Dry Cave Training
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Unlike cave divers, the majority of dry cavers do not learn the needed skills by taking a formal class. The majority of dry cavers learn when a buddy or a group takes them on their first cave outing.

Before the trip new cavers are generally given guidance and information on some of the following: what can be expected in the cave, how to dress, and what supplies to bring. Many veteran cavers or caving groups (or grottos) often loan gear such as helmets, lights, and a climbing system (for caves with vertical drops) to those going on their first cave outing.

Once at the site the trip leader often gives a briefing that includes: the best way to enter the cave, safety and conservation considerations, what one can expect to see on the journey, and how to reference the way back to the entrance. An emergency plan may also be discussed, and a new caver’s pack may be modified. After entering the cave, veteran cavers usually demonstrate the best way to maneuver. They may point out the best hand and foot holds and explain the easiest or most efficient way to get from one section of cave to another. Most cavers have lots of “war stories” to tell and will happily give advice to those interested in caving.

If vertical skill is required, frequently training will take place outside of the cave. Caving grottos often sponsor vertical workshops, but individuals also conduct seminars, and some companies or instructors offer formal/paid instruction or classes. The setting may differ: ropes may be rigged in trees, on cliffs, in climbing gyms, etc. Depending on the course, the focus may be on the use of proper/suitable gear and how to ascend and descend using it, as well as effective rigging. How detailed the information is depends on the type and length of class, instructor, and (often) the type of caves found in the region.