Oxford University Cave Club

Meet Co-coordinator's Crib Sheet

OUCC Home Page

"OUCC this term"

OUCC Documentation

See also the Short Version.

Congratulations on volunteering to co-ordinate a meet. You are a Caving Star. This is the stuff that needs doing - feel free to delegate any or all of it, just make sure someone responsible is doing it.

A week / 10 days before the meet


Depending on the number of people and number of car owners/van drivers, choose from 3 options as outlined below:

  1. Use members' cars. Suggest the drivers note how much they spend on petrol so they can reclaim it afterwards.
  2. Rent a minibus or MPV from Hotson's Eurodrive, the company the University has a deal with. Drivers need to have passed the University's minibus driving test - several club members now have. You will need to book through the Sports Fed website, not directly with Hotson's. If you can't access the transport booking page, get a current student to help you. Note that a 9 seater MPV is very useful, it generally has enough boot space that all 9 seats can be used. A 7 seater MPV is much less useful, it's just a big car with 2 seats in the boot that will probably need to be removed to fit any caving kit in. On a weekend particularly likely to be busy, a Hotson's minibus may have been pre-booked by the meets sec, find out and if you're not using it, you need to cancel them a.s.a.p. You should do this through Sports Fed but it might be a good idea to contact Hotson's directly as well. (Hotson's officially require 48 hours' notice for cancellations, but to avoid hassles give them as much notice as you possibly can.)
    Note that the pick-up and return place for Eurodrive is at Horspath Industrial Estate, 36 Pony Rd, Oxford OX4 2RD: a fair old way from Oxford centre if you're on a bike!
  3. Hire a vehicle outside the red card scheme - this is more expensive than the other two options, but it's a workable solution if you have people who can drive bigger vehicles than they own but don't have a red card. Daily Info has some possibly useful info on car hire places. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to get (a) a car (b) a cheap car - ringing the day before has sometimes worked in the past, but often it doesn't, so leave time. For hire cars the driver almost invariably needs to be over 21 (in fact almost invariably needs to be over 23, but some companies have stricter requirements than others).

When hiring a vehicle, either with or without the red card scheme, check that the driver can get to the hire place before it closes. Some of the hire places have particularly unhelpful opening hours, so if the driver is working, they may need to pick up the vehicle in their lunch break.

The week before a meet

Thursday / Friday

"Home Agent", Names and Personal Details:

Get copies of the personal details of all those coming on the trip. If you have access to the database, this is most easily done by cut&paste copying the details for each person coming on the trip into a seperate spreadsheet. If you don't have access, ask the Secretary , Meets Sec or Treasurer to provide details of those signed up. These data are sensitive, and your records of them must be deleted asap after the trip is home and safe. If you find soemone hasn't submitted their details yet, chase them up.

It is a good idea to find a "Home Agent" - someone responsible, and who is an experienced caver, who is not coming on the trip ,who can act as a call-out if needed, and a point of contact if anything goes wrong. Steve Roberts is normally happy to do this, but if he is not available, find someone else trustworthy. Send the Home Agent the personal details info of those coming on the trip, and details of where you are staying, any vehicle registration numbers, caves likely to be done, and anything else they might find useful if the worst happens. Some details might need updating with them on Friday or Saturday.

Trip Registration with OUSF

Let the Meet Sec know and you or they must register the trip with Sports Fed. The procedure for doing this changes pretty often, see if you can find something suitable on the Sports Fed website. If not, email the OUSF Safety Officer, currently David White [david.white@sport.ox.ac.uk] giving the location and contact details for the trip together with the names of everyone going on the trip, with colleges for current students and next of kin details for people not at University. It is not expected that this name list be 100% accurate, a best effort will suffice. This is useful for the University in the event of an incident. David White prefers this information in a spreadsheet, ask for an empty spreadsheet from the Meets Sec if you don't have one already.

Buy Food.

First check the food box in the hut - use whatever you can from there, especially semi-perishables, before buying more stuff. The Hut Has Spices (and usually some marge, tea, coffee, sugar, cooking oil, pasta, often other stuff too). Club policy is normally to be relatively skinflintish on shared food (some of us don't have incomes, and people with money can treat themselves individually!) - so mainly go for Value brands etc. You can buy free range eggs though, chickens do not need to be abused in the name of caving. Also, rock-bottom price sausages can be pretty nasty, or so I'm told; so go up a grade?

You'll normally need 2 breakfasts, 1 evening meal, and choccy bars for caving.

Tips on what food to buy - ignore this if you know what you're doing


Group gear - pick this up from the hut. Depending on what trips you're doing, you'll need a mixture of ropes / ladders / spreaders / wires / tapes / hangers / maillons / tackle bags. You always have too much, except when you think "we always have too much" and go minimalist - take lots!

Personal Gear: If any novices are coming, they'll need gear. Make sure each novice has a helmet with light, undersuit, oversuit, belt, wellies, SRT kit if applicable, and a bag to keep it in. There are even some club kneepads and wetsocks now. If there aren't enough SRT kits it may be possible to borrow some from club members. Also check that everyone has a sleeping bag; there are actually quite a lot of club sleeping bags now but they're no use if they stay in Oxford. Finally try to get across the point that they should keep track of their gear and look after it as if it was their own. Adding a bit of masking tape with their name on it to their kit bag might help. Pick up a gate key from Sports Fed so we can get back in on Sunday evening.

Personal details list: make sure it's up to date, that you take a copy with you in a form you can access even if there is no wifi or phone signal, and that the "Home Agent "has the current version.

On the weekend itself

If there is an Incident or accident

If you can't contact your Home Agent: Ring 999, ask for Police and when the Police answer, get transferred if needed to the local force for your region and then ask them to alert Cave Rescue.

Useful phone numbers

Northern Dales
Bull Pot Farm phone: 015242 71837
Greenclose: unlucky - no phone!

The Belfry phone: 01749 672126
MCG hut phone: 01761 462797
MNRC hut phone: 01761 241 609
Wessex hut phone: 01749 672310

SWCC hut phone: 01639 730613
WSG cottage phone: 01685 811080
Whitewalls phone: 01873 811510

Steve Roberts (OUCC President): 01865 432888; 07810 542598; steve.roberts@seh.ox.ac.uk

David White (Safety Officer, OU Sports Federation):: 01865 611478: 07780 693388: david.white@sport.ox.ac.uk

University Security Services:  01865 272944; ouss.administration@admin.ox.ac.uk