The Do's and Don'ts of Caving
- Never go caving alone. Take at least two people with you.
- Always tell someone dependable where you are going and when you are supposed to be back.
- Never try to climb out of a deep hole hand over hand up a rope. Always use vertical climb gear and safe techniques.
- Never use a flashlight as your primary light source. A helmet light is more durable and is much easier because it leaves your hands free.
- Always wear a helmet.
- Make sure everyone in the party carries at least one backup light that is at least a very near equal to their primary light. Always carry spare bulbs, batteries, fuel, etc. at all times. Never get caught in a cave without a good light source.
- Have someone in the party carry extra food, water, and first aid. A trash bag to carry out waste is also needed.
- Wear heavy duty footwear. Boots with good traction and ankle support are very important to prevent falls. Never wear tennis shoes into caves.
- Never cave dive without formal training or certification. No amount of open water diving experience can sufficiently prepare one for cave diving.
- Try to not stir the silt cover the bottom of the cave. This creates serious visibility problems.
- Use only a third of the available air for exploring. This leaves two thirds of the air for coming back and dealing with any problems that may occur.
- Use redundant components for all life support equipment and all key peripheral components. Take at least two dependable underwater lights, a submersible pressure gauge, and an additional second stage.
- Become very familiar with all the items you will take and where they will be located so they can be found and implemented quickly even in total darkness.
- Practice safety techniques frequently so if the situation occurs there will be less panic and confusion.
- Diving deeper than 130 feet is very dangerous, especially if you are not prepared to dive that deep. Factors such as oxygen toxicity, nitrogen narcosis, and CO2 buildup can cause fatal mistakes, or kill outright.