Human beings have an innate desire to want to explore. From the beginning the need has existed and continues today. While some exploration is not possible for your casual person like going to outer space or deep sea diving there is always one that is doable for most people with a genuine interest. That is caving or spelunking as some call it.
The beauty of caving is that it does not require a significant amount of money or training. While having better equipment and practice certainly helps it does restrict you from being to get out and explore. Like most outdoor activities being in good shape certainly helps but even if you are not in the best shape don’t be discouraged you can still give caving a try and by doing so you will get great exercise. A typical cave trip will require you to walk on uneven ground and ask you to crawl and climb around obstacles. This will give you a full body workout so expect to be sore the first couple times around.
When it comes to equipment for caving its relatively basic. The most obvious is a reliable light source. Finding a local store carrying headlamps with an elastic strap shouldn’t be difficult. But I would recommend going to a place like Amazon to see reviews and choose one highly rated.
Another very important piece of equipment is a safely rated helmet. Caves are in the wild so consider them potentially dangerous. But taking the right precautions though will go along way from preventing an accident or injury. Some addition addition equipment needed depends on what kind of cave you will be exploring. If you know or are expecting a vertical cave you will need essentially climbing gear like rope harnesses, ascenders and carabiners.
Packing light is important so being efficient is a must. A small backpack with these items should suffice in most caving expeditions.
-Knee and elbow pads
-Snacks like granola, protein bars, jerky
-First aid kit
-Change of clothes to be left in the car for the return
Safety is extremely important when it comes to caving and should be taken very seriously. The first rule of thumb is never cave alone. Generally you want to cave with at least 4 people if possible but not larger than 6. Even with a group you should let someone you know who is not joining you on the trip to know the when and where and when you expect to return.
Here are some helpful tips to make your expedition safe and fun. When entering a tight space don’t force it. But if you do always send the smallest person in first to see exactly how tight the spot is. If aren’t familiar with the territory try to remember to look back and remember details about the cave.
Also a lot of injuries are caused by faulty equipment. It is best to check everything you expect to use for wear and tear and make sure they are safe to use.
In the end caving is a strenuous activity and sometimes there are unexpected things that happen during an expedition so its best not to over exert yourself and try to stay calm and reserve energy. Being a responsible caver is important and a lot of that is common sense. Be respectful of your team and respect the cave in which you are traveling through. Overtime and with more experience under your belt you will begin to think more naturally like a caver and things will become easier and more enjoyable. But we always encourage safe and smart decisions, especially if you are the team leader in your group. A good leader is a safe and smart one and I know you can become one.
There is so much to enjoy with caving and with the proper measurements and planning it can be an adventure of a lifetime that you can do over and over again. I encourage you to give it a try, with a little research online you can really begin to see all the opportunities around you and trust me when say it is worth it.