All your questions answered!
If not, give us a call! 07815 316681
Who are WetWellies?
WetWellies is a small business set up and owned by experienced caver, Christine Grosart. She is a full time Paramedic and in her spare time, runs WetWellies, taking members of the public on adventure ‘Try Caving’ days to introduce people to the activity. For the more adventurous or experienced, Level 2 trips involving vertical ‘pitches’ are on offer. WetWellies offer education about the cave environment, geology, hydrology and history and customises the day to the client’s requirements. She also has plenty of amusing stories and anecdotes to tell along the way!
Who can go caving?
Anybody in theory can try Caving. Caving days are offered to primarily adults, although children are welcome if they are accompanied throughout the trip by their parent/s. Should a specific disability group be interested in a trip, please contact WetWellies. Chris is a Paramedic and in a good position to assess if clients are suited to the trips on offer. Every effort will be made to accommodate wherever possible, according to safety and risk assessments.
Where can we go caving?
There are four major caving areas in the UK – large limestone areas which have the right sort of geology for caves to form. The Mendip Hills and South Wales are the two areas WetWellies will take clients, according to their preference. Derbyshire and Yorkshire are the other two major caving areas – WetWellies does not currently offer Try Caving days in these areas due to the distance required to travel. If you would like to Try Caving in the North of the UK, contact WetWellies and we will arrange a cave leader or instructor for you.
How many people can come along on one trip?
WetWellies offers trips to a maximum group size of 8 people underground at any one time. Should a larger group wish to book a trip, please contact WetWellies and we will arrange for another leader to assist so that the whole group can enjoy the trip on the same day at the same location.
How fit do I need to be?
WetWellies will always ensure that the trip is run to accommodate the fitness and ability levels of everyone on the trip. It is advisable to have a reasonable level of fitness but following your initial enquiry with WetWellies, you will be sent a booking form which should be completed by every participant to ensure that an appropriate location and caving trip is selected. This will only take 5 minutes and is an easy, short tick box questionnaire.
I have a medical condition – How will this affect my day out?
It depends on the condition. All clients will be asked upon booking, to fill out a short and easy fitness form which will cover any medical conditions you may have. It does not necessarily mean you will be excluded from the trip, so long as reasonable precautions are in place; for example, if you have asthma, you would need to bring along your inhaler.
What safety procedures are in place if something goes wrong?
WetWellies will always inform a member of the local cave rescue of the trip location, the number of cavers and estimated time of exit. This call-out procedure is standard for all caving trips and an overdue party will trigger a search and rescue effort from the local cave rescue. Fortunately this is a rarity and first aid is immediately at hand as Chris is an HCPC registered professional Paramedic as well as a BCA Level 2 cave leader.
How long do we spend underground?
Depending on the fitness, ability and confidence levels of the group, Full Day ‘Try Caving’ trips can be about 4-6 hours underground and Half Day ‘Try Caving’ trips will be about 2-3 hours underground.
How do I get to the caves?
You will need to provide your own transport to the caving location. On booking, you will be given directions and postcodes/maps to help you find an appropriate parking spot. Please don’t leave anything valuable in your vehicle.
How long is a Full Day?
We normally aim to meet near the caves at 10am and we expect to be out of the cave at the latest by 5pm. Depending on the group and chosen area, a full day can mean a longer trip in one cave or two shorter trips in two different caves near to one another.
How long is a Half Day?
We aim to meet at 9am near the caves and expect to exit the cave no later than midday. Afternoon and evening trips are also available on request.
What should I bring?
Please bring with you:
- A complete change of clothes and a towel.
- Some change if you would like to use the showers and facilities of local caving clubs after the trip.
- A small pouch or carton of soft drink and a chocolate bar or flapjack of your choice. Keep some extra soft drinks in your car for afterwards (especially in the summer).
- Fleece gloves and hat (covering ears) for trips in the colder months. Some walks to the caves can be up to half an hour and it is important that you are protected from the weather on the way to and from the cave entrance. Likewise in the summer, a sun hat may be advisable.
- If you feel the cold easily, a wicking base layer such as Helly Hansens are advisable. Please NO cotton and NO jeans. These get wet and heavy and will make you very cold and uncomfortable.
- Swimming costume/trunks.
Do I need to bring my own lunch?
WetWellies does not provide your food, so depending on the location, it may be advisable to bring a packed lunch with you. This will not be eaten underground. Make sure you have eaten a good breakfast prior to your trip.
What should I wear?
Full caving equipment including cordura oversuits, kneepads, helmets, lights, fleecy undersuits, wetsocks and belts are available for hire at a small cost of £18 per head. This is in addition to the costs of the ‘Try Caving’ day.
I have some of my own kit – do I need to pay full kit hire?
If you have some of your own caving kit we can reduce kit hire costs, but please check with WetWellies that your equipment is suitable.
Will I get wet and cold?
Well, you might get a little damp around the edges – but that’s all part of the fun! Nobody should get cold though, as WetWellies will always make sure you are properly equipped for the trip.
I’m worried I’ll get claustrophobic – what happens if I don’t like it?
If you suffer from claustrophobia and think it may be an issue, then caving may not be the activity of choice for you. Most people think they are claustrophobic, often drawing similarities with getting stuck in lifts and small spaces etc. Caves are a very different environment. Nobody on a WetWellies trip will be asked to attempt anything which makes them feel uncomfortable and the feeling of claustrophobia in caves is actually quite rare, except for those who have a huge phobia.
Caves are wondrous places and there will be plenty of opportunities to stand up and walk around in spacious places. However, serious claustrophobia sufferers should not attempt ‘Try Caving’ days in an attempt to cure their phobia. It will probably end in a very short day out!
Can I take photos?
WetWellies clients are permitted to take photographs on the surface but are not permitted to take their cameras underground. Your camera is almost certainly guaranteed to be destroyed. WetWellies can provide underground photographs and video of your trip free of charge, as we have specialist equipment. If you would like to make a photography specific trip, smaller groups are advised with a common interest and this can be arranged. Please contact WetWellies for further details.
How do I book a ‘Try Caving’ day with WetWellies?
Contact WetWellies in the first instance by email email@example.com or phone 07815 316681 or via the contacts page on the website. Due to her line of work, Chris cannot always answer the phone straight away whilst on duty – but please don’t be afraid to leave a message and your number and she will always return your call promptly.
Chris will then get back to you with an information pack, containing price list, FAQs, information about caving and WetWellies and dates for you to choose from.
Once you have chosen a date and venue, WetWellies will send you a booking pack with further information about where to meet, what to bring etc and will invoice you with details for the deposit to secure your booking.
When should I pay the deposit?
A 50% deposit for the cost of the whole trip is payable upon booking your trip and will secure your date. Deposits can be paid via bank transfer or PayPal. Details will be passed on to the main trip contact upon booking. Sorry, but we do not accept cheques or cash on the day.
When do I pay the balance?
The balance is payable up until the day before the date of the trip. If the balance has not been paid by the evening before the booked trip, the trip will be cancelled and no refund of deposits will be made.
How do I pay the balance?
WetWellies will invoice you for the balance of the trip a couple of weeks before the actual date. The balance can be paid via bank transfer or PayPal.