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An Introduction to Caves and Caving

Photo: two cavers squatting in cave stream passageExploration of caves takes us into a world much different from that above ground, a world of darkness surrounded by rock and mud. Exotic formations, streams and waterfalls, tight crawlways, deep canyons and pits, huge rooms with large blocks of breakdown, crickets, bats and cave rats await the cave explorer.

Caving can be a strenuous sport, a casual hobby, a means to conducting scientific research, or all of these and more. Caves are found around the world and in a variety of settings, from cold alpine environments to warm tropical rain forests, and are formed through a variety of natural processes.

This site provides a basic introduction to the world of caves and caving and links to additional resources, providing:

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An introduction to caves and caving for the beginning caver . If you haven't been caving yet or are still a beginner this is the place to start. Information is provided on how (and why) to get involved with organized caving groups, basic caving technique and equipment, and some basic safety and cave conservation tips.

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A starting point for students and others interested in cave sciences related to the study of cave formation and ecosystems.

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A review of the sensitive nature of caves and information about how to help with the conservation of caves and their inhabitants.

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An introduction for beginning and intermediate cavers interested in more advanced caving techniques to expand their caving skills. This section discusses some of the specialty areas of caving and provides more detailed discussions on a few areas of more general interest like vertical caving, finding new caves, and surveying and mapping caves.

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A discussion of caving safety and the related topic of cave rescue to help prepare for the unexpected.

If you aren't quite ready to go underground and get muddy just yet, try some Virtual Reality Caving first to get warmed up.

Muddy caver helping another outof a hole

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  Copyright 2002-2004, Bob Robins
  Last Updated: August 9, 2005