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Cave-diving gear

Cave diving is a technical sport that requires an investment of time and money. Cave divers spend thousands of dollars on equipment that must be maintained on a regular basis and checked carefully before every dive. Before you go out and buy cave-diving equipment, take a cavern diving course to make sure the sport is for you.

1. Dual orifice manifold - allows for safe management of regulator failures.

2. Redundant regulators - provide safety cushion and alternate air source for sharing air (one has long hose.)

3. Twin tanks - more air allows more time to sort out problems.

4. Buoyancy device - keeps diver neutral and off cave floor (favored wing style shown.)5. Primary light - on power cord, gives long burn time and bright illumination.

6. Battery pack for primary light

7. Safety lights - at least two.

8. Primary reel - helps locates exit in low visibility and prevents confusion in complex tunnels.

9. Safety reel - navigational aid in emergency.

10. Computer, pressure gauge and bottom timer.

11. Backup computer

12. Knife - small and razor sharp.

13. Backup knife or line cutter.

14. Hood - protects head, helps maintain body heat.

15. Thermal protection - many caves are cold.

16. Slate and compass - kept in a pouch.

17. Spare mask - strapped to thigh.

18. Power fins - overcome additional drag from cave gear.

19. Cave certification - trained, comfortable and responsible diver.


Open-water diving gear

The open-water diver must also be conscious of equipment. But recreational divers, in most situations, have the luxury of being able to surface in the event of an emergency. Open-water divers have backup systems, but not as many as the cave or technical wreck diver. Well-maintained equipment is essential for any type of diving. Nothing, however, will make up for lack of proper training.

Source: National Association of Cave Divers, NSS Cave Diving Manual, Southern Diver