Our Activities

Planning to come on a trip? Here’s what you need to know!

Below we’ve placed a brief introduction to our major actvities, including some of the gear you might need. Contact the trip leader about any specifics, or if you need to borrow club equipment.

Caving

We regularly cave all over New South Wales, in both horizontal and vertical systems. Some of the more popular caving areas including Jenolan, Abercrombie, Wyanbene, Timor and Wee Jasper. There are occasional interstate trips as well if you’re feeling adventurous, and some of our members have caved overseas as well.

Most caving trips happen over a weekend, generally within about 4 hours drive of Sydney. When staying overnight, we usually camp (except for Jenolan, where we stay in the Cavers Cottage). You need to provide your own camping gear, but the club has some gear to help out (tents and camping mats). If you wish to use this club gear, make sure you confirm it with your trip leader well in advance!

The club has most of the technical equipment that is required for caving, including helmets, lights, harnesses, karabiners, tapes, etc.

What you’ll need:

Personal Gear
  • Overalls or old clothes (Long sleeves & pants are essential. Full overalls are ideal. They WILL get dirty!)
  • Thermals (especially for wet or cold caves)
  • Sturdy footwear, such as boots, sturdy runners or volleys
  • Wool or thermal socks
  • Knee pads (volleyball or handyman styles – not hard plastic types)
  • Water bottle (small)
  • Food (see below)
  • Helmet, lights (2 + batteries), waist tape & karabiner (can be borrowed from UTSSS)
Optional Extras:
  • Cave pack (UTSSS has several for loan)
  • Dry bag (keeps personal items clean)
  • Beannie
  • Gloves (rubber gloves for cold / wet caves)
Vertical Caves
  • Harness
  • Descender
  • Ascenders & Cowstail
  • Karabiners
  • Whistle on lanyard
  • Knife
  • Gloves

Food For Caving Trips

When taking food underground simple is best. You will be dirty and tired and the last thing you need to do is make a mess with a complex lunch! Things like basic sandwiches or rolls are good for lunch and it’s goo to have some snacks like muslei bars, chocolate & dried fruit.

Everything you take into a cave has to be removed, so don’t bring anything that will make lots of crumbs or mess (eg canned tuna or fruit) . A sturdy box is great to prevent your food getting crushed as cave packs do get thrown around a bit.

Generally there is no refrigeration while camping, however there will usually be at least one esky for keeping things cool.

Canyoning

Canyoning is kind of a cross between caving and hiking. You might have to navigate cross country to get to the canyon, and once you’re there you have to abseil, scramble, swim and walk your way down the canyon.

If it’s a wet canyon, everything will get wet, so buy or borrow a dry bag!

Personal Gear:

  • Shorts & T-shirt
  • Shoes + warm socks (sneakers or volleys)
  • Wetsuit and/or Thermals
  • Bag (with dry bag for wet canyons)
  • Harness, decender & karabiners (Can be borrowed from UTSSS)
  • Helmet (Can be borrowed from UTSSS
  • Beanie, gloves
  • Gaiters (for remote canyons)
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Food (lunch, snacks)
  • Water bottle

At The Car:

  • Spare Food
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
A Note About Wetsuits:

Wetsuits are a personal thing – some people always wear them and others swear they never need one. Depending on the canyon & how much water is expected, a pair of thermals and perhaps a wollen jumper can be enough. Ask the trip leader if you’re not sure.

Hiking

The club occasionally runs hiking trips and members regularly compete in rogains (hiking / navigation competition). What gear you need will depend on where you are walking, time of year, etc. Ask your trip leader for details of what you might need. As with caving gear we have some gear available so give the trip leader a call if you need something. Note: Most rogains have rules which require certain gear to be carried.

Trip Fees

Due to the introduction of Voluntary Student Unionism we have been forced to introduce a trip fee for every trip where club gear is used. The income generated from this fee is used by the club to replace and upgrade our equipment.

The trip fee is a flat $5 for each trip, irrespective of length. For example a one week caving trip and a one day canyon both have the same $5 fee.

Other Costs

There may be other costs for particular trips, such as camping or national park fees.

We generally try to car pool to reduce fuel costs, and it is expected that passengers contribute fairly to the cost of fuel.

Where to Buy Outdoor Equipment:

These are some of our favorite suppliers who give good prices and good advice.

  • THS (Artarmon) – Technical vertical and rope gear (10% discount for UTSSS / ASF members)
  • Summit Gear (Katoomba) – wide range of quality outdoor gear (and excellent canyoning packs).
  • REI – a US based company with a good online store. Huge range at great prices, ofter 50% cheaper than Australian, including shipping and exchange rates. Great for general camping gear such as sleeping bags.

Members also occasionally combine to place orders with various overseas suppliers, saving on shipping.

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