Nutty Putty Cave


Helmets Required
One of our recent Trip Leaders led a group with no helmets. He stated “I don't like using helmets. I tend to have to take them off to get through places and often break roof growth.” Our response to this is to share that if you refuse to wear a helmet, then don’t visit the Nutty Putty Cave.

In an effort to stop unprepared cavers from entering the Nutty Putty Cave, Trip Leaders should ensure that each participant is properly equipped.

WARNING: The following is a list of required and recommended gear for groups and individuals entering the Nutty Putty Cave. Groups entering the Blowhole cave will need to be experienced and equipped for vertical drops of up to 45 feet. Vertical caving requires a much longer list of equipment that will not be discussed here.

NOTE: Blowhole Cave requires at least 300 feet of rope.



Per the Cave Management Plan, each caver is REQUIRED to have:

  1. Helmet
  2. Helmet mounted light source
  3. Extra dependable light sources
  4. Proper footwear
  5. Proper clothing
  1. First aid kit
  2. 15 ft hand line
  3. Gloves
  4. Maps for each caver
  5. Compass for each caver
  6. Water
  7. Pee bottle
  8. Whistle
  9. Power snack
  10. Pencil/Paper
  11. Knife/Multi-tool
  12. Duct Tape
  13. Plastic trash bag
  14. Light jacket/Warm over-shirt
  15. Camera
  16. Poly-pig or small pack
  17. Positive attitude

ABOVE GROUND: A cell phone is highly recommended so that you can call for help if needed.

The rest of your list should come from your training and experience.  Enjoy your trip!

Sam Stroman is a Boy Scout leader from Saratoga Springs, and he was trying to procure helmets and headlamps for his boys. He shared the following lead...

Hi Michael, Thanks for all your help. I have another question for you. We are meeting with the boys' parents tomorrow night to discuss the equipment list for visiting the cave. Do you know of a place that sells or rents inexpensive helmet/headlamps? Can the boys use a substitute like a bike helmet with underlying headlamp? Thanks for your help. Sam Stroman

Sam: Since this is a horizontal cave, the risk of objects falling on you is not an issue. Bike helmets with headlamps duct taped to them is fine. The issue lies with bonking your noggin. Bike and skateboard helmets often have a lower profile and are easier to get through than most climbers helmets. I would head to Savers and DI before I had them invest $60 to $100 for a climbing helmet (unless you are going to start a climbing program in the future). However, if you want to rent climbing helmets, Hansen Mountaineering has them for rent. I don’t know if they also rent headlamps. Hope this helps! Michael Leavitt - Nutty Putty Cave Access Manager

Thanks for the reply Michael. I've been searching around and found a resource that you may want to promote to others if you didn't already know about it. BYU Outdoors rents equipment to non-BYU students and they have caving helmets and headlamps. They do not have combination headlamp/helmets, but they said that the headlamps work fine on the helmets. You can rent a helmet for $3 and headlamp for $5 for 24 hours. Sam Stroman

UPDATE 8-26-2009: I recently visited a vertical cave with two of the participants having rented gear from BYU Outdoors. When they both turned on their rented headlamps they were no brighter than an piddly little LED light on a keychain. The helmets were perfect, but the headlamps were a complete joke. DO NOT RENT YOUR HEADLAMP FROM BYU OUTDOORS. Instead, you want to find the brightest headlamps possible and I currently do not know where they can be obtained by rental.