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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
tomh

Joined: 16/07/2009
Location: st austell

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 04/12/2009 11:35:02
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I am quite new to exploring and dont really have much in the way of kit.

I have done some srt/rope access training and am keen to get my own kit.

Kit is expensive and i have a budget of up £500 max to get started off with. I am planning to get my kit from rigsystems.assetco.

What should i be buying to get started off with?
I would be grateful for the advice as i dont want to buy the wrong kit as most of it is unreturnable!
IP: 82.25.193.24
Wormster

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Joined: 15/08/2006
Location: Top of the Mendip Hills

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 04/12/2009 12:07:04
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Read this:

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/static/about-mine-exploration.aspx

And this:

http://www.darkplaces.co.uk/Wikka/Shop

basicaly you need teh basics: hat, light, overalls and wellies.

IF you're going to get into VERTICAL stuff you'll need: A sit harness, Chest harness, Descender, Chest ascender, hand ascender, cows tails and a few crabs. it'll set you back your budget figure forsure.

A good tip is to get onto a vertical trip and try other folks rigs, then you can decide which harness etc you like!

--

Better to regret something you have done - than to regret something you have not done.
IP: 78.150.43.178
SimonRL

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Joined: 27/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 04/12/2009 12:27:15
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Are you looking for everything (like Wormster says, wellies, oversuit, lamp and helmet) or just what's needed to go from that to SRT?

For SRT, your harness is probably the most critical bit of the whole setup and I'd tend to say go somewhere where you can try one on and be sure it's comfortable. Or at least speak to somebody and get some good advice.

The rest is fairly standard, and whilst not wanting to start the Petzl or Stop/rack debate agan Wink ...

Petzl Stop - for going down
Petzl Ascenscion + Croll - for going up
Shoulder strap for Croll (the Petzl Torse is good, and adjustable)
Foot loop of some kind
Cowstails and some karabiners

Other bits like pulleys and a Pantin (makes long pitches easier) if you like

Sites like Bernies Cafe [web link] and Up and Under [web link] (there are others of course, these are just the ones I've bought from personally) will either sell over the web, or talk you through everything on the phone or have real shops where you can get good advice and will have the full range of tackle bags, rope and oversuits etc. if you need 'em.

Basic SRT kit I would say would cost you about £250 all in, more if you add a few fancy bits, but if you're going on trips where other people are doing the rigging and so on then you can add anything else later.

Or blow the whole lot on a Viper and forget about doing any SRT Laugh
IP: 83.148.135.213 Edited: 04/12/2009 12:36:21 by SimonRL
Mr Mike

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 04/12/2009 13:07:07
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A very good harness I believe from users comments and much cheaper than the Petzl's ( I will be getting one, once the Petzl one is retired) is here:

[web link]

They also do some helmets.

If your wanting wet socks (they really keep your feet warm in water) I highly recommend the Warmbac full length ones. They are more expensive than Beaver ones, but the fit is superior and that is important - but some may say that this is a luxury, but if you feet are wet for 8 hr....

Oversuit wise, I did use to have a Warmbac Cordura one which served very well for 5 years (and still does), but I got a PVC one, as it is just easier to clean and you stay drier in it, as the PU lining ends up breaking in the cordura ones, but again this depends on the type of mines you are doing, a boiler suit may be fine if it is dry?

If you need a good light (should not skimp on lights) on a budget then I would go and get a Raptor Pro:

[web link]

That's my say.

Oh, you can pick up non life critical items on ebay that are a bargain sometimes, but I would not go as far as getting srt stuff - you don't know what abuse it has had!

--

Mr Mike www.mineexplorer.org.uk
IP: 80.47.224.65 Edited: 04/12/2009 13:09:38 by Mr Mike
stuey

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 04/12/2009 14:22:38
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http://www.hitchnhike.co.uk/acatalog/srt_kit_basic.html

Something like that.

I personally don't like handled ascenders.
Start with a stop, try an ID and Rack later. They are an acquired taste.

Get a foot ascender as well, very very wise move.

A couple of mates have bought the above kit and it does the job.
IP: 87.115.145.213
Moorebooks

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Location: Newport, Shropshire

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 04/12/2009 16:04:52
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You should try going to one of the Caving shops such as Caving Supplies (Buxton) or Inglesport (Ingleton)- the latter also has a climbing wall you can try your gear on. Andy Sparrow has opened a Caving Shop down in Cheddar and you will get excellent advice

Bernies in Ingleton too and we mustn't for forget Miles at

[web link]
IP: 83.148.135.213 Edited: 04/12/2009 22:53:26 by (moderator)
mountainpenguin

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 04/12/2009 19:51:53
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the mega grip harness are no longer available from them Sad IP: 83.67.133.116
Dean Allison

