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 grotto member, Ray Maslak.

Ray Maslak - Nashville Grotto

About Ray

  • NSS #: 67950
  • Years caving: 5 years
  • Why do you cave? Adventure w/ my children, research, photo and video documentation.
  • How did you get into caving? I found photos and articles about Snail Shell Cave online, which eventually led to my learning about the NSS and joining the Grotto and joining trips.

What's in Your Cave Pack?

  • Preferred light sources:
    • Headlamp - Zebralight H600Fd (Floody) 5000k headlamp
    • Flashlight - Imalent MS03 13,000 lumens for videography and photography
  • Favorite Helmet: Black Diamond Half Dome Helmet, I started with a Petzel Vertex Vent, but found it to be bulky, heavy, and obscured my field of vision when looking up during crawls. Switching to the Black Diamond Half Dome was a breath of fresh air due to it's light weight and complete lack of restriction in regards to visibility.
  • The snack/food situation: Trailmix and sometimes Reese's items... a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on longer trips.
  • How you handle water: Dasani water bottles in my pack
  • Your preferred pack: I started caving with a $10 backpack from Walmart, but recently switch to a Swaygo Pit Pack after going on a trip with Matt Pelsor and Laura Demarest to Binkley Cave in Indiana and seeing it in actual. The fact that it can connect to a chicken loop and be dragged is fantastic.
  • Footwear: Onguard Industries Polyblend Work Shoes
  • How you stay warm or get cool: Since the beginning I've always caved with a shirtsleeve Underarmour quick-dry shirt and quick-dry pants. Since I am not a project caver, I am always moving quickly and it keeps me cool, yet warm enough.
  • I always carry: My GoPro and excessive lighting.

Follow Ray on TikTokWebsite

by Nashville Grotto

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