8 Steps to the Perfect Caving Adventure

When you’re going caving, the first thing to do is find proper clothing to wear. In my case, that involved borrowing a pair of overalls from my brother-in-law, pairing them with knee-pads, and stuffing leather gloves into my pocket. Add a snug-fitting helmet, a headlight that works well, and old shoes and you’re all set. (Unfortunately, I didn’t follow the advice of old shoes, which y’all will hear about later.)

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Next, you find a group of fellow adventurous people, meet up with a brave guide, slide through a box to make sure you’ll fit through the tight places, then line up, number off, and begin your exploration.

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Actually, exploration might be a misnomer, because I’m fairly certain that I never want to squeeze through places 300 feet underground if said places haven’t already been thoroughly explored. I’ll let other people blaze the trail, then follow along quite contentedly, thank you.

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After you set off down the path you need to remember two things:
1) Right is always right – or at least that’s the case in the particular cave we were visiting. If we were ever separated from the group we just needed to keep going to the right and we’d be fine.
2) Don’t get separated from the group. Just, don’t.

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And, well, one more thing to remember: Don’t think about where you are or what you’re doing. Seriously. There’s nothing like belly-crawling, side-scooting, and clawing your way through a space barely big enough to fit your body through to induce panic. Especially when you consider that you’re hundreds of feet underground with solid rock on all sides. So, you just don’t think about it. Instead, you go into performance mode and get it done. (And have slightly blurry pictures to show for it since the adrenaline causes shaking.)

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Also, it helps if you choose a guide who’s bigger than you so that when your clothes get stuck on the jagged rocks while you’re belly-crawling you can calmly (haha) remind yourself that someone bigger than you just got through and all you need to do is back up a few inches and free yourself. See? No biggie.

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Also, try and remember that caving in the Spring is different than in the summer, and you’ll probably be going through water and a lot of mud. Hence the reminder to bring old shoes – or be prepared to buy new ones. Especially if you work in the food industry where shoes are a must and mud is looked at askance.

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And of course, conclude your spelunking adventure with a steep muddy hill to slide down, and a sleeping bag to burrow your muddy-self into. Because, sleeping in a dark cave – right after facing all your fears and crawling deep underground – is a very logical thing to do.

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And that’s it for today, folks!

Currently
Setting: Home!
Listening to: The beauty of nothing 
Question of the Day: Have you ever slept in a cave? 

7 thoughts on “8 Steps to the Perfect Caving Adventure

  1. Christopher Lane says:

    Slept in a cave once. Didn’t go on the slithering expedition because hey, some fears i have already faced and really don’t want to again.
    You didn’t bring the sweatshirt that made it to your previous caving expeditions?
    Sorry we didn’t make it. My fault. I heard about it, meant to ask wife and daughter then forgot about it. Glad you had fun.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Yes! I missed your daughter a lot during the spelunking since she was my buddy last time. Seriously, I wished quite often that she was along! 🙂 (And of course, I missed both of you during the rest of the adventure.) And I did bring the same (now very old) sweatshirt. Only, the cave felt so hot since I was used to the cold weather outside, that I didn’t need to wear the sweatshirt while doing the spelunking adventure. And who knows, maybe you’ll come next time!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Christopher Lane says:

        Maybe even get a trailer delivering near there. Wouldn’t hurt to get paid to get there too. Make my CFO (wife) happier. Lol. In Youngsville, NC today. Heading back to Goshen then out to Plainville, MA. Not my favorite area to go but at least it pays well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kaitlyn S. says:

    Oh WOW — this looks like you made a TON of memories! You may have just inspired me to be more adventurous the next time the chance comes along…..and not to think about everything that could go wrong! (Which, I tend to do…..to the point where I seldom do anything like this!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Haha, yay! I know caving isn’t for everyone (just like I would never want to skydive), but if it’s something you might want to do, then I highly encourage it – just don’t overthink it and keep ahold of your thoughts while you’re underground. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ladyelasa says:

    I’m glad you had a great time! You’re really brave! Tight spaces get to me especially since I’m a tall person haha. I’m usually the one that gets stuck.

    Liked by 1 person

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