CCIU Caving Rules
Buckner's Cave Use
10 Simple Safety Guidelines
1. NO DRUGS OR ALCOHOL. Besides
being against University policy, being under the influence can be
dangerous underground because it impairs your judgment and causes
accidents. The IUCC will not allow anyone under the influence of drugs
or alcohol to participate in any club trips. Anyone consuming illegal
drugs or alcohol on a club trip will be subject to immediate expulsion.
2. BE AWARE OF THE WEATHER. All
caves were formed by water and many are subject to flash flooding. Five
people in Indiana have drowned in caves and it is the leading cause of
caving fatalities. If you don't know the flood history of the cave,
then stay out when it is (or has been) raining.
3. RESPECT THE WISHES OF THE CAVE OWNER.
All caves are owned by someone and permission is always needed before
going in. If an owner does not wish you to be on their property, then
4. NEVER GO CAVING ALONE. Solo
caving is dangerous. If you were hurt there would be no one to go for
5. ALWAYS TELL SOMEONE WHERE YOU ARE GOING
AND WHEN YOU EXPECT TO BE BACK. This increases your chances to
be found in a timely manner if rescuers need to be called. But please
be reasonable about your return time and allow a couple of extra hours
in case the trip simply lasts longer than you expected. Tell your
friend to call 9-1-1 or the Indiana State Police (800-622-4962) if you
do not return. They have a list of qualified cavers to assist in
getting you out of the cave.
6. ALWAYS CARRY 3 SOURCES OF LIGHT PER
PERSON. Caves are dark. If you were to run out of light it would
be nearly impossible to navigate out of a cave. Should this happen to
you STAY PUT. Do not try to feel your way out of the cave because you
could easily fall and get hurt. Wait for someone to come get you
(hopefully you will have already followed rules 4 and 5).
7. ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET. You will
realize how important this rule is the first time you try to stand
upright in a five foot high passage. Head injuries can be debilitating
(and can hurt quite a bit). The helmet will also give limited
protection against any falling rocks.
8. DO NOT VANDALIZE THE CAVE. Leave
the cave as you found it. Do not touch cave formations as the oil from
your skin can cause a stalactite to stop growing. Do not break or take
out any formations even if they have previously been broken. It can
encourage others to break them. Do not leave graffiti on the walls of
the cave. Take out anything you take into the cave.
9. DO NOT DISTURB CAVE LIFE. Many
types of cave critters are on Federal and State endangered species
lists. Bats will not bother you unless you bother them first. They will
not get tangled in your hair although they can occasionally carry
10. DO NOT ATTEMPT VERTICAL CAVING WITHOUT
PROPER TRAINING. Never attempt to climb a rope hand over hand.
You need the proper equipment and instruction. The IUCC does not
provide vertical training and will not visit caves where this equipment
Speleological Society has published A Guide to Responsible
Caving. It is a good resource and covers topics such as:
formations, protecting caves, cave courtesy, items to bring, how to
behave above and below ground, and hazards.
information about caving with youth groups: Youth
Please visit the Richard Blenz Nature Conservancy, Inc. website for
information on access to Buckner Cave. Click here.