Got to try out my lights in a REAL cave

mikekoz

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Re: Got To Try Out My Lights In A Real Cave

My wife and I went to Mammoth Cave a few years back and I was awestruck! I was a geology major in college and found it very interesting. I had an ITP C8 on my belt, a Nitecore D10 in my pocket, and a Gerber Infinity Ultra around my neck, and was actually thinking runtime over brightness if I were to actually go cave exploring without a guide. No way I would do that in Mammoth Cave!! :eek:. I used the C8 to look at the ceiling and down side passages. Some of the areas in the cave would fit a football field!
 

blah9

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Re: Got To Try Out My Lights In A Real Cave

These all sound like really fun experiences! I just visited some caverns in England recently, and I had the same experience with the tour guide having a dim light. I assume my PD32UE's output was appreciated by everyone there, since it certainly made much more of the cavern visible. We had a great time for sure, and I'm looking forward to checking out some more soon! Next time I'll bring along the TK75 as well. There was one opening that went quite a ways (100 meters) away.
 

jcr71

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Re: Got To Try Out My Lights In A Real Cave

These all sound like really fun experiences! I just visited some caverns in England recently, and I had the same experience with the tour guide having a dim light. I assume my PD32UE's output was appreciated by everyone there, since it certainly made much more of the cavern visible. We had a great time for sure, and I'm looking forward to checking out some more soon! Next time I'll bring along the TK75 as well. There was one opening that went quite a ways (100 meters) away.

which places did you visit? ive been to wookie hole and cheddar gorge. had no torch with me though:eek:
 

houser23

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Re: Got To Try Out My Lights In A Real Cave

I've explored hundreds of mines but this one was always the most special to me. The Hawver cave was a natural limestone cave filled with prehistoric fossils and other wonders. They dynamited the entrance but as a kid I would squeeze through a tiny opening that would send a claustrophobic person into panic mode and explore for hours. Now they are opening the cave back up to the public and are planning tours as early as this Fall. Can't wait to bring my Tn31mb and Fenix Tk-75 with me this time.

http://hawvercave.org/MQM_HC_Tour_Guide.html
 

blah9

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Re: Got To Try Out My Lights In A Real Cave

which places did you visit? ive been to wookie hole and cheddar gorge. had no torch with me though:eek:

That sounds like fun! I went to a couple places in the Peak District. One was Poole's Cavern and the other was Peak Cavern. I sort of wish my trip was a little longer so I could have visited some more.
 

xr4fun

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Re: Got To Try Out My Lights In A Real Cave

My wife and I did the Ape Caves about 10 years ago, but we did it in winter when there was about 3 feet of snow on the ground. You can't drive all the way to the Ape Caves parking lot because of the snow. We parked at a lower parking lot and then used rented snow shoes to hike to the caves (good excuse to use my GPS). That was our first time using snow shoes. We then did the lower and then the upper cave and snow shoed back. It is still one of our best memories and we really want to do it again. I don't remember what flashlights I had at the time, but they have come a long way in that time.
 

taonari

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Thanks for relating your experience in the cave. That is a great opportunity to use your different flashlights. I wonder too what most people would carry in a group.
 

JohnGribbin

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Great post and photos. When you listed all the lights you brought this time it made me lol. No disrespect. I would do the same thing after getting caught in the dark in a cave on your first trip.

​Welcome to CPF. :wave: I removed the long quote, as it was unnecessary.

Bill
 
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Wiggle

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One thing I'm a little confused on. You mention needing alot of lumens, I could've sworn I'd read in several places that very few lumens were needed since it is so dark and your eyes adapt. Or does it depend on some factors? Is it safe to assume that bringing several reliable floody lights with a variety of outputs is the best idea?
 

wjv

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You could easily get by on 100 lumens or less. . But lighting up an entire cavern is one way to really see a cave.

One problem is that the floor is very uneven. Imagine walking on a floor made up of rocks the size of marbles up to bowling balls, with drop-offs of 6"-18", and occasional rocks the size of coffee tables strewn about. Additionally, unlike a house with light color walls, the walls of a lave tube are dark black. . . And they just absorb the light!

Good lighting is essential for traveling through the cave without breaking anything! As I mentioned in post number one, when we arrived, EMS & Rescue were hauling a guy out who tripped on the uneven, wet floor and “blew” his knee out.
 

subwoofer

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It certainly is good fun to use lights where you really need them!

At the last CPF UK meet, we explored a vast mining complex. Amazing experience!

EDIT - Just to clarify that two of these photos were taken by me, and the others were taken by Jay_R (hence the reason I am in a lot of them wearing the orange suit). I just edited and published them, but thanks to Jay_R for risking a muddy camera to get these excellent shots.

Some of the motley crew getting ready to go.

01gettingreadytogo.jpg


The way in turned out to the be easiest of the entrances.

02headingin.jpg


Nice to see the ceilings looking stable and safe to walk under.

03nicestableceiling.jpg


Some of the miner's artwork.

04artwork.jpg


An underground crane.

05miningequipment.jpg


These tunnels are all hand cut.

06handcuttunnel.jpg


We thought we would take one of the smaller blocks with us – "You take that end!"

07justtakethatend.jpg


After coming through a crawl space it got much more spacious.

08mindyourhead.jpg


Another one of those safe ceiling being held up while we all got through.

09illholdthisup.jpg


A lunch break.

10BoxMineCathedrallunch.jpg


Welcome to the Cathedral.

11BoxMineCathedral.jpg


Light stick… that's not a light stick.

12ivegota12incher.jpg


The quantity of material cut and removed by hand is astounding.

13morehandcuttunnels.jpg


It looks quite a strong ceiling support, but the wood is now as strong as a wet paper bag.

14woodensupport.jpg


Having to crawl through a small hole in the wall.

15crawlingthroughahole.jpg


A nuclear bunker door just before the light sabre broke through.

16lightsabredoor.jpg


Who put that door there?

17mysteriousdoor.jpg


Some slightly more modern ceiling support.

18columns.jpg


The remains of a WW2 wire mesh barrier. Looks like a great deal more effort went into making this than it took to get through it.

19WW2wire.jpg


The miners used to come to work down this ladder.

20oldwayout.jpg


Then down the steps.

21thewaydown.jpg


One of the saws used to cut out most of these tunnels.

22oldhandsaw.jpg


A crab-winch (I think).

23crabswinch.jpg


A nicely built tunnel looking slightly out of place.

24tunnel.jpg


The way out was a much smaller opening you needed to wriggle through like a worm – glad to be out!

25theexit.jpg
 
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TEEJ

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Great pics!

:D


I'll back up the prior mention that for some caves, you don't need a lot of light, and, for others, you do.

Some have flat black surfaces that seem to swollow the light whole, black hole-like conditions, and some are more reflective, etc.

Some have large areas and some have small areas.

The cd becomes more important than the lumens in some cases, as, we can't SEE lumens, we ONLY see lux.....which is the light that bounces back to our eyes.

Light falls off sharply with distance, so larger caves/caves with longer lines of sight....require more light, and, to GET the light TO bounce back, the flatter textured/black hole-ish ones....require a lot more light.

So, if you have a long line of sight in a flat textured/light sucking cave...you can need massive output to generate sufficient lux to see details at the involved distances.

So, yes, a variety of cd and lumen outputs, with a variety of beam patterns, is a handy thing to have along.

:D
 
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zespectre

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Thanks for sharing. That's pretty damn cool!
I have a love/hate relationship with caves, I LOVE to visit known caverns that have some space, but I have to be very careful not to trigger my mild claustrophobia <sigh>.
 
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