What To Expect?
For Groups of 1 to 48
Groups Above 12 People Require Sub Groups
For this experience, we will be exploring one of the region’s many wild caves. Outdoor Adventure Experiences leads commercial cave trips to 13 different caves in our region. Some are dry and dusty, some are muddy, some have water and flowing streams in them. Some are really big, some are small, but most are in-between. Only one requires a short 20 minute drive from our usual meeting place (just south of Harrisonburg, VA). The rest require a drive of an hour to an hour and a half. Participants will learn about cave formation, preservation, exploration, and ecology. Participants will be provided: helmets with lights and batteries, coveralls (provided they are at least 4' tall and not taller than 6' 5" tall - anyone shorter or taller than these measurements should bring their own outer layer of clothing to wear in the cave). A bathroom emergency kit and first aid kit will be carried by the group as well. A height and weight measurement will be needed for each participant at least two days before the trip, so we can bring the right size coveralls and gear for everyone.
Too busy to get a caving trip done during the day? The cave stays the same any time of day and any time of year, so let us take you caving at night. All the details are the same as above except it's dark above and below the ground, and we only do half-day trips for our night-time cave trips. Night caving trips must start by 6:00 pm, and end by 10:00 pm.
This is our most intense cave experience as we explore inside caves that have water in them. Water depths vary from ankle deep, to wading, to swimming in water over our heads!
In order to keep everyone safely warm, participants must wear neoprene wet suits and/or neoprene waders, neoprene gloves, and neoprene socks. All this is worn under normal coveralls that we also provide. Water cave participants are especially reminded that any clothing to be worn under their neoprene wet suits and waders (synthetic tights and long sleeve synthetic shirts are best) should be all synthetic fibers and no cotton! We also request that the shoes you plan to wear in the cave lace up, protect your feet from rocks, not be much more than ankle high, and not fit too tightly since you will be wearing neoprene on your feet that is very thick. Due to the intense nature of this experience, we will not take anyone under age 12 or large groups to water caves (unless they are willing to be broken down into smaller groups and go at different times)! One to eight participants is our ideal group size! Due to the increased amount of specialized clothing required for this experience, please add $10 per-person to your trip price! People who are not able to tolerate cold water and not in good physical condition (able to crawl through passages with low ceilings, and have good flexibility) should not consider this experience!
What To Wear To Non Water Caves
Wear Two layers of clothing.
Layer # 1 should be comfortable and appropriate for the outside air temperature, and something that can get slightly dirty (shorts or pants, shirt, sneakers or light boots). Layer #1 clothing should also be made of synthetic fabric and not cotton. Synthetic fabrics dry more quickly, wick water away from your skin, and can keep you warm even when you are wet!
Layer # 2 will be coveralls that we provide everyone in your group provided they are at least 4' tall and no taller than 6'5" tall.
Each person should also bring a pair of comfortable shoes with good ankle support and traction that can be worn in the cave. Just before entering the cave, we will put on coveralls right over top of the first layer of clothing. After leaving the cave, we will take off the coveralls and dirty cave shoes and put them into a plastic trash bag.
If you have participants in your group below 4' or above 6'5", please have them bring a pair of pants and a long sleeve shirt that can be put on right over their other clothing. They should keep in mind that these clothes will get very dirty and possibly torn. Note: caves stay around 56 degrees all year long.
What To Pack?
A bag lunch and two drinks in plastic screw-top bottles. Back-up lights and candles will be provided.