Ask Cavers: How did you Start Caving?

August 1, 2012
Starting Line

Photo by stevendepolo/flickr

It seems that caving tends to attract a certain kind of person. How did you find out that you were one of them?

Did you visit a show cave as a kid, or did you fall into one while walking your dog?

Take a moment and let us know how you began in the comments section below.

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Comments (10)

  1. Rubber Duck
    August 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    My Old Man took me during school holidays but that’s 20 years ago. Cheers Dad.

  2. Gary Vaughn
    August 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I started as a kid around 8 … In Missouri we are a cave state and exploration is what we did… kept a live long interest

  3. Mark Hennessey
    August 2, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I went on a wild cave tour at Mammoth Cave, and got seriously stuck in something called the Mole Hole. That’s what got me hooked! I understand they no longer allow tourists to try that hole.

  4. August 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I got my start around four or five years old in Germany when my family went on a picnic in the countryside and came across a small cave on a hill. My dad went in to explore and came out very excited. After that, we visited many show caves and I even went so far as to explore the storm drains and tunnels under whatever city we happened to be living in at the time. My first wild cave trip was with a youth group in 1985 to Buckner’s Cave in Indiana, and I have been hooked ever since!

  5. August 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I grew up in the cave-rich Shenandoah Valley of VA. My Explorer post adopted the specialty of ‘Mountaineers’ when my older cousin taught us to rappel and climb ropes and introduced us to Breathing cave. I’ve been hooked ever since.

  6. perce lister
    August 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I was camping with a group of friends at Malham in Yorkshire in 1966 when a horrendous rainstorm washed away our tents. A few miles away, a group of cavers were killed by the same floods sweeping into Mossdale Caverns. We were shocked by this incident but intrigued as to why people would risk their lives exploring caves and so a few weeks later began to explore some of the caves ourselves. We soon found out what the attraction was and I have never lost my love for the underground.

  7. August 2, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Visited plenty of show caves in Europe as a child on family holidays. Started proper caving through the university club in England.

  8. Billy Reed
    August 4, 2012 at 1:12 am

    When I was 12 ish I went on a trip with a class I was in to Lost Sea caverns in Sweetwater, TN. slept inside overnight near the old dance floor. Roled through a low crawl, played in a mud room and dropped a canteen down a hole which our wild tour guide so graciously retrieved. Hooked from then on.

  9. Tom Griffin
    August 7, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I started when I was 12. An explorer group took our boy scout troop to 3 caves in Franklin County WV. Then I joined the explorer group then joined the NSS. 3 Grotto’s later still loving it.

  10. James Jasek
    October 18, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I went in my first wild cave in 1955 at scout camp. I found a small cave and climbed up and squeezed into a small slot entrance and into the darkness. Since I didn’t have a light, I just felt around the walls. It was a singe chamber cave with no exit. If there had been a rattlesnake in there, I would have died there and it is unlikley anyone would have ever found me.


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