What makes a good gift for a caver?
Know your cavers. What equipment do they already have? Is there something they’ve been talking about? If you don’t know, don’t guess unless it is returnable. Caving is pretty hard on your equipment. Cheap import lights won’t last. They go out with a couple of good knocks and then are just trash to drag back out of the cave. What do you buy for a caver?
Cavers can always use good quality carabiners. Don’t bother with cheap ones. They are worse than useless. A replacement for a worn pack is a good idea. Try to get the exact same one and make sure it is returnable or exchangeable. Sorry, but cavers are very specific about equipment. VERY!
If you are just here to get a gift for a young person who talks a lot about caving and is perhaps taking a first trip, here are some ideas. They are not a big investment. If your maybe-cavers finds caving something they love, they can investment in better equipment later.
A lighted hardhat is a good idea. They need to wear something to protect their heads. A bike helmet will do, but a lighted hardhat is great.
Cavers go through a lot of batteries. One of the best gifts I ever got was a big box full of the batteries that fit my flashlights. Lasted me the next few caving trips. Ask or check to see what size/type batteries they prefer.
Things to keep in mind.
A lot of cavers do not like the word Spelunking.
There is a difference. Caving is not spelunking.
Want to know the difference? Have some time? Ask your caver.
So, if you want a gag gift, get something that says Spelunking on it.
Otherwise, you probably want to stay away from that word.
(I am often “corrected” by know-it-alls. “You mean spelunking.” No, I do not.)
Clothing & Mugs
You can’t go far wrong with clothes that have some slogan about caving. It shows you know your caver. If you don’t know what size they wear, larger is better.
Mugs always fit. You can always use another mug.
I enjoy reading about caving. I also love books with great pictures. New cavers can use an informative caving book.