Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Sep 26, 2011 10:46 am

When I get lost I just smoke a big arrow on either side of my helmet pointing towards the front. Then the direction I am going always leads out. If you don't have carbide, use sharpie. Works every time.
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Cheryl Jones » Sep 26, 2011 12:34 pm

:clap: :rofl: :woohoo: :rofl:
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Cheryl Jones » Sep 26, 2011 1:05 pm

One method that can work: Systematically and calmly follow passages out of the room or intersection one at a time until you realize that they aren't the way you came in, and you find the right one. Check a passage, and if it's not correct, return to the last spot you recognize, or where you realized you were lost, and mark the entrance to that passage with rocks or an X in the mud on the floor. Following the circumference of the area, go to the next passage, and try it, then mark it as checked once you return to base. Don't ever leave your pack behind when you go off checking passages!

A compass can help if you have an idea of the layout of the cave or a map, and where you are in general.

One simple thing that most cavers know is if you are in a cave and come to an intersection is to look at it from the opposite direction as you are coming in ( like you are going out) because sometimes an intersection or level change can look different depending on the direction you approach it.


When I started caving, wise old cavers told me that a cave is always two caves: the one you see going in and the one you see going out. And the cave going out is the most important one! So on the way in, always turn around to see the "going out cave."

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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby chac » Sep 26, 2011 3:11 pm

Cheryl Jones wrote: Don't ever leave your pack behind when you go off checking passages!

Very nice Cheryl, thank you. This is a very wise piece of advice that is often ignored. :doh:
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby trogman » Sep 27, 2011 6:51 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)
This obviously doesn't work in all caves-only those that have been surveyed and marked this way.

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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby harrym » Oct 2, 2011 7:52 am

I never get lost, with my can of spray paint.


Just kidding.
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby DeanWiseman » Oct 4, 2011 5:18 am

Cheryl Jones wrote:One method that can work: Systematically and calmly follow passages out of the room or intersection one at a time until you realize that they aren't the way you came in, and you find the right one. Check a passage, and if it's not correct, return to the last spot you recognize, or where you realized you were lost, and mark the entrance to that passage with rocks or an X in the mud on the floor. Following the circumference of the area, go to the next passage, and try it, then mark it as checked once you return to base. Don't ever leave your pack behind when you go off checking passages!

A compass can help if you have an idea of the layout of the cave or a map, and where you are in general.



Sort of reinforces my "patience" mantra...


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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Bil Davis » Oct 9, 2011 5:08 pm

I would play a game of solitaire. It would not take long for somebody to come along and tell me to put the red 9 on the black 10. Then I would ask them how to get out.
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby johnlhickman » Oct 9, 2011 9:51 pm

Apparently Bil was lost this weekend and missed the drawing where he won the 600'climbing rope;)
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Bil Davis » Oct 11, 2011 7:21 am

OUCH! thanks for the reminder.
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Dec 8, 2011 6:13 pm

Sungura wrote:I don't think I've seen a double-ended arrow in a cave ever. I want a photo now!

This is the pot calling the kettle black -- I started in 2007 -- but there are plenty of things you haven't seen in, what, a year of caving? :big grin:
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby self-deleted_user » Dec 8, 2011 6:35 pm

Has nothing to do with anything. Maybe I just go to less-graffited and hence more awesomely pristine caves than others go to. And yeah, newish to caving, but Ive caved in seven states and five countries, with invites to Greece, Alaska, and France in addition of back to the countries I have been to, for as soon as I get get my arse over there (which is too expensive to do at the moment). The Alaska and France invites are for expeditions. In less than 18 months of caving, Ive been on 54 trips in 49 different caves, including very long ones such as over 24 hours. Not bad for living 8+ hours from any caving region, aye?

But as you clearly missed, I simply forgot an instance where I was shown such an arrow recently. Perhaps if you paid more attention to the context of the thread itself instead of just doing a search for my posts for you to troll.
Self-deleted due to large troll population on the forum, and absence of moderation.
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Squirrel Girl » Dec 8, 2011 6:48 pm

Oh for pity's sakes....

Jeff, asking for a photo to illustrate a point is a good thing, not a judgement on how experienced a person is (or isn't).

Amy, please don't take the bait and brag how experienced you are. I mean ya'll don't want me telling how many caves I've been in, how many countries I've caved in, and how many weeks I've spent underground on a single trip.

I've been caving since the Pleistocene and have never seen a double ended arrow in a cave. Though I did see a spiral with an arrow on the end. We posed with a caver scratching his head at that one. But the picture was on film and not something I can post without far more trouble than I'm willing to go to.
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Dec 8, 2011 8:58 pm

@Barb, I'd actually really enjoy it if you made that list!
@Amy, you should totally go to France for that caving expedition, sounds like the organizers are pretty selective.
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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Re: Lost in Cave - No Idea Way Out

Postby GroundquestMSA » Dec 8, 2011 9:46 pm

A cave on the outskirts of Tazewell, Va has several double ended arrows. There are about five sets of arrows painted scratched and smoked at every junction. There are a lot of junctions. One passage has an orange arrow with the word "out" and a red arrow (same direction) with the word "death."
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