So you want to go caving
Hopefully this page will answer a few of your basic questions …. please read on …..
Is caving dangerous? – Many things can be classed as dangerous but we like to view caving more as a “risk” sport and even then that is subjective and depends on the level you are caving at. Obviously dangers can exist but through training and experience we can minimise these and choose our own level depending on our expertise. We like to look after our members, and novices in particular will be protected and guided to avoid dangers.
Will I get wet? – Not necessarily! Many underground sites are completely dry with no active water flow. Many are simply ‘damp’ but some contain spectacular underground rivers. Some large systems can be all those things and you choose what to do ….
Will it be claustrophobic? – Do you mean will it be small and confined? Not necessarily! It’s not all about squirming through narrow passages. Many caves are monstrously large and can require very little or no crawling. That said, equally, there are many small spaces to explore or large spaces only accessable through smaller spaces. Many people worry they are claustrophobic but rarely are in reality.
Do I need to be thin to go caving? – No! Many cavers are definitely not what you would call thin! Yes, size can limit where you might be able to go but it’s more about your fitness and enthusiasm than your size.
What do I need to go caving? – For basic novice trips all you need is some old clothes or a boiler suit, some strong boots with good tread, a spirit for adventure and a big smile. We can supply a lamp and helmet for you to give it a try. The more serious caves require tougher protective equipment and again we may be able to sort something out. Members are expected to have their own basic equipment once they’ve decided it’s a sport for them to follow.
How long is a caving trip? – Trips can range from less than 1 hour to a number of days! A typical weekday evening trip would be 2 hours (trust us, it flies by ..), a weekend trip would typically be 3-5 hours but trips to large systems could be as long as 9 hours or more!
What about spiders and bats? – What about them? Spiders might exist in and around an entrance but are small and you probably wouldn’t even notice them. Bats hibernate in some caves in the winter and are protected by law – like spiders, they are not dangerous and are generally viewed as friends of the caver.
What is the difference between caving and potholing? – Nothing! Caving is a generic term which encompasses all forms of underground exploration, be it caves (horizontal or vertical), mines or archaeological sites. Potholing refers to vertical caves created by erosion by water forming deep shafts.