Classes & Workshops

Once a month we ask one of our members, What is in your cave pack? The idea is to help those just starting out to better prepare for your first trip underground and to present some tips, tricks, tools, gear, or whatever that our members use to help make the trip underground safer, more comfortable, and enjoyable! This month comes from the former chair of the Nashville Grotto and long time caver/diver, Mark Wenner.

Mark Wenner - Nashville Grotto

About Mark

  • NSS #: 54893
  • Years caving: 20 years
  • Why do you cave? fun, survey, and research.
  • How did you get into caving? I started as a diver, then cave diver, and turned caver to get to our sump dive locations.

Mark Wenner - Cave Pack Exploded

What's in Your Cave Pack?

  • Preferred light sources:Primary helmet light is a Phaethon (dive or dry caving), and I do like the Black Diamond "Spot" because it’s dimmable, also backup primary in my pack which is a Stenlight.
  • Favorite helmet: Varies based on diving or dry caving, but I like the Edelrid Ultralight (light, fits, inexpensive), and the older Kong "Mouse" is my go-to.
  • The snack/food situation: Roll up fruits, jerky, candy bar but not too much sugar in the pack, flat pack of tuna, etc.
  • How you handle water - MSR 4 liter dromedary bag, with a smaller Nalgene bottle hung from my waistband with a carabiner.
  • Your preferred pack - I do like the Petzl "PERSONNEL 15L pack" (short crawl trips) or the AV transport 25L pack for multi-day, rarely use my Swago (med blue strap).
  • Footwear - varies on the cave, but usually, Wellie’s from Walmart, soles wear out quickly, or old Merrell hiking boots, both using 4mm neoprene socks for warmth
  • How you stay warm or get cool - wear long polypro type underwear under my cave suit or cave pants, and two thinner layers of poly on my torso, always carry a thick polypro sweatshirt for cold/wet trips or survey, stuff a balaclava in my helmet lining
  • I always carry - 40-gallon garbage bag, candle, eye drops, a small 1/2" foam pad for a seat, iPhone for camera

Videos from Mark

by Nashville Grotto

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