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Light Source Systems When Cave Exploringfrom: Maxx Adventure Travel
Anyone exploring a cave won't get far if there are no sources of light. Even if they reached their underground objective, it would be nearly impossible finding the way out. There's a total absence of light within a cave which is why lights are essential caving equipment. Smart cavers choose bring along a good, reliable unit along with at least two backup sources.
Most caving societies and organizations recommend each person have at least three independent sources of light. Even if you carry three light source systems, it doesn't mean you'll necessarily use them at the same time or one after another, but rather you carry two backups if the main one fails. Failing to have a light deep inside a cave could be a matter of life and death, so reliable light sources are a must. They should be water proof and durable enough to withstand rough use.
There was a time when carbide lamps were widely used outdoors and by miners and cavers. Battery powered electric lights have since replaced these now that they've become more reliable and economical. LED lamps are much more popular due to the amount of light it delivers plus they're lightweight and energy efficient.
Your main light source should be mounted on your helmet so you can see wherever you turn your head. This allows both hands to remain free for climbing or crawling.
Your second light source is usually a flashlight, though another helmet mountable light will prove to be even better. Your third light source is can be another flashlight. Maglites are often recommended by cavers.
There are other light sources, but since LED lamps and flashlights are small, light and inexpensive, these are better than all the others. However, in a real emergency, any of these alternatives can be life savers.
Candles do provide some light, but they're unreliable. Along with matches, they're quite vulnerable to getting wet. You could use candles and matches in a pinch, and they can be a heat source, but candles shouldn't be considered one of the three sources of light.
Glow sticks are perhaps another source of light, but again, they should only be considered a backup to your three main light source systems.
If you find yourself in a really tight situation, don't forget other items you may have that could provide some light, such as a cellular phone, or the LCD screen of a GPS Device.
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