Equipment You Will Need
(Reprinted from "Caves of Mount St. Helens - Guidebook")
The equipment you will need depends upon the difficulty of the cave you intend to explore. Basic caving equipment should include a hard hat with a mounted headlamp, spare batteries, three light sources, leather gloves, sturdy boots, old clothes or coveralls, knee pads, a small first aid kit, water,food, and a pack.
Each member of the party should be prepared for temperature extremes and rain, by carrying extra clothing and rain
gear. The weather is unpredictable and can change rapidly. Good caving technique recommends carrying a garbage
sack. The bag makes a great rainsuit if needed. If it doesn't rain, there is plenty of trash in the woods to fill that bag.
A gas lantern is suitable for use in a large cave such as Ape Cave, but will become a hindrance in crawlways or if much
climbing is required. Judging by the amount of broken glass from lantern globes on cave floors, it is apparent that
lanterns are a poor choice except in easy caves.
Oregon and Southwestern Washington have many interesting caves, mainly lava tubes. Click on a link below to read more about caving in this area.
Mt. St. Helens Caves
Trout Lake Caves
Caves of Washington
Caves of Oregon
Lava Beds National Monument
Abandoned and Inactive Mine Safety (PDF File - 307 K)
Courtesy of John E. Burghardt - Geologist, Certified Mineral Examiner - NPS