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OD
survive this!
By Josh Piven
Blind-as-a-Bat Caving
BE PrEParED
nullenullt time, bring three headlamps.
nulltore one in your pack, and wear the
What you should do when it’s ‘lights out’ underground.
other two on your helmet. If the first
fails, you can flip the switch on your
backup right away.
f nullhe cool cave floor will draw heat
from your body, so smart cavers
EmErgEncy Situation:
bring along a nullnullfootnulldiameter
You’re caving with your
foam pad to insulate their bodies
crew when your light source
from the ground.
burns out. Your batteries and
f nullour head loses a lot of heat, so
pack a nonnullcotton balaclava. It’s
other lights are in your pack,
warm, it works when wet, and it’ll
which is missing. And now
fit under your helmet.
you’ve become separated.
f Bring a large trash bagnullit’s a
How do you survive?
great emergency body heater. nullust
poke your head through the top
of the bag and slip inside. nulloilnullnull
¿
SoLution:
If you’re in the Bat Cave, no worries. JoSH PiVEn is co-author of the nullorstnull
Alfred will probably be along soon Case nullcenario nullurvival nullandbook
enough. But if you’re not, you’ll need series. Visit his Web site at joshpiven.net.
to take some specific steps to avoid
injury. Or worse.
FirSt, StoP moVing. Immediately.
nullhis is the most important step in
cave survival. nullandering around in a
cave without a light source is a recipe
for disaster. nullou will almost surely fall,
smash into something hard nullstalactite,
rock facenull, become completely disorinull
ented, or otherwise be in worse shape
than you were before you wandered.
nullenullt, call out. nulloudly and
n
repeatedly. Or better yet, use your
o
i
r

G
emergency whistle. nullince you were
r
u
h
with your crew a few minutes ago,
t
r
A
they are certainly within earshot. A
whistle can be heard from greater and wait for rescue. nullou can survive that bringing electronics into a cave
distances than the human voice, so in a cave overnight if you have to, but is a nulluick way to ruin your favorite
blow it periodically and also shout for wandering around won’t help your gadgets.null If you have a lighter or
help. Continue to yell until you hear cause. If you must move, only do so if matches and a candle, light it so you
a response, or you risk potential rescunull you’re able to get some light sourcenull can see while you wait for help. nullhe
ers getting out of earshot before they anythingnullup and running first. light from a candle, cell phone, or
notice your absence. watch won’t be strong enough to
nullven if you don’t get a response, SHaKE your FLaSHLigHt or help you navigate, but it will keep you
don’t panic. nullhe rule of thumb for HEaDLamP to coanull out any remainnull from having to wait in total darkness.
being lost is the same in a cave as it is ing juice, then use any other light nullost important, stay warm and
for the surfacenull As long as someone source you havenull cell phone, watch dry. nullour enemy in a cave is not the
knows you’re lost, it’s best to stay put light, inullod. nullnullhough we should note dark but the cold.
52 Scouting  ¿

JAnuArY•FEBruArY 2010
SurviveThis.indd 52 11/2/09 8:44 AM
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