Thursday, March 12, 2009

Joining a Caving Group

Caving is not a sport you do alone, period!

That being said just because you do not personally know anyone that caves does not mean you can not start caving yourself.

There are a number of caving organizations that you can join.

Here is a great link that provides a list of various groups and organizations that you can look into joining.

There are a variety of benefits for joining a group, one being simply to learn from other cavers.
It will also provide you with a great resource of people that know places that you can go caving and possible even have personal permission to get into places you otherwise would not be able to.

Can you recover from Rabies?

One concern that some people have with caving, or at least when they are considering getting into caving, is BATS!
And with bats the concern of rabies.

Well to be completely honest it is a very very rare occurrence, but it can happen.
Even with all that you can still recover from rabies.

Check out this story in which a 15 year old Brazilian boy recovered from rabies.

The teenager was bitten by a blood-sucking bat in the northeastern state of Pernambuco.

Ok so granted this is only the third confirmed case of someone recovering form rabies.

But thought it was a nice story and wanted to share.

Don't let bats or rabies stop you from beginning your caving career!

Caving vs Spelunking

So what is it? Caving or spelunking?

Well really it depends on who you ask.

First where did the term spelunking come from?

Clay Perry, a "caver" of the 1940s — wrote about a group of men and boys who explored and studied caves throughout New England. This group referred to themselves as spelunkers. This is regarded as the first use of the word in America. Throughout the 1950s, spelunking was the general term used for exploring caves is US English. It was used freely, without any positive or negative connotations, although only rarely outside the US.

In the 1960s, the terms "spelunking" and "spelunker" began to be considered a negative among experienced enthusiasts. They began to convey the idea of inexperienced cavers, using unreliable light sources and cotton clothing. In 1985, Steve Knutson (editor of American Caving Accidents) made the following distinction:

...Note that I use the term 'spelunker' to denote someone untrained and unknowledgeable in current exploration techniques, and 'caver' for those who are.

By the way "unknowledgaeable" is not a word, kinda ironic.

This thought is exemplified by bumper stickers and t-shirts displayed by many cavers: "Cavers rescue spelunkers".

Potholing refers to the act of exploring potholes, a word originating in the north of England for predominantly vertical caves. The term is often used as a synonym for caving, and outside the caving world there is a general impression that potholing is a more "extreme" version of caving.

So there you have it, you can call it whatever you want. But it will be easy to see if you are a real enthusiast or just talking out your butt!

So another words Caving vs Spelunking?