Cave Safe! (and Closed Cave List)

Here are some great basic rules for Safe Caving:

 

  • Never touch or break formations. Touching or breaking them DESTROYS THEM FOREVER! – and it’s against the law!
  • Never permanently mark your trail. Use recoverable markers, and take them as you leave.
  • Spraypainting in a cave is vandalism, and can be prosecuted by law.
  • Never leave trash or human waste in or near a cave.
  • Always tell someone where you’re going, and when to expect you back.
  • Give your contact specific details: other persons to try contacting before they panic, the name of the cave, state, and county. Give a drop-dead time out with enough leeway for the unexpected (like: do cell phones work in the area?)
  • Have your contact call 911 if they don’t hear from you or someone else on the trip by the agreed upon time.
  • Carry 3 sources of light. They should ALL be helmet mountable. A handheld light is not much use in a full-contact cave environment!
  • Carry some food and water. Especially if you have special dietary needs.
  • RESPECT LANDOWNERS!!! Without good relations with the people who own caves, we aren’t going caving. Be as nice as you possibly can. Ask where to park. Don’t block roads or gates. Leave gates as you find them. Pick up trash every chance you get. Be willing to WALK, not drive across fields or roads that may upset someone.
  • Be discreet – don’t yell, litter, or make lots of noise and always change clothes where you cannot be seen by anyone.
  • Don’t get in over your head. Remember that caves are ALWAYS DIFFICULT RESCUE SITUATIONS.
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks. If you don’t feel comfortable in any situation – turn around. If you are getting cold, time to go.
  • Always cave with 3 or more people, but less than 10 when possible. A minimum of 3 will allow someone to go for help. Too many people anger landowners and puts too much stress on the caves at once. A group of 4-6 is a great target.
  • Avoid publishing cave information on social media and unsecured websites.
  • An Excellent guide to responsible caving from the NSS here

Closed Cave List