What Gear Do You Need To Go Spelunking?

What Gear Do You Need To Go Spelunking

If you enjoy exploring caves and having some fun in tight and confined spaces, you will need to understand the right gear you have to carry. Spelunking or caving exploration, as it is called in many parts of the world, can be very dangerous.

What gear you need to go spelunking?

Aside from the obvious clothing that you should wear when you go out in public, there are a few different things that you might need to consider when spelunking. You will want to make sure you have adequate protection to keep you safe and ensure that you can continue. The helmet is one of the most important items.

  • Helmet
  • Caving Shoes
  • Gloves
  • Caving Undersuit
  • Insolated Socks
  • First Aid Kit
  • Optional Caving equipment depending on the cave

Since there are many misconceptions about spelunking and many people wander into caves and explore them, we have decided to create this article to show you the most important gear items you must consider. These gear items will help you to make the best decisions when you are looking for spelunking gear.

What Gear Do You Need To Go Spelunking?

The moment you think of entering a cave, alarm bells need to go off in your head about safety. Even if a cave has been explored for hundreds of years, anything can happen, and you must be prepared to deal with the worst. Spelunking is a great way to explore caves, but you need to examine the gear and clothing you have first.

There are plenty of gear items that make spelunking safer, and one of them is the helmet. The helmet is designed to withstand the impact of boulders falling onto your head. You might also need the right shoes and a rope to help you see where you were coming from. Noting can be more stressful than being lost in a cave when you only have darkness around you.

Top 5 Key Gear Items You Need For Spelunking

The following list is not designed to market any products. We care about your safety, and you must use the list as your checklist before going outside and exploring caves. We have done some research, and when it comes to being safe while spelunking, these are some of the most important and valuable items you need to have as gear:

Head Protection

Price: $50

One of the first things you will need to consider is protection for your head. No matter which cave you enter, you always run the risk of having something fall from the top of the cave. Should it fall on your head, you will have massive injuries. However, with a durable caving helmet, you can avoid this and stay safe if something should happen.

Upper Body

Price: $20 – $100

For your upper body, you will need to do some research on the cave and the location. In colder locations, you will need something warm and insulated. However, for summer caving, you need a shirt that will offer you ventilation. The shirt should also have the capability of dealing with water and sweat to wick it away with ease.

Lower Body

Price: $50 – $100

The lower body is similar to your upper body, and you will need to look at the temperature and the conditions of the cave. Longer pants might be more expensive, but they will keep you insulated. However, it would be best to look for something that will not only wick away most of the moisture but should not hold back too much water. Keep in mind that many caves have water pools you have to navigate.


Price: $100

Buying the right shoes can often be a daunting task, and you will have to make sure that you can find the right shoes for your needs. When entering a cave, you need to keep in mind that many of the surfaces might be slippery. You will want a durable shoe that can withstand slippery conditions and ensure that you have protection for your feet.  Here are the best caving shoes guide.


Price: $300

Instead of listing all of the accessories separately, we have grouped them. You will need to look at a backpack to carry all of your gear and essential items. Additionally, you might need rappelling or climbing gear depending on the layout of the cave. Finally, it is important to have a rope entering a dark cave to help you find your way out.

Spelunking Gloves

Spelunkers wear gloves to protect their hands. Standard gloves like thin leather ones or gardening gloves can work well, but you may find that fingerless biking gloves or weight-lifting gloves give you a better grasp when climbing. You may want to bring both and use which one works best for you.  Here is a great guide to help you pick caving gloves

Key Features of Spelunking Gear

Doing your research on gear before buying it is important, and you will need to make sure that you know what you are buying. We have listed three essential features that you have to consider for spelunking gear. While this might not apply to all the spelunking gear you come across, it should make a big difference:


It is not as bad if the cave features tear your clothing, but you might heat up and suffer from heatstroke if you don’t have ventilation. One of the most important features to keep in mind is having ventilated clothing that will also dry out rapidly if you have to go through the wet pools and sections of the cave.


Nothing is more frustrating than having uncomfortable clothing when you are already in a claustrophobic environment. You should feel comfortable in the clothing you select, and you need to keep in mind that you will be wearing it for extended periods.


The final feature is more important for your gear, but you have to find the most useful equipment for your trip. The gear needs to work as intended, and you might have to test it before entering the cave. Nothing will be more frustrating than having caving gear that does not get the job done or feels uncomfortable.

Spelunking Equipment Summary

Spelunking is a great hobby, and you will see so many different things and explore a different side of the world. However, the gear you carry will be important to ensure that you have comfort and you are not hindered in any way. We would love to read some of your comments on which gear you believe is the most important for spelunking.

Need Gear to Go Caving or Spelunking?

If you are planning a caving adventure, you want to make sure that you have the right gear.  Check out our beginners guide for caving equipment.

Spelunking Gear

Lee G.

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

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