Skills to survive in a cave
Cave Exploration is not a real part of Hiking but there will always be people going out hiking, finding a cave for Outdoor Shelter or out of curiosity, entering and possibly getting lost. Here are some tips on cave exploration and finding your way out should you get lost:
In general, you should not go exploring caves without a guide or knowing your exact way in and out. Getting lost in a cave is a very dangerous situation that will resemble your worst nightmares.
If you do plan to enter a cave, make sure that people outside know you are entering the cave, what time you will be back, and when they should start getting worried and call for help.
Make sure you have flashlights and spare batteries before even thinking of entering a cave.
At every turn of the corner, place a mark on the floor which indicates the direction you took.
The moment you realize you are lost in a cave, it is very crucial to maintain your composure. Do the following:
Stay calm the moment you realize that you are lost. Sit down at your current position facing the way you were going. Have your team members hold hands or even embrace each other. This will preserve body heat, give reassurance, and it will make sure that the group sticks together. You do not want people to start running or dispersing in panic.
Turn off all lights and possible secondary light sources. If you have a mobile phone, try it and see if you can reach the outside world. If not then preserve the battery and turn it on in intervals. A mobile phone is also a secondary light source.
1. Who knows we are in the cave? When would they start searching?
2. What are our supplies of food, drink, light sources, and clothes?
3. Should we stay put or move?
If you decide to move, make sure to scratch an identifying name or initial, time, and direction into the cave surface at regular intervals. If scratching is not possible, use rocks or other available material to create piles or letters signifying the same.
In very low light or uneven surfaces, crawling might be the best solution. Pad your hands and feet with cloth to keep them from getting hurt. In narrow passages, have the largest person in the middle so if he/she gets stuck, people from both sides can aid in freeing him/her.
Use your primary light sources like flashlights first and use them only when absolutely needed.
If your batteries die, try lighting pieces of cloth that are wound around a stick. Use your walking poles if you have nothing that could be used as a stick. Rub any possible fuel you have on the cloth to increase the brightness and duration of the flame. Possible fuels are candle, butter, cheese, lipstick, lip balm, and other oily items.
If all else fails, sit down again and remain in the dark for 30 minutes. This will have your eyes adjust fully to the darkness. Now use your cell phones, watch, GPS device, or other secondary light sources.
Some people find Cave Exploration full of excitement and adventure. However, be very careful, particularly if you are entering a cave that you are not yet familiar with.