Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

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Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby artistbw » Apr 23, 2013 12:07 pm

Hello all, I've been doing research about artificial caving systems because I have a friend who refuses to go into a cave for fear of catching some disease from bat guano, or getting crushed by a boulder. I thought, there's probably a lot of people who feel that way and wondered if there was some kind of "safe" way to introduce people to caving. I found artificial caves everywhere in the UK but none here, I wonder why. It would seem that it would be a good intro for kids or just for practice or recreation. Any insight?
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby Extremeophile » Apr 23, 2013 4:40 pm

Check out CaveSim:
http://www.cavesim.com/
If you can make it to Colorado, Dave and Tracy Jackson are hosting the SoCoMoGro meeting next Wednesday at 7 pm at their house in Manitou Springs and it's a sort of open house for CaveSim. CaveSim will likely be at the NSS Convention again this summer and they are still working on raising the funds to make this happen.

You can also read about it in this month's NSS News (April, 2013).

There may be a number of Mad Rats at the grotto meeting so there's no guarantee you'll make it through disease-free. :big grin:
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby artistbw » Apr 23, 2013 4:59 pm

Thanks, but I'm kinda thinking along the lines of a blown concrete cave system with the look and feel of the real thing, i.e. sumps, wall climbs, squeezes, large rooms, bouldering, flowing water, etc. For some reason, I can't find any here in the U.S. they're popular as heck in the UK.
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby Chads93GT » Apr 23, 2013 5:09 pm

It's called a crawl space and its under many homes lol
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby artistbw » Apr 23, 2013 6:48 pm

lol Come to think of it, I may have one under my house but it's probably infested with black widow spiders
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby David Grimes » Apr 23, 2013 8:27 pm

I have seen some similar cave exhibits is some museums but I do not know of any that I really think does a great job of simulating real caving. One of the museums in the Cincinnati, OH. area (not positive which one) has an artificial cave but there is little more excitement than walking through a show cave.
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby GroundquestMSA » Apr 23, 2013 9:11 pm

David Grimes wrote:I have seen some similar cave exhibits is some museums but I do not know of any that I really think does a great job of simulating real caving. One of the museums in the Cincinnati, OH. area (not positive which one) has an artificial cave but there is little more excitement than walking through a show cave.


That's in the Museum of Natural History at Union Terminal. There is a stream, a few squeezes if you choose to do them, a few "formations" and some bats behind glass. I'm proud to say that I have explored every inch of this majestic cavern, including the Unlit Downstream Terminus and the Dome, which required a Daring Chimney. I came out wet and bruised so I feel like I did pretty well.

Interestingly, a good number of people find the fake cave terrifying and refuse to go in. Also, I'm not sure I understand how walking through a plastic or concrete tube is going to help anyone over the "fear of catching some disease from bat guano, or getting crushed by a boulder."
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby Cheryl Jones » Apr 23, 2013 9:22 pm

There's one in the Desert Museum outside of Tucson. But like most artificial caves, it's a far cry from providing the realistic experience. How about just taking your friend to a commercial cave to begin with? If she won't go even on an easy real-cave experience because of what we all think are unreasonable fears, then so be it. You'll have to wait until she decides she wants to go caving!

Venturing into a crawlspace is a good idea. Also storm drains. As kids we would enter them through steam culverts leading into the storm drains and stoopwalk under whole neighborhoods, then exit on the far side at another stream culvert.

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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby plicpriest1 » Apr 23, 2013 10:49 pm

Im not quite sure anything beats going into a real cave. Mud, darkness, guano, evil monsters, trolls, man-eating bats. You know, the good stuff. A "fake" cave probably wont be a turn on. Think about it. For many of us the the thrill to see some interesting things not found anywhere else is quite fun. Cant do that in a fake cave. Also seeing something that no other human eyes have seen, well that is just special. And finally crawling behind somebody, in a tight squeeze, fighting through sticky mud, and realizing this somebody ate 2 day old taco johns for breakfast- well you just cant beat that.

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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby Bob Thrun » Apr 23, 2013 11:47 pm

artistbw wrote:Thanks, but I'm kinda thinking along the lines of a blown concrete cave system with the look and feel of the real thing, i.e. sumps, wall climbs, squeezes, large rooms, bouldering, flowing water, etc. For some reason, I can't find any here in the U.S. they're popular as heck in the UK.

As a couple people here have mentioned, there are some artificial caves in the US constructed in museums. Seeing them is like a show cave. The visitor walks through them on a paved walkway and it is "look, don't touch". Most caving areas have beginner caves, real caves, that is.

I have not heard of artificial caves like you describe. Could you point us to more information? A web site, a scan of the advertising brochure, or some photographs, both outside and inside.
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby paul » Apr 24, 2013 6:29 am

For example, the French company "Entre Prises" who mostly manufacture climbing walls make an artificial cave :http://www.ep-uk.com/caves.html.

Our British Caving Association http://british-caving.org.uk/ owns one of thses sectional artificial caves which is used at events and exhibitions.
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby Cheryl Jones » Apr 24, 2013 10:27 am

Austin school kids are creating their own! :kewl:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=15197&p=128104#p128103
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby artistbw » Apr 24, 2013 10:39 am

Thanks all, I guess I'll try harder to convince her a real cave is the way to go. If not, oh well.
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby Myrna Attaway » Apr 24, 2013 6:28 pm

Albequrques museum of natural history and little known Anniston meseum of natural history in Ala.
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Re: Artificial cave system for training or intro to caving?

Postby artistbw » Apr 24, 2013 7:00 pm

Albuquerque Museum of Natural History has a simulated lava tube with "lava" flowing under your feet, kinda cool but just a simple walk-through.
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