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>About Comfort Sacs

Doolin system, ClareWhat is the purpose of a comfort sac ?

A Comfort Sac is a vital piece of caving gear, which should only rarely need to go underground. It contains all the things that might be useful as the first response in the case of an accident and is for use by the colleagues of the injured caver. The purpose of a comfort sac is to keep casualty warm, dry and fed.

In the event of an accident happening underground, it can take a number of hours for a rescue party to get assembled. It will also take a number of hours to extract a casualty. The caving group will be able to treat and stabilise the injuries. With the stove and candles this will help keep everybody warm. With the callout list the party know how to start a callout. The more comprehensive the comfort sac, the more comfortable the casualty and the group will be.

More information about comfort sacs:

What kind of bag is most suitable?Return

The comfort sac should be a bag that is suitable to take under ground. The ideal type of bag is a large tackle bag. If the bag is too large it will be very difficulty to take under ground in the event of an emergency. It may be necessary to put the contents into two bags. The sleeping bag and clothing should be vacuum packed to keep them dry. If there are any smaller bags, with in the main bag, the contents list should be attached to each, so that every bag or container will not be opened unnecessarily. The contents list should contain the "best before" date of the food.

Where is the best location?

The best location for a comfort sac is at the site of an accident. But no body knows where an accident is going to happen. The most suitable place for the comfort sac to be left is just in side the entrance of the cave or at the bottom of a pitch. This may also a good indication for the ICRO warden if he is at the correct cave, as there may be a number of caves in the area. If the comfort sac is left in the group's transport, everybody in the group must know where the keys are left so that it can be got as fast as possible.

Who needs one ?Return

Every caving group should bring a comfort sack of some description. The contents will depend on the nature of the cave, the size and type of the group and the remoteness of the cave. All novice groups should have a quite comprehensive comfort sac and it is common for student groups to have more than one in their caving gear store. All should be regularly updated and checked.

Comfort sac Contents

  • Sleeping bag
  • Karrimat
  • Double Bivi bag
  • Bivi bag
  • Lizard bag
  • Bothy Tent ("KISU")
  • Clothing
  • First aid kit (comprehensive)
  • Food
  • Stove / fuel / matches
  • Cups + 2 Plates + 2 Spoons
  • Water
  • Pencils and waterproof paper
  • Lights (candles )
  • Puzzle book
  • Content list
  • Callout list (an up to date copy)

For more information and Club contacts write to SUI Secretary c/o AFAS, House of Sport, Long Mile Road, Walkinstown, Dublin 12, Ireland.