In case you are living under a rock, or maybe this example is opposed to this context because if you are living under a rock, then you must know what spelunking is. But for those of you eartheners, who don’t know, spelunking is a recreational sport where you tend to go caving, explore all types of caves and vaults on the face of this planet.
Caves are a mysterious and fascinating phenomenon. It is in human nature to be attracted to anything that sparks curiosity, and caves are one such landform. However, exploring caves is not an easy sport, to say the least. The adventure part of the sport can be somewhat dangerous if not taken care of. But such sports fans always take the necessary safety measures and the general stats of fatal accidents happening is comparatively low to other sports. According to NSS American Caving Accidents on File, 24 people have been reported to have died due to a caving accident in the whole of the last decade. It is thus proving that not many people have been unfortunate to suffer through a caving accident.
Tips to ensure a safe spelunking trip to a rock-cut cave
Here are six safety tips that every cave explorer should undertake in order to have a successful and equally fun cave expedition without any unfortunate mishap.
Educate yourself about what you’re getting into
Cave exploration is not just trekking or hill climbing. It is not an exercise or a little walk over a landmass. It is an extremely physical sport that can be challenging and physically demanding. Therefore, it is necessary first to understand what you’re getting yourself into. Going in the adventure head-on is rather naïve than brave. People think of spelunking as easy as a light walk in the neighborhood park. This is careless on their part because as extensive this sport can be, the worst part is not the physical activity but the regret of getting stuck in a situation where you don’t have a way to turn around.
Never go caving alone
It’s understandable if you are a loner and would like to do stuff on your own. But caving is not one such thing. Always make sure to have a companion with you when going spelunking. In fact, it would be even better if you went with a group of 4 to 6 people. Also, take a guide with you even if you have significant experience over time in cave exploration. A guide will not only make your experience better but make your safety a priority. The guide will make sure all your companions stick together. You don’t wander about on your own or end up doing anything too crazy.
Take proper precautions with the right gear and equipment
In an extensively physical sport like cave exploration, it is necessary to not only take precautions but appropriate precautionary measures with the right equipment. Always make sure to carry two things above all: a hard hat and battery operated light sources like headlight, flashlight, and extra battery sources just in case you run out. Do not underestimate the importance of a light source as it will be your only source of light throughout the whole expedition. You definitely don’t want to go in deeper in darkness, and it would indeed be no fun to return back halfway just because your light source died.
It is not a day picnic trip to the garden. It is a cave exploration trekking, climbing, and extremely physical expedition that requires proper equipment, gear as well as you to dress accordingly. Take out your oldest and most rough pair of jeans, boots, an old t-shirt, and you’re good to go. Add a raincoat to your attire if you’ve been told that the cave can get wet; depending on the atmosphere down under. For example, caves in India especially are not that dry compared to other parts of the world.
Keep your breathing and surroundings in check
To complete your spelunking trek, keep your surroundings in check for the weather conditions. Entering a cave can get claustrophobic, and a strange feeling may take over once you enter because the environment can be quite different as to what you are used to up above the land. Thus, keep check of your breathing and heartbeat as well to stay well.
Carry a first aid kit on hand
It is normal to get bruises, cuts, and scratches during such an activity. Therefore, it is better to have a handy first aid kit at all times when going on such an adventure.
All in all, make sure you enjoy this new experience and keep the spirit of spelunking alive through practicing necessary safety and precaution!
Author: Stella Lincoln
I am Stella Lincoln having a master degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in the subject of marketing. I love to spread the knowledge and wisdom. My focus is to enhance my skills and reduce the gap. You can check my write-ups at my blog; Educator House. Nowadays, I am working in HarperCollins Publishers as a Writing Consultant.