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Caving Safety

Basic Caving Safety

Cave exploration provides a sense of adventure and is an increasingly popular sport among young people and adults. Indiana has 2,640 caves; 800 are located in two Southern Indiana counties, Harrison and Crawford.

Commercial caves have guided trips suitable for all ages. However, trips to non-commercial, wild caves should probably be limited to 7th grade and up. In addition, beginners should limit themselves to horizontal caves—avoiding vertical caves where climbing becomes necessary.

Plan safe, be safe, and leave safe.

Safety Guidelines

Before attempting any cave exploration, take the time to learn the basics and always follow established safety rules and guidelines. Experience the wonder of an underground adventure–safely!

Always tell someone where you’re caving and when you expect to return. Make sure they have directions to the cave. Your cell phones does not work underground.
If the cave is located on private property, first obtain the landowner’s permission.
NEVER go caving alone. There should be at least three in the group, and one should be an experienced caver.
Stay out of a cave that is prone to flooding if there is threatening weather. Caves can flood quickly.
Don’t run, jump, show off, or fool around. Proceed cautiously and watch where you’re stepping.
Avoid piles of rubble or anything that looks unstable. Falling is the #1 cause of caving accidents!
If you get stuck, don’t panic. Remember that exhaling before pushing can be helpful.
Never leave an inexperienced caver alone. All members of the party should remain in earshot of each other.
Leave your keys hidden in a safe place outside the cave or inside the cave mouth. Several people should know where to find them.
Lock your vehicle(s).

What to Wear?

Clothing

The average temperature in Indiana caves is between 52 and 55 degrees. Caves are often wet and slippery. In addition, rock strewn floors can make walking difficult. Suitable clothing and foot ware will help make your caving experience a pleasant one.

Be prepared for anything!

Equipment Tips

Caving equipment is generally not terribly expensive and only a few basic items are required. (This does not apply to vertical caving where climbing gear becomes necessary.) Remember to check all equipment BEFORE entering the cave.

Be mindful of the world you’ve entered.

Ecosystem Conservation

Cave ecosystems are fragile and easily damaged. When exploring a cave, disturb as little as possible. Always strive to leave the cave as you found it—so others can continue to enjoy it long after you are gone!

Here’s the down low on food basics.

Food Rules

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  Directions : 400 East State Road 64,
Marengo, IN 47140
  Directions : 400 East State Road 64,
Marengo, IN 47140