Exploring caves is a fun and exciting recreational activity. In caving, also called spelunking, you will discover the beauty of nature and marvel at rock formations and crystals that took thousands, and even millions, of years to shape and develop.
Caves come in different shapes and sizes. There are caves that are horizontal, dry, hot, humid and sandy, while others are vertical, cold, flooded and muddy. There are even caves that are located under rivers and seas.
Much like mountain climbing, cave exploring is a dangerous activity. Many people who dared enter caves unprepared or alone end up being injured, attacked by animals, or even dead. Thus, it is important that you know cave exploration’s basic rules.
Three fundamental rules of spelunking
Don’t take anything, except videos and photographs. Don’t take rocks, crystals or stones as souvenirs of your trip. Remember that stalactites, stalagmites and crystals inside the caves were formed over thousands of years. If you take them, other people who will visit the cave after you won’t be able to enjoy the beauty of the cave the way that you did.
Don’t leave your trash. Bring a bag where you can store your garbage and bring it with you when you get out of the cave. Keep the cave the way it is. Don’t paint or write your names on the walls of the cave.
Respect the animals or any living thing inside the cave. Remember that you are the cave’s intruder or visitor, not the animals. Try not to disturb them or agitate them while you are cave exploring.
Things to remember before cave exploring
Never go spelunking by yourself. Even professional cavers visit caves in groups of three or four so don’t dare set foot in a cave alone. Caves are perilous not only because of animals living inside them, but also because of holes, unexpected vertical drops, slippery ground, and falling rocks or debris.
The one who is the slowest in the group should set the pace. You shouldn’t leave anybody behind. Even if passages seem simple and straight, you shouldn’t break away from your group. Just imagine how scary it is to get lost in a dark and dangerous place alone.
Since cave exploring can be tiring, you should know when to stop for a break. Don’t push yourself over your limit. Cave exploring should be fun, so take your time and enjoy the view.