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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people want to go underground?

RFDCC join

(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 advanced techniques.

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 problems underground.

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 beginning.

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 for you.

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

  • Selected
    Local Caves

  • Wet Sink/Slaughter
  • Otter Hole
  • Redhouse
  • Big Sink
  • Miss Grace's Lane
  • Ban-Y-Gor

  • Local Mines

  • Noxon Park
  • Wigpool
  • Bixslade

  • Current Digs

  • Kelly's Lane
  • The Dropper
  • Hole in the Hedge
  • Cowshill Farm Dig
  • Piccadilly Pot
  • Cabsav