How do you safely go about exploring a cave?

Adventure hobbies/Exploration
Chandler Lee
How do you safely go about exploring a cave?
It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

Stalactites and stalagmites are unique elements of the cave landscape, which attract many daredevils who attempt to explore unfriendly terrain. Going on such a trip, however, one must remember about basic safety rules!

A unique world underground

The cave landscape is very different from the views we can admire every day. Probably it is this difference that attracts daredevils wishing to explore difficult and inaccessible terrains. What can you count on in a cave? Cramped passages, darkness and dampness – it does not sound inviting? On the contrary! Exploration of underground corridors is incredible fun and a guaranteed adrenaline rush. Stalactites hanging from the vault of the cave or stalagmites growing out of its bottom create amazing structures, the sight of which will speed up the beating of many a heart.

Where to find caves?

Lovers of cave exploration are slightly more privileged than, for example, extreme mountain kayaking enthusiasts. The latter, in order to experience the real sensations, have to look for them outside the borders of our country. When it comes to caves, there are a lot of them in Poland. From the small and inconspicuous, to the large caves, in which it is not difficult to get lost. The country is dominated by karst caves, which are tunnels formed as a result of rocks being washed out by water. Water drills rock – this saying is known to everyone. And what is the effect in reality? Caves!

Amazing rock formations that attract the interest of people of all ages. Every fan of karst caves should go to the Krakow-Czestochowa Upland, where they are most abundant. In the Carpathians, on the other hand, you can find caves with a slightly different profile – they were formed as a result of tectonic movements. Regardless of where you choose to explore a cave and what your goal is (whether it’s for sightseeing, sports or science), always remember to put the issue of safety first.

Where to start your cave exploration adventure?

If you’re interested in the mysterious world of caves and narrow passages, you want to come face to face with bats and you want to admire amazing rock formations, and you’ve never been in a cave before, then start your adventure with a guided tour. It’s also worth taking a special course to learn how to safely navigate the interior of the caves. This is a unique adventure, which is available to virtually anyone (everything depends, of course, on the difficulty of the specific terrain). Knowledge and experience will allow you to explore the caves safely.

A handful of basic safety rules for cave exploration

The basic safety rule is the same as in the mountains. Before you set off on an expedition, leave your loved ones precise information about where you are going and when you plan to return. Such knowledge will allow you to efficiently organize and carry out the rescue operation, should something bad happen. Being in a cave, you often don’t have the opportunity to call for help yourself and have to rely on loved ones. When going to a cave, remember to always have lights with you. No sunlight can reach the inside of the cave, so it is dark there and moving in the dark is the shortest way to an accident. A headlamp (flashlight) will be most convenient. It is a good idea to bring an extra set of batteries or a spare flashlight just in case. The stronger the light of the flashlight, the better the visibility will be, and thus the exploration of the cave will become safer.

Everyone who enters the cave should have their own flashlight. Navigating a cave requires attention and caution. This is not a timed competition. Even the smallest mistake can result in unpleasant consequences, of which a bump on the head will be the least of your problems. Every step should be well thought out. If the terrain starts to get too difficult, it is better to back off. The biggest challenge is to master your own fears. If you have a problem with claustrophobia, then stay away from caves. A panic attack in a narrow passageway is no fun.

Featured photo: Alex B. | Photograph / Flickr

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