cave if you get stuck. Without a proper caving headlamp, you can’t find your way out. Please do not wear a helmet with elastic headbands as it can break. Always mount it on your head. With $50, you can get a reliable headlamp.


Wear the best type of caving boots available to offer you a powerful grip on both dry and wet surfaces, thus protecting your ankle and foot on an uneven surface. In damp and cold conditions, consider wearing thick socks to keep you warm.  With $37, you can get quality caving boots that are durable.

Protective Gear

Elbow pads, gloves, and knee pads protect yourself from injuries if you need to do a lot of crawling. In wet, grimy surfaces, wear industrial rubber gloves.  You can get suitable quality gloves from $24, elbow pads from $15, and kneepad $14 at amazon.

Caving Undersuit

It will help if you put an undersuit to help your body maintain its right temperature for its organs’ correct functioning. Caves can be draughty or wet, so an undersuit keeps your body insulated from such.

Waterproof Backpack

It prevents your dry bag from getting cut up and damaged by the cave. You will also keep your wet rope in it, and it won’t wet you. Plus, it will keep all the things you have carried with you inside the cave dry.  You can get a quality waterproof caving from $30.

Top Quality Hiking Socks

For regular caving outings, wear woolen hiking socks. They are comfortable and warm. Serious cavers wear thicker neoprene to give them exceptional protection in cold and wet conditions. You can get quality neoprene caving socks at Amazon for $13.

Coverall or Caving Suit

To help regulate your body temperature, prevent you from getting wet, and protect you against abrasion. It should not be bulky to allow you to climb a rope with ease. You can get a coverall suit from $31

Polypro Long Underwear

To make you comfortable during the caving trip. It keeps you dry and warm because it remains warm even when it gets wet. The price is between $11 to $35 at amazon.

Caving Belt

Useful for keeping your cover suit in place.  You can also use it to carry small bags in horizontal caves.  It also takes personal items and spare headlamps. From $7, you can get a quality caving belt.

Caving Harness

When descending into a canyon or a cave, wears a harness to make your descent safer and more comfortable. It securely connects you and your rope to your anchoring point so that you can move more smoothly through a canyon.

Chest Harness

Essential for helping you climb efficiently and more comfortably. It supports your upper body’s weight by keeping it near the Petzl Croll, rescuing you from doing a pull-up with each climbing stroke. Chest harness price range is between $8 – $30.

Descenders and Ascenders-

You can use Petzl Stop or Petzl Croll to help you ascend or descend a fixed rope safely.  The price range is between $35- $305.

Features of a Good Caving Clothing

In case you do not have a caving suit, wear caving clothing with the following features.

Wear synthetic fabric such as polyester or lycra as it is lightweight and dries up quickly. Cycling leggings or yoga pants are also ideal for caving, depending on where you are caving.  Avoid wearing cotton on the outermost layer as it absorbs water and takes a lot of time to dry.

For dry caves, you can put on jeans. Though they offer maximum protection against abrasion, they restrict movement, mainly when crawling. Also, they take longer to dry if they get wet, hence uncomfortable, and drain your crucial body heat. Extra weight slows you down when caving.

Caving clothes must be durable to survive many caving trips and save you money. They must be warm and dry to keep you warm in the cave’s humid and cold conditions protecting you from becoming hypothermic.

What to Wear When Caving Summary

If you are caving for the first time, you can rent the caving gear from a local camping store.  Here is a quick summary of what you should wear when caving

  • You use your elbows, knees, and hands while caving. Ensure you cover them to protect yourself from scrapes and scratches and to allow you to move freely within the cave.
  • Have a dependable headlamp that is super bright to help you navigate and last throughout your caving trip. Carry a spare torch and batteries.
  • Take some water, snacks, and energy drinks to keep up your energy levels.
  • Ensure your boots have a thick rubber sole and are calf-high and close-fitting to give you maximum protection. Wear thick socks to help your feet stay warm in the cave’s damp and cold conditions.
  • You’ll get dirty and wet, so carry a towel and a change of clothes. Wear clothes that you do not mind ruining. Cave mud is very sticky and does not come out quickly.
  • A high-quality synthetic coverall will give you maximum protection as it dries fast. Even so, ensure it has a heavy-duty zip that will function properly even after being caked in mud.

Lee G.

I love the outdoors! Everything from hiking, climbing, rappelling, and caving.

Recent Posts