Caving gear packs

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Caving gear packs

Postby bobby49 » Mar 17, 2019 3:13 pm

Most of us carry or drag a gear pack with us inside a cave, mostly to carry vertical gear, ropes, extra flashlights, food, etc.

If I was descending and ascending a wide open pit, then there is no issue with my rappelling gear or ascending gear, and the pack can go down or up with me. However, when the drop gets narrow and rocky, there may be insufficient room for both the caver and the pack to go together. Plus, if the narrow drop is 150 feet and has already had the rope rigged into place, then we would not want to use the rope itself to drop or lift the pack. We are reluctant to place an accessory rope there just for packs, because then ropes can get intertwined.

The zipline approach works OK in a wide open pit, but not in a narrow squeezy pit.

So, what is the best way to get the pack down and then back up?

Some cavers claim that a small pack can be clipped onto one foot. That would work, but then when ascending, I might need both feet to be independently climbing and chimneying through the narrow sections.
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Re: Caving gear packs

Postby GroundquestMSA » Mar 17, 2019 8:40 pm

Tether to mallion
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Re: Caving gear packs

Postby bobby49 » Mar 18, 2019 12:23 am

GroundquestMSA wrote:Tether to mallion


… and let it dangle below the feet?
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Re: Caving gear packs

Postby GroundquestMSA » Mar 18, 2019 8:20 pm

Yes
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Re: Caving gear packs

Postby bobby49 » Mar 18, 2019 8:45 pm

In a rocky narrow drop with lots of deviations, it seems like it would be difficult to control the pack if below the feet.
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Re: Caving gear packs

Postby bobby49 » Mar 19, 2019 2:04 pm

If the pack is small enough, then if it is tethered to a position right at the feet, then it can be kicked to maneuver it around obstacles. If the pack is too large, it will block the view toward the bottom unless it is very long and very narrow, so a round fat pack doesn't work so good, even though that is most convenient for finding stuff inside it.
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Re: Caving gear packs

Postby GroundquestMSA » Mar 20, 2019 5:26 am

Good thing we helped you figure that one out.
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