5 Caving for Beginners: Spelunking Tips for Families

Has your family ever been inside caves to explore? In the August 2015 issue, our Getaway idea for families is to head to Missouri to check out some of the coolest United States caves, called “show caves.”

When it comes to spelunking, sometimes known as caving, for beginners, there are a few important tips to keep in mind.

Stalagmites and stalactites. These are common cave formations. Stalagmites grow up from the floor from drops of mineral deposits. On the flip side, stalactites are formed from deposits that pool on the ceiling. Just remember “g” is for ground; “c” for ceiling.

Don’t touch the walls. The delicate rock formations in caves are very sensitive to outside material like the fibers on your clothing and even the oil on your hands. Avoid touching or rubbing the walls.

Yes, bats do live in caves. Not all caves. But don’t be surprised if you spot some!

Twice is too much. That’s the motto for cave visitors. You should change clothing after visiting one cave and going into another to reduce the chance of spreading a disease that can harm bats (don’t worry, human visitors will be just fine!).

Wear a jacket. Inside caves, temps hover around 50-60 degrees, so you’ll want a light jacket to keep warm.

Now that you’re ready to go spelunking in the Missouri show caves and beyond, plan your stops by reading the August 2015 Getaway “Find Your Inner Caveman in Missouri”.

Photo courtesy Missouri Division of Tourism

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