Canada possesses a largest number of caves that range in level of difficulty and length, offering something for every adventurer.

Caving is an adventure sport which carries inherent risks such as flooding, rock instability, falls, getting stuck, getting lost, light failure, exhaustion, and hypothermia. Your chances of being injured are significantly reduced by danger awareness and knowledge of equipment and techniques.

The Right Gear

Taking the Essentials:
  • Flashlight
  • Fire making kit
  • Signalling device (i.e. whistle)
  • Extra food and water
  • Extra clothing
  • Navigational/communication devices
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency blanket/shelter
  • Pocket knife
  • Sun protection
Leave a Trip Plan with responsible party, family member or friend.

Take equipment specific to caving:

  • Helmet with chin strap
  • Good, reliable light mounted to helmet
  • Minimum of two backup lights
  • Thermal underwear, with an extra layer for colder caves
  • Warm socks, with extras
  • Coveralls or Nylon Oversuit
  • Sturdy, rubber-lugged boots
  • Gloves
  • Lifeline (carabiners & 30’x1" tubular nylon webbing)
  • Side Pack
  • Knee & elbow pads
  • At least 3 experienced and enthusiastic caver friends

Advanced (Vertical Gear):

  • All Basic gear plus:
  • Sit Harness
  • Chest Harness
  • Descender
  • Croll & Jammer
  • Carabiners - plenty
  • Static ropes

If you’re a first-timer, start by taking a tour with a recognized Cave Tour Operators.

Then, if you’re still keen to become a caver, contact one of the organized groups in your area.

Before you head out, ensure that you carry proper, reliable equipment and know how to use it safely.

While you’re captivated by the wonders of the subterranean world, please practice the Cavers' Code of Conduct and remember to respect:

  • your experience – cave within your physical/mental ability and limitations; and,
  • the environment – stick to established underground routes and practice the cavers' motto: "Take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time, leave no trace."
  • Regardless of your experience level, never go caving alone and always leave a Trip Plan!

Photo: NWTT/Terry Parker (banner); Dave Bunnell - Riverbend and Horne Lake Caves

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