Equipment configuration

The basis of the recommended equipment configuration is the configuration proposed by the American cave diver and explorer William Hogarth Main. For an inexplicable reason, it is called the Hogarth configuration, not the Maine configuration. Hogarth’s configuration is based on the principles of minimalism and duplication. The principle of minimalism is that only the equipment that will be used is used. The principle of duplication is that the main life-supporting elements of the equipment are used in an amount of two. This configuration has proven its effectiveness by Maine’s partners in the WKPP (Woodville Karst Plain Project) project: Jarrod Jablonski, Lamar English, William Gavin, George Irvine. The company of these people, following the philosophy of DIR (Do It Right), using the aforementioned equipment configuration, made a series of impressive passages of flooded caves. Currently, a number of achievements of divers of this project have been surpassed, but this does not detract from their contribution to the development of cave and technical diving.


The most important element of the system is the diver himself. His mental, fitness, psychological form. His skills and abilities.

The next important element is the back plate, it is also called the plate. It is the main link between the diver and the equipment. The plate can be made of stainless steel, aluminum alloy or composite material. In the back plate, ports of various shapes are made, designed to fasten pieces of equipment. See Fig.1

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In the ports of the back plate threaded tape width, usually two inches. The tape is made of durable synthetic fabric. The tape is threaded into the plate in such a way that it forms two shoulder straps and a waist belt. The ends of the lap belt are fastened together with a stainless steel buckle. See Fig.2.3

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Below to the plate is attached an element that is not in the classical configuration of Hogarth. This is a butt plate with rails. From my point of view, the roof rails are the most convenient element for fastening the reels and other frequently used items of equipment. See Fig.4

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On the shoulder straps of the tape, two D-rings are located on the left and right. On the left of the waist belt is another D-ring. There is no D-ring on the right side of the belt. In addition, I, in contrast to the classical configuration of Hogarth, use another D-ring to the left of the waist belt. In cold water, in dry gloves, if you have a tank of blowing a dry suit, it is more convenient to attach the two-stage carbines by the D-ring, which is closer to the buckle. A carbine harness with a third, fourth, etc. Stage and carbine of hose with a manometer mount for the D-ring, which is closer to the back plate. See Fig.3

The brass belt is attached to the lower port of the back plate and passes through the butt plate with the rails. On the brass belt there are two D-rings at the front and rear. See Fig.4

On the back plate on the side of the opposite back of the diver, a single-chamber wing and a double tanks back mount system with left and right valves and a manifold equipped with a shut-off valve are fastened with ports, studs and wing nuts. See Fig.5

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The first stage of the main regulator is located on the right rack of double tanks back mount system. As a first stage, the Apeks FSR1 and TEK, as well as the Scubapro MK25, have proven themselves well. The second stage of the regulator is connected by a 210 cm long low pressure hose, invented by Maine’s partner in underwater research, John Zumrick (Capt. John Zumrick, M.D). The Apeks XTX200 and Scubapro G260 have proven themselves as the main second stage. A carbine is tied to a long hose, with which in the transport position, the main second stage is attached to the right shoulder D-ring. It should be noted here that the main second stage should have only two positions: in the mouth of the diver or on the right shoulder D-ring. A wing inflator hose is also connected to the main first stage. The long hose from the first stage is directed down along the diver’s wing and body, then tucked under the canister of the light, then rises up and to the left rounds the diver’s neck from left to right and to the right the second step is either attached to the right shoulder D-ring or in the diver’s mouth.

On the left rack of double tanks back mount system there is a backup first stage similar to the main one. The reserve second stage is equipped with an elastic collar, for fastening on the diver’s neck and connected to the reserve first stage by a short low pressure hose. The hose must be of sufficient length so that the backup second step hangs on the collar strictly under the diver’s chin, without forcing him to turn his head to the right if he wants to use the backup second stage. At the same time, the hose should not be long enough so that the loop formed by it does not extend beyond the diver’s right shoulder. In addition, a dry suit inflator hose is connected to the backup first stage. The hose length must be sufficient for the hose from the backup first stage to go down, then at the diver’s hand turned to the right and could be freely connected to the valve for blowing a dry suit. There should not be a big sagging of this hose. Also, a pressure gauge in a brass body is connected to the backup first stage via a high-pressure hose. A carbine is attached to the high-pressure hose, by means of which the pressure gauge is attached to the left waist D-ring. The length of the high pressure hose should be optimal. It should be convenient to disconnect the gauge and look at its readings and attach it back to the D-ring. In this case, the hose should not form a loop. See Fig.6

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In addition, if necessary, a tank of the dry suit blowing with the first stage and the hose of the dry suit inflator is fastened to the back plate with the help of ports and a special harness if necessary. See Fig.7

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The canister of the lamp and / or the canister of the heated dry suit is attached to the right of the waist belt with a buckle or bungee. See Fig.8.

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The canister-type lamp, the head of the lamp is mounted on the left arm with elastic bungees. The wire from the canister to the head runs diagonally from right to left along the diver’s body under a long hose.

Dry suit membrane type with right and left pockets, in which there are D-rings, is a mandatory element of the described configuration. In combination with insulation, it performs a heat-shielding function. In addition, it is a backup buoyancy control system.

In the left pocket of a dry suit, a waterproof notebook is usually stored, a signal buoy of lifting force according to the standards of the teaching association, a spool with a line of at least 20 m in length.

In the right pocket of a dry suit they usually store a backup mask, a backup buoy, a backup spool with a line.

Cutting tools (knife, scissors, strop сutter) are placed on the left of the waist belt so that they can be easily accessed with both hands. See Fig.8.

Fins are short, hard. Providing effective swimming with a large number of cylinders.

Hood, dry gloves, insulation, heated dry suit vary depending on the conditions of immersion.