Caving in a muddy section of Black Chasm Cave in California
Stephens Gap, a vertical cave in Alabama
Caving in the north of England, an area that is also popular for pothole exploring
Caver in an Alabama cave showing common caving wear: coveralls, helmet-mounted lights, heavy boots and gloves.
A caver begins rope descent of a vertical shaft using an abseil rack.

Recreational pastime of exploring wild cave systems .

- Caving

425 related topics


Outdoor recreation

Outdoor recreation or outdoor activity refers to recreation engaged in out of doors, most commonly in natural settings.

Camping in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, India
Lungomare of Barcola in Trieste in the direction Miramare Castle, a place for urban outdoor recreation
Whitewater rafting
Mountain biker in Levin, New Zealand
Trekkers in Gorbea park, south of Biscay in Basque Country, Spain
Canyoning at Sundarijal, Kathmandu, Nepal
Theodore Roosevelt was a noted outdoorsman, conservationist, and big-game hunter
Author and sportsman Ernest Hemingway was a record-holding trophy fisherman, seen here with several marlins caught on a trip to Bimini in 1935

Other traditional examples of outdoor recreational activities include hiking, camping, mountaineering, cycling, dog walking, canoeing, caving, kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, running, sailing, skiing, sky diving and surfing.

Pitch (ascent/descent)

Steep section of a route that requires a rope between two belays, as part of a climbing system.

Pitch in a cave, Little Carpathians
Underground pitch in Haviareň Cave
Old Woman formation in Joshua Tree National Park is climbed in a single pitch
South Astro Dome formation in Joshua Tree National Park is climbed in two pitches
Moosedog Tower in Joshua Tree National Park is climbed in three pitches
Seneca Rocks is usually done in four pitches.
Pywiack Dome is usually done in five pitches.
Fairview Dome originally done in twelve pitches.
The Nose on El Capitan has 31 pitches.

The term pitch is also used by cavers to refer to a very steep or vertical section (called a drop, pit, or shaft) in a cave that needs ladders or single rope technique to descend and ascend (a drop that can be descended and ascended without equipment is a climb).


Considered to be a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one's leisure time.

Hobby: collecting seashells
In Tristram Shandy, the term "hobby-horse" was used to refer to whimsical obsessions, which led to the current use of the word "hobby"
A stamp album used in stamp collecting.
A coffee-table sized model railroad
A variety of flowers and vegetables in an indoor garden.
An amateur magician performing

These hobbies include gardening, hill walking, hiking, backpacking, cycling, canoeing, climbing, caving, fishing, hunting, target shooting (informal or formal), wildlife viewing (as birdwatching) and engaging in watersports and snowsports.


Scientific study of caves and other karst features, as well as their make-up, structure, physical properties, history, life forms, and the processes by which they form and change over time (speleomorphology).

Grotte des Faux-Monnayeurs, Mouthiers-Haute-Pierre (France)
Beam of sun inside the cavity of Rocca ill'Abissu, Fondachelli Fantina, Sicily
Pirunkirkko (literally "devil's church") of Paistjärvi, a peak cave in Heinola, Päijänne Tavastia, Finland

The term speleology is also sometimes applied to the recreational activity of exploring caves, but this is more properly known as caving, potholing (British English), or spelunking.


Natural void in the ground, specifically a space large enough for a human to enter.

Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico, United States
Speleothems in Hall of the Mountain King of Ogof Craig a Ffynnon, a solutional cave in South Wales.
Exploring a lava tube in Hawaii.
Painted Cave, a large sea cave, Santa Cruz Island, California
Salt cave in Mount Sodom, Israel.
Glacier cave in Big Four Glacier, Big Four Mountain, Washington, c. undefined 1920
Domica Cave in Slovak Karst (Slovakia)
An entrance of the Torhola Cave in Lohja (Finland)
Townsend's big-eared bats in a cave in California
Olms in a Slovenian cave
Taíno petroglyphs in a cave in Puerto Rico

Visiting or exploring caves for recreation may be called caving, potholing, or spelunking.

Pit cave

Type of cave which contains one or more significant vertical shafts rather than being predominantly a conventional horizontal cave passage.

A caver rappelling into Mexico's enormous pit cave, Sotano de las Golondrinas.
Pit cave Haviareň, Little Carpathians
Fluted pothole, England
Pit cave PP2, Slovakia
Cave in Archbald Pothole State Park, United States

Among cavers, a pit is a vertical drop of any depth that cannot be negotiated safely without the use of ropes or ladders.

National Speleological Society

2018 banquet
2018 open board meeting
2018 "Speleolympics" competition

The National Speleological Society (NSS) is an organization formed in 1941 to advance the exploration, conservation, study, and understanding of caves in the United States.

Cave diving

Underwater diving in water-filled caves.

A cave diver running a reel with guide line into the overhead environment
Entrance to Peacock Springs Cave System
Warning sign near the entrance to a cave
Cave divers wearing sidemount cylinders following a main line
Sidemount diver in a fairly tight space
Cave diving guideline reel
Cave line spool with double end bolt snap
Cave diving equipment from 1935 in the museum at Wookey Hole Caves
Cave diving equipment in the museum at Wookey Hole Caves
Diving in Piccaninnie Ponds
The Nereo Cave "Belvedere" watching terrace, south upside entrance
Bue Marino caves in Sardinia
Entrance to Dos Ojos

Despite these risks, water-filled caves attract scuba divers, cavers, and speleologists due to their often unexplored nature, and present divers with a technical diving challenge.


Controlled descent off a vertical drop, such as a rock face, by descending a fixed rope.

A time-lapse panorama of a rock climber abseiling off a climb
A United States Air Force Pararescueman rappels from a helicopter during a training exercise in Iraq, 2008
Australian rappel demonstrated at a dam in Norway
Rescue-style (eared) figure eight descender and rope
Early Dülfersitz or body abseil technique did not require a harness or any equipment
Later double carabiner brake abseil technique used simple carabiner and sling as a harness
Another carabiner based abseil technique
The figure 8 belay device was one of the earliest specialized abseil device, which often required gloves. Now used mostly by military as it allows greater speed of descent
Modern abseiling technique used by climbers uses belay device
Cave abseils can be long and might have to be done using ropes with varying degrees of friction, using a device such as a brake bar rack

This technique is used by climbers, mountaineers, cavers, canyoners, search and rescue and rope access technicians to descend cliffs or slopes when they are too steep and/or dangerous to descend without protection.


[[File:Nf knots.png|thumb|upright=2|Some knots1.

Knot board on Elbe 1 (ship, 1965)
An example of a quipu from the Inca Empire, currently in the Larco Museum Collection.
Alexander cuts the Gordian Knot, by Jean-Simon Berthélemy (1743–1812)
Gordian Knot statue (1990)
Magimagi sennit of Fiji around wooden ceiling posts.
Blackfoot "Teton" tipi tie
Sailors learning knots and ropework in the early 20th century
Sailor Bag with different knots.
A: open loop, B: closed loop, C: turn, D: round turn, E: two round turns.
#34 Cross #35 Elbow #36 Round turn
#27 End #29 Bight #28 Standing
A trefoil knot is a mathematical version of an overhand knot.
The Ashley Book of Knots is considered the definitive work on the topic

Knot tying skills are often transmitted by sailors, scouts, climbers, canyoners, cavers, arborists, rescue professionals, stagehands, fishermen, linemen and surgeons.