Are you planning to glide into a huge underwater cavern? In that crystal clear water around where you hang down on majestic stalactites from the ceiling like icicles. Wait are you dreaming all these things. Do not imagine that you can explore the inner sanctum under the water because such diving is possible for experts who are having advanced training in cave diving.
Without proper cave diving equipment and training, you cannot explore cavern while there can be some places where the divers can experience cavern diving without even specialised training. But not without diving equipment it is impossible.
There is much difference between cave diving and lake or ocean diving. Caves like shipwrecks are said to be overhead environments because physical barriers exist between a diver and the surface. Such a barrier will prevent the diver from getting direct ascent with the surface, and that is the reason why they must have the right equipment for diving.
Types of Caves
Equipment for Caving Diving
The amenities and condition of cave diving vary from location to location. In some areas, there will be a dive centre that offers equipment and air fills with guided tours. The most important diving equipment used is the reel. It is used to lay down the guideline from the entrance of the cavern. This guideline marks an entry or exit point. The diver is meant to find the way when visibility reduces through the guideline. Without it, drivers can get lost and drown. Here are the top 15 equipment required for cave diving:
A drysuit is needed to dive in cold water. This suit itself is made with laminated waterproof material and watertight latex seals given on its neck and writs. There are pockets to carry safety equipment. You can wear undergarments to get thermal protection under water.
Like all masks, you can combine any streamlined designs with volume and great vision. Most of the cave divers prefer mask made of black silicone skirts. The overall weight is less and helps your pupils to dilate. This is commonly followed practice by cave divers.
No split or hinged fins are allowed. You need something powerful and flat-bladed fins that are less potential for entanglement and facilitate frog kicking also with other specialized techniques.
Every diver will carry a depth gauge with time. It allows divers to calculate the amount of decompression that stops while ascending during the end of the dive and uses standard decompression table. All other information may be combined this dive computer which shows time, depth and other decompression stops.
The heart of any cave diver is this equipment. There will be two tanks held together securely by steel bands and connected by the manifold. This manifold will have two outlets; each one can be turned off or on independently in case of any problem.
The primary cylinder need two different first-stage balanced regulators, which means two first stages with a one-second stage. The first stage configuration of port needs proper hose routing to mount side or back.
7. Deco bottles
If you are going to take a full cave diving course, you must deco bottles with oxygen. The students should have 11 litres or 80 cubics/foot of stage bottle at least. An unbalanced piston model deco regs are also good, but it is being rated by oxygen service. Stem SPG or button is okay for the regs.
A wing or buoyancy compensation will be attached to the tank. It is an airtight bag that can be inflated to get buoyancy. Its valves will allow the air to inject out from the tank or diver’s mouth for increasing buoyancy or to reduce buoyancy.
9. Backplate and Harness
The harness bolt and backplate on the tanks hold the wings in position. This harness is normally made of webbing threads through the backplate, and it helps to hold the equipment firmly into one place for the diver.
10. Primary Light
You will need a LED primary light of 1000+- lumen otherwise 2000 lumen or more is better. You can buy it from anywhere. The light must include a hand mount or good-man style. All the primary lights used in cave diving will have separate battery canister that connects to a light head through a cord.
11. Backup lights
Today, a self-contained primary light which can be kept on your back of the hand is necessary. You will need two LED backup lights. Please do not buy any cheap lights made of plastic bodies. Try to buy back up lights that are specifically designed for a cave or technical diving.
12. Sharp knife
A short and sharp knife has to be attached to the harness. It helps you in cutting himself free from the entanglement in the guidelines or other equipment. This is common for any cave divers always to keep one sharp knife handy and one attached to the light head handle.
13. Reels and pools
You should have two safety reels at least at a total length of 150ft or 45m or higher the line between them. But spools offer a convenience to manage the short length of guidelines. Most of the drivers feel that the reels provide them better managing 30ft or 75m of line or more.
With two safety reels per diver, the whole team will need one primary reel with an adequate line that starts from the cave entrance to the starting of next permanent line of 250ft or 75m sufficient.
14. Slate or wet notes
Wrist slates are the best option for tech diving but not good for a cave diving. Their wet notes are the better alternative. You should keep it in your thigh pocket because it will not be needed at most case unless you get screwed up.
15. Surface marker buoy
If you are learning cave diving, technically you will need an SMB. It should be the type that can inflate into the water using exhaust from the regulator you have.
Understand this list of cave diving equipment you will need. Maybe some issues come regarding mounting and configuration that is best for you with your instructor. Therefore, be prepared to buy some additional equipment items generally something minor like clips and snaps, when you start taking driving lessons.
Moreover, do not need to make some heavy equipment purchases even without discussing with your instructor. You can ask your instructor regarding the items that are needed for you. One important thing you should not forget is no equipment can compensate without adequate skill, and experience. Also without the right equipment, you cannot be safe.