Caving For Kids: Adventuring in the Dark

10592621_1157022910993692_2426172852421963595_nCaves have unique scientific, recreational, scenic and historical value. These can be endangered by both carelessness and intentional vandalism. Once gone, a speleothem or creature or plant cannot be recovered. The responsibility for protecting caves must be assumed by those who study and enjoy them. All the contents of a cave—Formations, Life, and Loose Deposits—are significant for its enjoyment and interpretation. Therefore, caving participants should leave a cave as they find it. 

Since caves are a very fragile environment, the smallest intrusions can damage or even kill a cave. Follow these Leave No Trace principles:
1. Do not touch speleothems (cave formations). Oils from your hand will prevent the formation from growing where you touched it.
2. Do not remove any items from the cave (except garbage). All historic artifacts and cave biota (animals, plants, fungus) should be left undisturbed.
3. Do not leave anything in the cave. Any used batteries, carbide etc. must be packed out.
4. On trips under 6 hours you should be able to avoid urinating or defecating in the cave.
5. Do not disturb any survey markers in the cave.
6. Do not write, mark or carve on cave walls.

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