CUCC Expedition Handbook


As soon as possible after a trip finishes, a hand-written write-up of the trip is made in the nearest logbook: the base camp logbook or the top camp logbook.

Why the logbook is important

The logbook writeup is the oldest and most basic way of recording your trip but it must not be neglected. This is also where you put your speculations and ideas for what looks promising and what is obvious but doesn't go: things that are vital to future expoers. And please, pleasedo lots of sketches in the logbook.

Always, always write the date, your name and the names of other people involved at the top of each entry. If you mention a cave location, please also write down the cave name somewhere. In 10 years no-one will know where "Lemon Snout" is.

If this is all new to you, please now read Why we make surveys and Cave data management, and then the Survey Handbook

We now [September 2023] have an online form for uploading logbook entries (text only, and HTML links to images) for the 2024 expo at /logbookedit/.

Initial rigging guide

The logbook is also the place where we record the rigging of caves as we discover them. You will manually copy the notes you made underground into the logbook.

Writing up this and the final rigging guide is an important part of the Expo cave exploration process and is documented in a specific "rigging" section the survey handbook.

Typing your trip report - in the UK Caving Blog

In recent years we have seen an admirable increase in the number of people writing up their trips and experiences on social media and in particular on the UK Caving blog, see 2019 Blog. But please, please also make a handwritten entry in the logbook saying you have done this so that the text and pictures can be transcribed later. It is too easy to lose these: in 2018 there were two blogs in operation and most people didn't know that.

The UK Caving blog is mobile-friendly and it is very easy to add photos. So if you discover an entrance with a distinctive look, then this is the easiest way to record it and upload the photos.

Typing your trip report - using the online form

If you have online access, then the best way to type up the text for for logbook entry is using the online form (you will need to log in using the usual cavey:beery password for user 'expo').

This will present no problems for newcomers, but old hands may find it a bit perplexing as it seems to be too simple.

The page willl refresh and at the bottom will be a rendering of what your logbook entry looks like. Check through it for typos etc., make the changes in the form and click the big button again until you are happy with it.

Typing just your trip report (your phone or the Expo Laptop)

These days, just write up your trip as a message on your phone and post it to the Matrix chat group 'expo' (, or email it to a nerd.

Alternatively, if you are sitting at any internet-connected laptop, inlcuding the expo laptop in the potato hut, you can use the online form

Why we type it

As handwriting can be very bad, please try to type the text, print it and stick it in the logbook, adding any sketches by hand. This will save someone (probably you) deciphering your handwriting and typing it up later. Scanning is not good enough yet to read handwriting or to interpret which scribble relates to which sketch.

Type the text, but still do lots of drawings in the paper logbook.

The online logbook file

The contents of both the paper topcamp logbook (if it exists) and the basecamp paper logbook are typed into the same "logbook.html" file for future use in tracking down leads and surveys. The drawings are scanned and stored in the same place, and hand-edited into the logbook.html file during and after expo. For more details of the mechanics see the Logbook internal format documentation

Recent logbooks:

The result is a webpage reporting who did what and what was done by whom on expo, e.g. see the 2018 expo report and individual logbook entries on a specific date, such as the date of a survey or wallet, are now listed below so that it is easier to find context which has been omitted from a survex file, e.g. Alpine Showers survex file has a list below it of trips on that date, inlcuding the relevant logbook trip report.

Editing logbooks

Please do NOT use the "Edit this page" capability to edit previous logbooks [this has now, we hope, been disabled]. The HTML format is not robust enough (to be honest all this logbook stuff is a bit of a kludge). See the link above " Importing" as any mistake will crash the import parser. [ Historic logbooks should only be edited by an expert, and the import process should be tested offline before the edited logbook is uploaded to the server.

It is not robust because it all depends on a rather hairy regex - all in one expression - which is of course very bad practice.

Go on to Importing logbooks into troggle.
Go on to Logbook internal format documentation.