Caving Website

As a former member of the armed forces and an avid caver I thought it would be great to resurrect this site to help others in making the decision to join this awesome sport. Although some do not think of Caving as a sport can be just as exciting (full of adrenaline) as any other extreme sport.

The original army caving association was formed in 1977 and incorporated elements from the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and the Army. This allowed cavers from different military divisions to come together for exciting caving events.

The association was initially set up with four defined initiatives that included a simple way to arrange caving expeditions, support for new and aspiring cavers, research and advancement into the sport as well as military advice when conduction operations in mountainous terrain.

Over the years the association has arranged trips spanning the world continents from Canada to Mexico with many other exciting expeditions conducted.

After spending several years in the Navy I found my love of caving to be close to my heart. I decided to setup a small club where I regularly train new members in the most important aspect, which is safety.

Learning to safely navigate caves can take some time as there is much to learn. Learning how to explore vertical and non-vertical systems are both specific skills and require a different approach. Another important aspect is making sure you are aware and prepared for the environment at all times – this can be the difference between life and death!

The club is not based in one place as I enjoy traveling so much so I generally arrange training and tours in different countries well in advance.

If you are interested in learning more about caving and even perhaps attending a training session when I am in your area then please contact me via the contact page for more information.

Basics of Caving

Caving can be an excellent hobby for those that possess the spirit of adventure but it does with come a certain amount of risk. This is true for any extreme sport and it is important that anyone going into this realizes the risks involved.

If this sounds a little bit too hectic then you should just buy yourself a  Optishot Golf Simulator and learn to play golf at home instead!

Have a look at this video to see some extreme caving footage.

The best way to get started is to attend a course with a professional instructor or to take your first adventure with experienced cavers. Do not go with your friends or your spouse! Following good methods and safety by watching those with experience is the first step. The type of cave you are exploring is also a factor and different formations require different strategies to maintain safety.

Most cave systems are nothing like terrain found above ground and for the most part you will find yourself traversing ground with slopes, loose pebbles and rocks as well as tight spaces. If you have any problems with claustrophobia then this is definitely not the sport for you. Making sure you have full attention at all times will ensure you do not slip or miss falling rocks. Injuries happen very quickly and can be life threatening in a caving system.

Navigating your way through caves comes with experience and this is another reason why you should not start out without professional guidance. Getting lost inside a large cave system can be fatal. With lower oxygen levels and a limited food supply you cannot afford to make mistakes. You will often find cavers with limited experience lost close to the entrance as it looks different on the way out than the way in.

You may even notice older signals like paintings on the rocks or string lying around that we perhaps used for navigation by others or from many years ago. Never trust these signals as they could be incomplete or they may even lead to an entrance that has since been blocked off.

Many modern caves have been well documented and you can buy yourself a map before you get started. I would advise ensuring you carry one in your first few adventures. Do not rely on your guide or instructor for everything. Even when you are having guidance try and figure things out for yourself. It really is the best way to learn!

Always use the best safety equipment you can afford – it is vital that you do this. Make sure you have a decent helmet with a light – I can’t tell you how many times a rock has fallen or I have slipped and the helmet saved my life. A concussion in a cave can be deadly, even in a large group it will not be quick to get out or expect a rescue. Always carry a compass.

Some caves are much harder than others so start off with something easy. As you become more experienced you can try outings that require advanced techniques like climbing chimneys or crawling through tighter spaces.

Caving is lots of fun, especially when you develop a close group of friends that can explore new systems as a group – just make sure you put safety first!

Equipment Overview

One of the great things about choosing caving as your hobby is that compared to other extreme sports it does not cost that much to buy all the basic things you will need. As most of the essential items are fairly cheap I would advise to buy the best quality you can, it may just save your life. While I sit at my desk working on this I have safety in mind.

The most important item is a decent helmet. There are an unlimited amount of things that can go wrong and protecting your head should be first on your list. If you slip, bump your head on the ceiling or get in the way of a falling rock you need to know you will safe. In many caves around the world you might find other cavers moving around above you, this makes a head injury from a falling rock a real possibility. Most climbing helmets are designed for the job and feature a quick release chin strap increase it gets caught or hung up on something.

You will also need a decent light and with the popularity of LED lighting these days there are plenty of different models to choose from. Checking out the lighting section of online caving suppliers should make it simple to find one. Also take a second light with as a backup, if your light gets smashed or the battery fails you could be in real trouble. Most decent lighting systems are also waterproof.

Good clothes are equally important and you can decide on what you want to wear depending on the type of cave you are exploring. If it is in a hot climate than make sure you wear something lightweight, equally you would want to be prepared for colder climates. I normally advise people to ensure they have a lightweight jacket and something light and dry to change into should they slip into water somewhere. If you are caving a really cold climate then hypothermia is a possibility, always make sure you take a pair of gloves.

Always ensure you have plenty of food and water, this is up to you as well but I would recommend energy bars and other foods that can give you energy. Always make sure you have sufficient water and if you are going a long trip then it makes sense to pack some coke or other drink high in sugar to keep your energy levels up.

Checking out any popular online store that caters for extreme sports or specifically caving equipment should have everything need to make your trip successful.