Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby hammmike » Feb 1, 2012 8:08 am

thats why I have the "you've been beamed into a cave by aliens" App on my smart phone....its right above the icon for "Lindsy lohan is passed out in your bedroom" application....BE EVER VIGILANT GUYS!
"Whenever you dream, your holding the key, It opens the door to let you be free"
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Shane S » Jun 27, 2013 9:31 am

In this situation first conserve light because you don't have an idea as to how long you will be in the cave. Turn lights to lowest setting safety will allow. If it's big passage and safe maybe have cavers to share a headlight or not everyone have a light on at the same time. Use extra caution don't jump off of anything on uneven surfaces in this case any injury or ankle problem could greatly diminish your chance of survival if not make it impossible. In high or complx passages or domes have everyone to turn off light and look for small holes. These may have to be dug out with other rocks or anyting available. Look for root systems if a muddy root system exist it could possibly be dug out. Look for sticks leaves or outside debris on the ground and try to follow it upstream. Follow the bats at dusk only bad thing is they are likley to fly into small passage impossible for you. If you have a cell phone occasionally check for signal. A cell tower can't penetrate much cave wall. If you get a signal you have a thin layer above you. Of course call but you may be able to break trough. Upstream may be your best option because resurgents are more likley to be sumped. If you reach a sumped resurgent turn off all lights and see if it may be passible. I usually wouldn't recomend diving a sump without proper gear and training but in this case maybe so. Staying together and conserving light is better than splitting. Your biggest limiting factor is likley light as most caves have water "only drink if it comes down to survival" and the human can go a long time without food. Stay dry if possible you can't keep moving for days and when resting wet hypothermia can quickly take a toil. An emergency blanket or large bag n candle would help if available. And most important don't get in this situation. :cave softly:
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Shane S » Jun 27, 2013 9:31 am

In this situation first conserve light because you don't have an idea as to how long you will be in the cave. Turn lights to lowest setting safety will allow. If it's big passage and safe maybe have cavers to share a headlight or not everyone have a light on at the same time. Use extra caution don't jump off of anything on uneven surfaces in this case any injury or ankle problem could greatly diminish your chance of survival if not make it impossible. In high or complx passages or domes have everyone to turn off light and look for small holes. These may have to be dug out with other rocks or anyting available. Look for root systems if a muddy root system exist it could possibly be dug out. Look for sticks leaves or outside debris on the ground and try to follow it upstream. Follow the bats at dusk only bad thing is they are likley to fly into small passage impossible for you. If you have a cell phone occasionally check for signal. A cell tower can't penetrate much cave wall. If you get a signal you have a thin layer above you. Of course call but you may be able to break trough. Upstream may be your best option because resurgents are more likley to be sumped. If you reach a sumped resurgent turn off all lights and see if it may be passible. I usually wouldn't recomend diving a sump without proper gear and training but in this case maybe so. Staying together and conserving light is better than splitting. Your biggest limiting factor is likley light as most caves have water "only drink if it comes down to survival" and the human can go a long time without food. Stay dry if possible you can't keep moving for days and when resting wet hypothermia can quickly take a toil. An emergency blanket or large bag n candle would help if available. And most important don't get in this situation. :cave softly:
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Mugger » Jun 27, 2013 11:21 am

LukeM wrote:Just follow the arrows. Arrows always lead out...or was it in? :rofl:

I was doing a cleanup with our Grotto and the Forest Service this last February in a highly vandalized cave.... about half way in vandals had started spray painting arrows and "exit" signs pointed the wrong way (it was a dead end cave).
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Shane S » Jul 15, 2013 12:59 pm

I've been into caves such as Whiteside where it's pretty much a train tunnel without side passages or maybe one fork. It's pretty much turn around to get back out. The bad part about whiteside is it even has a stream so you can check flow direction if confused. And somehow someway somebody feels the need to fill the single passage up with exit arrows. I mean really!!!!
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby sls1j » Jun 20, 2014 11:21 am

Perhaps it'd be good to notice what sort of tracks you leave on a cave as you go through it. There's bound to be some signs of where you came from, like smears, smoothed over mud, foot prints, displaced rocks. If you could recognize those it could get you going the right way.

Of course the best method would be not to get lost in the first place. Personally I like to look back every so often especially at intersections and the bottom of rappels. Carrying a compass and checking that once in a while would also help getting your metal map oriented correctly.
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby ohiocaver » Jul 23, 2014 9:51 pm

If you see survey markers go for the lower number and the lower letter (ie, choose to follow from station 20 to station 1, not v/v; then look for the A or B survey rather than the D or BB survey).
Water sometimes flows into a cave and sometimes flows out...not reliable unless you noted it first (probably not in your disaster scenario). If you came into the cave in a wet passage, you probably were low since water levels fall.
BTW, why is it that we always term them 'cave entrances' and never 'cave exits'?
Anyway, that's the reason I always cave with a 4-mile long ball of string and two bags of bread crumbs. :banana:
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Samaran » Oct 26, 2015 6:26 am

In Steward Springs Cave, AL, I got turned around once or twice, and simply followed the decending order survey markers on the walls. When I came to "75" and then to "76," I knew I was heading into the cave and not out. (And vice-versa, of course)
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby trogman » Oct 26, 2015 11:53 pm

Samaran wrote:In Steward Springs Cave, AL, I got turned around once or twice, and simply followed the decending order survey markers on the walls. When I came to "75" and then to "76," I knew I was heading into the cave and not out. (And vice-versa, of course)


LOL- Been there, done that! :big grin: Steward is easy to get turned around in, for sure.

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