Caving / Spelunking
Learn to Spelunk: Information, Locations, Discussions, Equipment, Pictures & More
Choose a State for Caving:
Caving, also known as spelunking, is the extreme sport of exploring caves. The world has a vast number of caves and not even half of them have been explored. Caving is a physical sport which may involve the following: climbing, walking, crawling, hiking, and swimming. Caving can be very dangerous so adequate planning is recommended. Rescue attempts are difficult due to the terrain so be prepared in case of an emergency. Never go into a cave alone and without telling someone first. Exploring unconquered caves is much more thrilling than exploring a cave where thousands of people have been. Many explorations take months of planning but spur of the moment trips are also possible if you have the gear available and are prepared.
White Noise Syndrome is a serious issue affecting the bat population. The syndrome is a fungal growth around the muzzles and on the wings of hibernating bats. The disease is responsible for the death of nearly 6.7 million bats in North America. It is believed that the disease is transmitted between bats through physical contact. It is also believed that spelunkers are transmitting the disease from infected sites to clean sites through their clothing and equipment. After visiting a cave in an affected area, you should decontaminate your clothing and equipment to avoid spreading the disease to other caves. White Noise Syndrome was first found in New York and has since spread to Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio and Ontario, Canada.
Caves are natural wonders and should not be mistreated. Unfortunately there are some who will ruin nature’s beautiful creations for future generations. Many caves have been closed to the public to preserve them due to disturbances to the cave and wildlife. This ruins the experience for future explorers so please be respectful of nature.
Kartchner Caverns State Park, Arizona
Inner Space Caverns in Austin, Texas
Forestville Mystery Cave State Park in Preston, Minnesota