Ask Cavers: What Does Caving Mean to You?

July 24, 2013
Karst of the Škocjan Caves Regional Park in Slovenia.

Karst of the Škocjan Caves Regional Park in Slovenia. Photo by Dennis Tang/Wikipedia

Last week the National Park Service asked for feedback on what Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park means to people.

In a similar vein, for this week’s Ask Cavers question, we’re curious to hear what caving means to you. Is it an Adrenalin rush, good times with friends, a chance to commune with nature or something else entirely?

Let us know in the comments below.

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Comments (5)

  1. July 24, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    Freedom

  2. July 25, 2013 at 11:39 am

    It’s a chance to get away from stress and decompress. I prefer caving with friends and have a opportunity to spend time with them. Mostly I like sharing all this others and introducing it to people who have not experienced it before. That’s my rush..

  3. Nathan Roser
    July 26, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Caves, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the . Their continuing mission: to explore strange new caverns, to seek out new life, and new formations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.

    Exploring the unknown is the most exciting kind of caving, but spending lots of time with my favorite people in the world is the definitely what makes it the most enjoyable.

  4. Christopher
    July 28, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Caving means a hell of a lot to me, but on reflection, it boils down to just two things.

    For me, it’s primarily an excuse to see friends. I find that the friends I’ve made while Caving are among the best I’ve ever had, and I don’t think that’s just down to luck; the mutual trust that’s integral to any underground excursion means that Cavers develop an uncommonly strong sense of camaraderie.

    I also get a big kick out of “being-at-one-with-nature, man”, and you can’t really get closer to nature than the visceral sensation of squeezing through a muddy hole with hundreds of metres of solid rock between you and the open air.

  5. Christopher
    July 29, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Caving means a lot to me, but on reflection, it boils down to three things.

    For me, it’s primarily a social occasion, an excuse to see old friends, and make new ones. I find that friendships forged through Caving together are among the strongest I’ve ever had, and that’s definitely not just down to luck; the level of mutual trust that is required for any underground excursion leaves an enduring sense of camaraderie, and I can nearly always rely on Cavers to be cool people.

    I also get quite a kick out of “being at one with nature, man”, and you can’t get much closer to nature than squeezing through a muddy hole with hundreds of metres of solid rock between you and the open air. I always feel very at-home in caves, and I’ve never slept better than in the absolute darkness.

    Finally, it’s a good sport, always with something slightly harder on offer if you want to push yourself. Longer trips, leading novices, digging, overseas expeditions… you can go as far as you want to, as deep as you want to, but nobody will bat an eyelid if you don’t feel up to it yet and stick with easy trips for a while.

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