Frequently Asked Questions
Why do people want to go underground?
(Photograph taken on expedition in Borneo by club members Andy Harp and Nicky Bayley)
The answer to this one is difficult, there are
many reasons, and it varies from person to person.
There are the actual physical and mental challenges
involved in caving, the wonderful sights of rock
and crystal formations, a rich industrial heritage
in the mines, and of course the potential to find
and explore places that no-one has ever been before...
Is it just squeezing in tight muddy passages?
Although this is what most people think caving is
all about, most of the time spent underground
(with a few exceptions!) is spent walking. Of
course there will be times where you will have
smaller sections to negotiate, but on the whole,
these narrower bits are usually short. Depending
on the cave, there may be streamways, or vertical
obstacles to overcome. The Club holds training
sessions above ground to teach some of these
Caves and mines vary considerably in difficulty,
and there are lots of easy trips for beginners to do.
I'm too big to go caving, won't I get stuck?
There are really not that many places that people do
get really stuck, and you would be surprised at the
size of some of the people who go caving and have no
problems. Don't worry about it!
How do I know if I'll like it?
The only way to find out is to give it a try!
You can try coming along on a few trips to see if
it's for you before joining the Club, a temporary
memership is available for this purpose for a small
fee. We have to charge this fee to cover the
insurance which is required by landowners for
access to sites.
Is it dangerous?
Crossing the road is dangerous, and it would be
wrong to say that going underground is risk free,
however the risks can be minimised by being aware
of the dangers, and knowing how to avoid them.
Joining a Club and learning correct techniques
from experienced people is the best way to avoid
Accidents are not as common as people think. The
Cave Rescue website carries information on
rescues/callouts over the last 10 years or so.
What do I need?
For the first few trips underground, very little is
needed. Some old warm comfortable clothes, a
boilersuit and a pair of wellies will suffice for
most trips. You will also need a helmet, and a light,
but these can usually be borrowed or hired in the
Once you've decided you like caving, you can spend a
fortune in the caving shops on personal gear, but
it's not worth splashing out until you're sure it's
Where do you go?
There are caves and mines all over the country, and
the Club has regular trips to local sites, and to
those further afield. See the meets list for details.
I'm interested, what do I do now?
If you are interested in coming along, contact the
Club Meets Officer, who will be able to arrange
something to suit, or come along to a Club social
evening and have a chat.
www.trycaving.co.uk Information and contacts for beginners