December 6, 2023

Are you going to explore the caves around Mammoth Cave?! Or maybe you can join us Geology camp in April 2023. It can be hard to pack somewhere you’ve never been before – especially when you’re doing things you’ve never done before (like cave walking!). That’s why we’re sharing this list and a few tips to keep in mind when packing and preparing for your trip.

We’re not going to list all the common things you’d take on a family trip (like toiletries, medicine, and “normal” clothes and supplies), but there are some other things you might not have thought about.


The weather in this area of ​​Kentucky during the spring can be changeable. From what we can see in 10 days outside, it looks like it will be warm on the surface during the day, but remember that inside the caves it is cold – around 57 degrees or so – year round.

Temperature averages for the area are mid 70s during the day and low to mid 50s at night. And it’s spring in the south, so you know we might have thunderstorms or rain showers, so it’s a good idea to bring an umbrella or a raincoat. Of course we’ll be in the caves a lot of the time so it doesn’t matter…but pray for sunny, warm days!

Mobile phone

We are in a pretty rural area of ​​Kentucky so we can generally have limited cell phone coverage. In the caves, you know, we’ll have basically none. You might want to let people at home know not to worry!

Debit and/or credit cards

You’ll want to contact your bank or debit/credit card provider before you travel to let them know you’re traveling, especially if you don’t travel often.

On one of our trips our credit cards were put on hold because they thought it was against our purchase history. So just know that your bank or financial institution may flag your charges as suspicious…. which means you may not be able to use your debit or credit card until you contact them to let them know you are traveling.

Clothes packing list

In general, remember that we are traveling through caves and are likely to get dirty when we come into close contact with the walls on our tours. If you’re looking to pack caving gear, check out our list below. You may also need to pack extra clothes for this trip if you want to change clothes every night when you get back to camp.

Since we are going in and out of caves, another aspect you might want to consider is layering your clothing to help keep you warm in the cave but cool on the surface.

Exploring Off the Path Cave Packing List:

If you’re planning to join us for an off-the-beaten-track exploration of cave geology, this list of caves will help you gather the supplies and items you’ll want to bring. Our off-road cave exploration will be in Hidden river cave. It’s the same cave Mike Rowe explored for his Dirty Jobs series. Here is the video. We won’t go through it… but you’ll get a feel for what the conditions are like there.

  • Wear clothing suitable for climbing and climbing that you don’t mind getting ruined by mud. Denim is not a great choice as it is heavy and uncomfortable when wet. Nylon pants without a belt also want to slip when they get muddy.
  • Wear narrow shoes with good traction that you don’t mind getting ruined by mud and water.
  • Use gloves that fit your hands well.
  • Bring knee pads. Lowes or Home Depot are great places to find a cheap pair. (Don’t get a hard-shell pair.)
  • After the tour, bring a change of clothes (and a trash bag to put the wet, muddy ones in).
  • Please protect all personal belongings such as cameras, phones, tablets, etc. It is best if you DO NOT bring them.
  • You are allowed to bring a bottle of water with you.
  • This area of ​​the cave is 60 degrees this time of year. Dress to be comfortable during a strenuous game in this temperature.

Clothing to generally consider for this trip:

  • Hoodies
  • Rain jacket
  • Sturdy shoes or hiking boots
  • We will be painting one night, so you might want some clothes to paint on.
  • One night we will be bowling, ice skating and playing laser tag so you will want to wear comfortable clothes for this evening.

Outfit for the accessory at the end of this journey:

On Friday we will go ziplining in the morning and canoeing/kayaking in the afternoon. So you’ll probably want to wear a swimsuit or water shorts and water shoes for this day.

Dress code

Wear (and make sure your children wear) clothing that meets the following standards:

  • shorts should cover upper thighs (no “short shorts”)
  • no plunging neckline shirts or tank tops
  • no halter tops or midriff-baring shirts
  • no clothing (including hats, bags, etc.) that displays obscene, offensive, inappropriate logos, slogans or art or profanity. This includes, but is not limited to, logos advertising or promoting the use of alcoholic products, tobacco products or drugs.


  • Bring your own towels and tea towels
  • Your favorite games
  • Football chairs for sitting by the campfire.
  • Remember that some of the meals are prepared by yourself, so bring your favorite cooking utensils and a pot or Instant Pot! You’ll probably also want to bring a cooler for food or drinks while we’re away from camp.
  • Bring an extra pack or two in case you need them.


You will need to bring your own sheets, pillows and blankets (or sleeping bag if you prefer). Below are the cabins and the types of beds they have if you are bringing linen:

Efficient cabins

  • 1 double bed
  • 1 upper double bed
  • 1 futon

Cabins with pool side efficiency

  • 1 double bed
  • 1 upper double bed
  • 1 futon

The Lincoln Diaries

  • 1 double bed with an upper double bed in a separate bedroom
  • 1 double bed with an upper double bed in the main room
  • 1 futon in main room

Cumberland Cabins

  • 1 queen log cabin bed in private bedroom
  • Children’s sleeping loft (2 mattresses of two sizes) — stairs to loft
  • 1 Queen sofa bed in living room

Independence Cabin

  • 1 Queen size bed
  • 1 futon in main room
  • 1 sleeping floor

If you can think of something we missed, please leave us a comment below so we can add it to the list!

Enjoy a fun and safe trip to Mammoth Cave!

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