Buffs, Balaclavas, and Vests

These extras are the key to fine tuning comfort. Keeping the head and neck warm makes a big difference to overall comfort, while keeping the blood warm as it passes near the surface in the radial artery is the way to keep hands warm. For this reason we put neoprene cuffs in this section. Best of all, these are small items that can be added or removed over the course of a caving trip; as a rule, on a longer trip it’s worth keeping one or two of these as spares for stops (planned or otherwise). Also worth considering are those cold waits by the big entrance shafts of Derbyshire, and the long winter walks back in the Dales! A big thick pair of mitts, a woolly hat, and a belay jacket can be worth their weight in gold if left in a waterproof bag just around the entrance…

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