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Jan. trip to VA

PostPosted: Oct 15, 2014 11:14 am
by GroundquestMSA
In January, I've decided not to work. I'll spend most of the month caving in Virginia with possible stops in WV on the way there or back. I will be camping in my van, surveying and ridgewalking. I will also be writing every day and will post an extensive trip report when I get home. For much the trip I will be alone. My wife and brother will join me for a week or so. This will be, to an extent, an exercise in solitude and simplicity and self-sufficiency. I will not use my computer during January, probably won't get to bathe a lot, and am determined to abstain from fast-food. I have four caves (200' - 5000' +/-) to finish surveying and a few digs in these same caves. I anticipate being finished with these in five or six days. Afterward, if I have no ridgewalking success, I will start on a survey of a known cave (1000-2000'), but I expect to find new caves. I'm beginning to plan now since I want to have a successful and productive month and I'm a notorious procrastinator. There are a few things you guys may be able to help with:

-My only extended camping experience has been in the summer. Tips on food, warmth, and comfort are welcomed (especially food. Cooking in the back of a van without killing myself with fumes, easy dry/cold foods, etc.)

-I have a search area of well over 1 square mile that is full of sinks. How can I best organize my search and leads?

-If anyone is interested in some surveying in SW VA during Jan. I might be able to use some help. I don't want to do a lot of survey by myself, at least not very far from the surface.

If I think of anything else in the meantime I'll add more. Thanks!

Re: Jan. trip to VA

PostPosted: Oct 15, 2014 2:04 pm
by BrianFrank
One way to save time ridge walking and or to be more successful is to take a Thermal Imager. If it is below 20 degrees and the barometric pressure is dropping cave openings should substantially stand out. But, barometric pressure does not have to be dropping to find warm openings, but it will make it easier.

Re: Jan. trip to VA

PostPosted: Oct 29, 2014 9:12 am
by caver9999
Where in SW VA will you be ridgewalking/surveying? I live close to that area and may be able to offer some assistance. You can shoot me a email to