Joined: 13/01/2008
Location: Northumberland

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 04/12/2009 20:43:52
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If there is one bit of gear I couldnt possibly do without (apart from hat and lamp) it has to be wetsocks! I took Mike's advice last year and spent 15 quid on a pair of wetsocks and can honestly say its the best money I have ever spent. 9 or 10 hours in water is no bother and I found they make such a difference to one's morale. IP: 90.203.50.237
tomh

Joined: 16/07/2009
Location: st austell

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 04/12/2009 21:09:13
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Im in cornwall so those shops are a long way!
Any where good in Cornwall and west devon for trying harnesses?
IP: 87.114.80.131
neils

Joined: 30/04/2009
Location: south west

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 04/12/2009 21:50:26
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isca outdoors, run by simon mullens from the devon gynaecological society. based in exeter, and he has a website. [web link]

Tweak: Link tweaked to work
IP: 83.148.135.213 Edited: 04/12/2009 22:53:03 by (moderator)
SimonRL

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 04/12/2009 22:54:28
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Isca outdoors is another one that will give you good advice yes, I see them at Hidden Earth with a good range of kit stocked.

Still think it's as well to try on a harness though to make sure you like it and it's got all the gear loops etc you'd like.
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tomh

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 05/12/2009 23:11:47
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Thanks for the links.
I am shopping im plymouth tomorrow so am hoping to see what cotswold have on offer.
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derrickman

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 06/12/2009 18:54:25
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another vote for wetsocks. I've been using wellies since returning to ( occasional ) caving and ME and I don't rate them for the job.

got cold wet feet ( again ) in Cornwall last month, that's going to be the end of that! I used to wear lace-up boots and wet socks for dry(ish) caves 'back in the day' and I'm going back to that, and I'd recommend anyone to do the same.
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ttxela

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Joined: 04/09/2007
Location: Cambs

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 06/12/2009 20:40:49
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I find woolen socks in wellies to be good enough..... Thumbs Up IP: 92.18.91.94
tomh

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 06/12/2009 21:53:24
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Thanks for the tip.

Where can you get really long wet socks, as in thigh length? I had a look in cotswold today and couldnt find any.
Are they made by seal skinz?
IP: 87.112.67.52
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 07/12/2009 06:55:37
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Vertical gear aside - I wouldn't get too hung up on expensive underground kit - bear in mind it will get trashed fairly quickly - I do most of my mine exploration in the following gear.

Helmet - Caving Supplies protex - ex hire helmet £15 inglesport
Boiler suit - nicked from work
Thermal long johns, t shirt & sweatshirt. Heavy duty socks .
Wellies knicked from work.

I would strongly recommend that you get a small survival bag, stick it in the cradle of your helmet and forget about it - might just save your life one day.

Don't neglect army surplus - If you can get into Plymouth check out Bogie Knights at Mutton Cove - They currently have really good fire Brigade wellies for around a tenner. (Don't under any circumstances be tempted by their secondhand ropes). Also Goulds in Ebrington Street.

If you are planning on doing really wet stuff a 3mm wetsuit from any surf shop will do. They can be hot if you are not imersed - I have a pair of wetsuit trousers,hacked out of an old one piece suit.

Wetsocks - any surf shop (get the ones without solid soles) - if you can try them on with your underground boots so much the better.

If you find that you intend to stick with the activity then you might like to upgrade yor kit with a better quality oversuit and a fleece undersuit obtainable from your local freindly caving shop (sadly J -Rat is no longer with us).

Knee pads can also be a bonus, I use warmbac pads with velcro straps

If you are spending - focus your cash into your vertical gear and a good lamp (plus backup).

.
IP: 81.153.84.235 Edited: 07/12/2009 06:57:47 by Tamarmole
Moorebooks

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 07/12/2009 08:31:19
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tomh wrote:

Thanks for the tip.

Where can you get really long wet socks, as in thigh length? I had a look in cotswold today and couldnt find any.
Are they made by seal skinz?


go to one of the caving shop websites like bernies, Caving supplies - they will have them to purchase on line and both will accept returns

Mike
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Mr Mike

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 07/12/2009 09:27:05
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tomh wrote:

Thanks for the tip.

Where can you get really long wet socks, as in thigh length? I had a look in cotswold today and couldnt find any.
Are they made by seal skinz?


Inglesports do the long Warmbac ones, which I think are the best fitting ones.

--

Mr Mike www.mineexplorer.org.uk
IP: 80.47.2.6
rikj

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 07/12/2009 22:22:31
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Tamarmole wrote:

I would strongly recommend that you get a small survival bag, stick it in the cradle of your helmet and forget about it - might just save your life one day.
.


Excellent, why did I never think of that before? I stick mine in a pocket but that sounds much more logical.




--

sanitas per evolo
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SimonRL

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What kit selection to buy for a beginner?
Posted: 07/12/2009 22:31:52
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Just the one problem, where to put the emergency mars bar Shocked IP: 83.148.135.213
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