What is a cave?

A cave is any natural opening in a rock formed by solution, movements of the earth, or other geologic process. For exploration purposes, the opening has to be large enough for a person to fit.

Man-made features such as mines, culverts, quarries, and blasted tunnels are not caves. The techniques described on this website and in the book “Cave Exploring” are appropriate for natural caves. Mines and other man-made features require a great deal of specialized training and skills to enter safely. Do not enter mines, quarries, and other engineered features unless you have the appropriate training.

Types of Caves

Most caves people are familiar with are solutional caves, they were formed by water slowly dissolving rock. But there are also caves formed out of molten lava, rockslides, and tectonic forces. >>More

Caving Terms

Like many specialized activities, caving has its own set of terms to describe cave features, methods of movement, and gear. Caving Glossary

The Online Guide to Cave Exploring