- Lamp/helmet: The gas pipe and burner were blocked with spent carbide, the terminals in the battery box were rotten, and the webbing inside the helmet was mouldy. Now fixed (it still looks rather tatty but ought to work fine).
- SRT kit: The metal parts (jammers, descender, krabs, etc.) all look rather battered and scraped but work perfectly after cleaning and oiling. The fabric/rope parts are starting to look a bit tatty. Not dangerously so, but they'll probably need replacing soon if I get back into caving regularly.
- Suit: totally knackered. It's a surplus Royal Navy drysuit and wasn't in all that brilliant condition when I first bought it. It's had patches on top of patches, and the last time I wore it most of the important seams fell apart. Daleswear sell proper brand new caving oversuits for £55, so I'll probably just buy one of those (or something similar from their competitors) before I go again.
- Everything else: Wellies are fine apart from several generations of dead spiders inside; knee pads are looking a bit worn out and never were very comfortable, but they'll probably last a few more trips; gloves I have loads of (I bought a job-lot of them on eBay ages ago). Haven't looked in my tin of carbide yet, but the last time I left one in the garage for a couple of years it didn't work very well afterwards (presumably the lid wasn't completely air-tight).
Checking my caving gear
I went to the caving club again tonight, climbed up and down all the rope pitches in the training tower, and found them all dead easy so came back…
At the caving club on Thursday, John talked me into going on a trip to an abandoned lead mine that supposedly breaks through into a natural cave. I…
I went to the caving club again tonight, and trained so hard that I got totally drenched with sweat and developed three blisters on my right hand,…