I started getting into caving with a couple local grottos (caving clubs). Just like I brush my teeth in the morning, I put in my EDC. Going on a caving trip is no different.
Whenever I do a trip like this, I always wear a minimum of two layers: a under garment which is “supertucked” into my IWB holster and pants and a snug belt (so it won’t untuck), and an outer layer. This also helps a little with printing.
I’ve done this on two multi-day caving trips to Lava Beds National Monument, but no ropes and no real tight spaces for me.
Had a minor problem recently while crawling through a tunnel or tight place, my firearm somehow pushed toward my side hard enough and pressed the mag eject button. I didn’t notice this until we got back to one of the guy’s house for pizza (he lived closed to the cave, while the other two of use were 90+ minutes away from home). I popped in to use the restroom to change out of my dirty clothes, and when I undid my belt and pulled up my shirt and went to unholster my firearm, the magazine wasn’t seated. Because of he way I carry, and with the tucked short, this didn’t drop the magazine. I know the magazine was well-seated, because my routine is to always pull on the mag just before holstering each morning.
Ok, so no big deal, other than my weapon wasn’t in the best condition. Oh, and coming out of the final cave, my OC gel somehow fell out of my support-side pocket (which also keeps my mag pouch with two spare mags) and the guy behind me found it on the way out and said, “Anyone drop this?” - Hah, yup.
Then we had a “ropes practice” day and I was trying on different climbing/repelling rigs folks had (Frog, Mitchell, RopeWalker, Texas) - for that, and because I’d be under scrutiny for training, I first unloaded and locked up my firearm in the car. But once I buy my own rig and am comfortable putting it on and making sure I can wear my IWB without printing, I plan to CC like normal.
Another possible alternative is carrying my firearm in my pack. The downside to this is that means I can never leave my pack unattended (we often leave our pack behind and do some more descending when we know it won’t be much lower), nor can I pass it off to other cavers. I’d probably just duck out and use the restroom behind a tree before/after caving to move it from/to my IWB/pack.
Thoughts? It’s not so much about CC’ing in a cave, it’s the getting there and back to the cave(s), which is sometimes a number of miles from where we have to park. Additionally, one set of caves is near an old rock quarry where there are typically a half dozen different groups set up shooting, and frankly, I just don’t care if someone has a gun, there are a lot of stupid out there, so I want to be armed.