If you are new to caving as sport, this section
should help your initial caving experiences be safer and more enjoyable.
Information is provided on:
Caving Organizations. Caving is not a
solo sport. Connections with other cavers are important for
getting the training needed for safe caving, finding companions
for trips, and learning where caves are located. For more
information on how (and why) to get involved with other cavers
visit the organized caving groups
Caving Technique. Most non-technical caving
techniques are learned from other, experienced cavers underground,
but there are a few basics to keep in mind when starting out.
Peruse the basic caving technique
page for a few tips.
Caving Equipment. doesn't have to be very
fancy -- in fact old jeans and a sweatshirt will probably
do quite well for your first few trips. There are, however,
a few basic pieces of equipment (a helmet and three sources
of light) that every caver should have. Check out recommendations
for these and other optional equipment on the caving
Safety & Cave Conservation. Safe caving
not only keeps you in one piece but also helps keep caves
available for the rest of us. Conservation likewise preserves
caves for future generations (and may keep you out of jail
as well). Visit the cave safety
pages in the Before You Go section for more
information on why these issues should be important to you.
Spelunker or Caver?
The popular term for a person who explores caves as a sport
or hobby in the United States is Spelunker, but you will
find that experienced cavers will seldom refer to themselves
as spelunkers, often reserving the term for inexperienced
“flashlight” cavers. Like most other activities
in life, caving has its own unique jargon to be learned
and we will try to introduce some of the more common as
we we come across them here (there are of course international
variations as well, but we’ll leave that to your own
For another, more elaborate viewpoint check out Jo Schaper's
difference between a spelunker, a speleologist, and a