Caving is the art of safely moving through a natural cave to a destination and returning to the surface without hurting yourself or the cave. In order to explore safely, you will need the right equipment and the right skills. The following sections will provide you basic information and links to help you get started exploring caves.
What is Caving Books?
Caving Books allow you to be ahead of the game and give you insights on what the cave and expedition will be like, what you will see, and things to watch out for. If your instructor has a favorite book or author on the subject, below you will find a list of caving books that your instructor probably recommends. If these don’t seem to provide the assistance that you need, there are also a wide variety of guides written on specific caving areas, and unique rigging systems.
If you are an absolute beginner and need a primer to get you started, then I suggest you check out Basic Caving as a starting point. It truly is great for anyone who is starting out in the world of caving. You will not get bored by reading it over and over again, as I find myself doing. I can’t get enough of it!
You may also want to look into some of the other sources of information on the subject. If you found a book you like off the linked page, I would recommend perusing the manufacturer’s website. Odds are that the equipment you may be looking for is the same or very similar to what your fellow cavers are using. If so, you should have no trouble finding it on the internet.
Caving Equipment & Tools
Caving equipment can be divided into three basic categories: personal, underground and surface. Each equipment category has its own challenges, needs and benefits.
Personal equipment consists of the items carried in your pack, which may include:
Clothing and footwear
Tools and other miscellaneous items
Of these, Clothing and Footwear and Lighting are perhaps the most critical. Proper clothing will help keep you warm and dry; poor clothing can quickly lead to hypothermia and freeze burns. Light provides a mental and physical boost that will make the trip more manageable and enjoyable.
Communication devices are important because they allow you to give updates to the surface, and get updates in return. This is one of the ways you can be sure you are not lost or in trouble.
Tools and other miscellaneous items are things that you would like to have with you.
With the exception of standard personal items (such as first aid kits, flashlights, and pocket knives) and the items listed below, the rest of your equipment should be determined by the cave to be explored and the conditions of that cave.
If you have decided to become involved in cave or exploration caving, you will find that your personal gear will need to be increased to meet the demands of that involvement.
You should develop a list of gear necessary for the cave you will be exploring. Normally, you will develop a minimum and a maximum list of necessary items. These lists will highlight the specific characteristics of the cave you are exploring that make it necessary to alter your standard kit.
Also, remember that caves and climbing areas are always changing. The equipment you will bring with you is not necessarily going to be there when you arrive. As new discoveries are made, or as caves are reopened, you will need to alter your list to accommodate those changes.
The Cord Connection
If you are going to be in an underground location for many hours, a strong light source is a must. The strong light source is used to determine where you are going, not to see what you are doing. This is important because you want to keep your eyes adjusted to your light source. It is also important because you do not want a light to get lost or broken. Lastly, a light source should be battery operated, as that will be an item that will always be available; on site equipment can be highly unreliable.
You will also need a backup light, preferably one that uses a different battery. The reason you need a backup light, is for when your primary light dies. It is also possible that you will drop your primary light and its battery. Or, you could leave it on by accident. Either way, your backup light is the only way you will be able to see what you are doing. Unless, of course, you want to start drilling holes on your trip, or look in the bag for some snacks, without any light.
How Books Help You In Caving?
You now know what books are available to you and what some of the advantages of these books are.
Why should you read books and look for more information? Wouldn’t it be better to just go out and do it?
Reading and researching will give you a better understanding of caving. You do not become a caver by simply going out and doing it. Caving is about knowledge. Books contain this knowledge. Books are a way for people to communicate their knowledge of a subject to a reader. There is so much information on caving that it cannot be contained in a single book. So not all caving knowledge can be found in one book. Depending on who you are and what you want to learn, there are books out there that can reach you.
By reading books on caving and other similar activities, you can become a better caver and a better person overall. Remember that the knowledge you gain is not just for the cave.
Knowledge is power, and with that power you are able to do just about anything.
This product was recommended by Melanie Musson from CarInsuranceComparison
This book captivates the reader with the true story of a caving expedition into the deepest and arguably deadliest cave in the Western hemisphere. The story includes adventure, wonder, death, perseverance, and, eventually, success as two explorers set the record for the deepest cave dive.
This product was recommended by Ayesha Holloman from Outdoorish
This book concisely discusses the ecology of caves. It explores how an organism has evolved to adaptation and evolution. It has a wide range of examples, case studies and you get to learn new terms that are used by speleologists.
This product was recommended by Ayesha Holloman from Outdoorish
This book is a comprehensive manual about safe and responsible caving for beginners and experts alike. This also covers topics like how the caves were transformed, how to plan and prepare for a caving trip, dealing with emergencies whilst exploring the underground, and many more.