Caving Trips Tips

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How do I find my way back from inside a cave?

Caving Ins and Outs

Experienced cavers know that while caving underground a cave looks different on the way out than it does on the way in. Some tips on navigating in a cave:

1. In addition to carrying a map and proper caving light, pay close attention to the rock formations and landmarks.
2. Look behind you and you proceed into the cave to help you get a good idea of how the cave's features will look on the way out.

A caving adventure during your vacation is a wonderful activity when done safely.

Do I need special equipment for vertical caving?

Vertical Rope Climbing

While exploring caves underground or climbing during your adventure travel vacation, never climb a rope hand-over-hand. Simple physics shows that it is physically impossible to climb out of a deep pit hand-over-hand. You will get tired and what will you do then?

If you must do pits, take the time to learn vertical techniques from people who know what they are doing and invest in some sound caving equipment.

Many caving gear establishments periodically schedule vertical training and practice sessions. These sessions give you the opportunity to try out vertical gear to decide what system works best for your physical and financial condition. It is really important to prepare for your caving vacation with regular conditioning exercise. Adventure travel is a great thing, but you need to be prepared and physically fit.

What if I get injured while caving?

Avoiding Injury When Caving

While caving underground, be very cautious in the way you move to avoid injury. When an accident happens on a caving trip a quick response may be necessary to keep an injury from becoming a fatality.

Extracting an injured person from deep within a cave can be strenuous and technically difficult, often requiring large numbers of people and specialized caving gear, and may take a day or more.

The time required to get a patient out complicates treatment of what might otherwise be a routine injury, and hypothermia and shock can be serious problems for an immobile patient. Caving can be dangerous but also exciting and terrific adventure travel option to explore!

What kind of caving lights should I use?

Caving Lights

A key to safe adventure caving is lighting. Some lighting tips for your spelunking adventure:

* Carbide lamps may be getting old fashioned for caving equipment, but they're a great source of light when caving underground that could last for hours and provide heat to warm you up during a caving trip.
* During a break, give your electric lights and batteries a rest and snack by the warm glow of candle light. You can even heat up your beef jerky on it.
* Having a light attached to your helmet will free up both of your hands when caving. Duct tape will hold any flashlight on in an emergency.
* Make sure to bring at least three good sources of light when caving. You don't want to end up in the dark when your main caving light loses power!

Will I need to sign a waver to go caving?

Caving Liability And Permission

When taking on a caving adventure, consider hiring a guide. They will do a better job of keeping you safe, and they know the best spots. Remember a few things about hiring a cave guide on your adventure vacation:

* A good caving guide will not let anyone go caving underground without the proper caving equipment. You should ask the travel company what kind of equipment you need to bring to be prepared for your spelunking adventure.
* A "wild" cave means no stairs, no lights, no railings. In this situation, having an experience caver along is really best for everyone's safety.
* Caves are generally on private property and some may be gated and locked. Most guides already have permission to go caving on the premisses.
* You may have to sign a liability insurance waver, so be prepared.

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Kelley Diekman