Cave Diving Explained (What It Is And How To Do It)

Cave Diving Explained
A Scuba Diver In a Cave

Let’s start from the top and say that cave diving is not for everyone. If you have fears of the unknown or you tend to get claustrophobic, cave diving is probably not the ideal sport for you. Cave diving is an exhilarating thrill that allows you to explore new worlds and see places that very few people have had the opportunity to see.

What Is Cave Diving? Cave diving is when people visit underwater pools surrounded by caves. These are often located inside the caves, and they dive through these to see what lies beneath the surface. It often opens up a new world of possibilities and unexplored areas. Some experts say fewer than 75 people worldwide can call themselves professional cave divers. 

If this sounds like something you want to dabble in, this article is for you. We will explore what cave diving is and how it works, allowing you to see what is under the water and what you need to get through it.

We will also look at some of the risks and what people endure when going cave diving, but what is cave diving?

What Is Cave Diving?

Cave diving can easily be summed up as a form of diving in which the person would explore underwater caves which have been flooded. The idea is that the cave is found, and numerous pools of water are often found that have been created by rainwater. These pools would go deeper and deeper, leading the person to explore various areas. 

Cave diving is not technically a sport, but one of the toughest things you can do. Compared to other forms of diving, you will need specialized equipment and you need to make sure you have the right certification. Additionally, the diver needs to be in peak physical condition and ensure they don’t get lost.

Cave diving can be done in a variety of caves. However, most beginners would stick to caves that have already been explored, which means you often get a map of the area.

However, there are also numerous caves that you can explore for yourself if you are willing to take the risk and you have the right gear to do so.

See also: How To Belay Someone Heavier Than You? (Best tips!)

Cave Diving Explained
A Scuba Diver Going Deeper In An Underwater Cave

Dangers Of Cave Diving

By now, you might have noticed that cave diving is not the easiest of sports that you can do, and it tends to be very dangerous for most people looking to do it.

You must have an idea of the risks associated with cave diving before you even attempt to get in the waters and explore these different caves:

1- Lack Of Visibility

One of the first things you need to know is that you will not have access to your visibility when you are above the surface. When it comes to diving in a cave, no sun could reach the waters and create light. Even when you are diving at a shallow level, it might be pitch black throughout.

One of the main reasons that many people get lost is when they dive without the ability to see, which might cause them to lose control and their sense of direction.

The lack of visibility is often counteracted with a rope that guides the diver or a flashlight, making it possible to see what is underwater.

2- Getting Lost

Another real danger is getting lost while cave diving, which could be a serious problem. Since you cannot easily navigate your way through the various areas, you could get lost when it comes to your sense of direction. You must have some form of navigation to assist you in the journey.

Getting lost is one of the biggest fears people have; when you are unsure where you are going, it is very easy to get lost in the caves.

Finding your way back can be tedious and often requires advanced rescue teams, who might never even find you when you are stuck inside one of these various cave systems.

3- Entrapment And Entanglement

One of the biggest fears many cave divers have is being trapped or entangled in the ropes and losing the flashlights. It can be daunting for you to figure this out, and you will need to keep a cool head to ensure that you can detangle yourself from any possible rope or situation you find yourself in.

Many divers might be trapped, and their oxygen bottles would run empty. If there is no way to reach the surface, the person will be unable to make it to oxygen in time.

There have been a few cases of the bodies of cave divers being found when they have drowned from a lack of oxygen in their tanks. This is why you should have more than one person with you.

4- Claustrophobia

Another big problem for cave divers is dealing with claustrophobia. When you are diving in the dark, and everything around you seems close, you could be dealing with some form of claustrophobia, which can disorient a person.

Some people simply hate confined spaces, making it harder for them to find their way and keep their bearings.

The idea is that you train yourself to overcome the fear of claustrophobia, which could hold you back when diving. We would recommend experimenting with scuba diving in tight and confined spaces, with some element of control. This would allow you to get used to the small spaces when cave diving.

The video below summarizes the dangers of cave diving.

What Do You Need To Get Started With Cave Diving?

If you still want to go cave diving, you need to make sure that you have the right gear and equipment, which would allow you to go diving efficiently.

Buying a complete scuba set would be very expensive, which is why many people rent their cave diving gear before slowly building up their complete kits.

1- Diving Mask

The cave diving mask is one of the most important gear items you will need to consider. These masks do not require any snorkels, and you want to have a dark mask that would assist with absorbing some of the light. The dark mask can easily absorb the light, even if it is just a small beam coming from the entrance.

Since it absorbs the light, you can see where the visibility is coming from, and this would ensure that can efficiently move toward the light. If the mask is too light, it will disturb the diver and reduce the chances of seeing the light.

2- Cylinder

As mentioned, cave divers do not need to have a snorkel, and since they will remain submerged under the water for prolonged periods, an oxygen cylinder is often the best thing that you can buy.

These cylinders would constantly feed oxygen to allow you to remain submerged. The oxygen tank size would depend on the cave and the diving distance.

3- Wetsuit

The wetsuit is the suit that you will wear whilst you are underwater, and this would allow you to move elegantly through the water.

Your wetsuit should be comfortable and allow you to comfortably swim around without having any hindrances that could block your movement. A standard scuba diving wetsuit would do the trick.

4- Diving Fins

Using your feet or some form of shoe might not be enough to propel you forward in an efficient way.

Standard scuba diving fins would often be one of the best things you can buy, allowing you to move about much more elegantly in the water. These diving fins would make it much easier for anyone to move around in the water.

5- Accessories

There are numerous accessories that you should also invest in. The light or flashlight is one of the most important, and you must ensure that it can effectively make light in a dark cave.

The flashlight should be powerful, but it should also have good battery life. Buying a waterproof flashlight can be very expensive.

Another important accessory we often see many cave divers use is the knife. The knife is one of the best tools when it comes to keeping you safe.

Not only does it help ward off some of the predators you could encounter, but it also helps you untangle yourself. You can easily cut the ropes when having a knife.

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Wrapping Up

Cave diving is one of the most daunting sports; many consider it more of a calling than a sport. It is hard to get started and gain all the certifications that you would need.

Few people have ever experienced cave diving, and we would love to see any comments if you have ever been cave diving.


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