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How to Be a Cave Diver (Besides the Training)

You can’t just throw a cylinder on your back and swim into a cave to be a cave diver there are a few things you have to do first.  Cave diving requires specialist gear and training, but there are plenty of other informational blogs on that on the internet. We’re not really going to talk too much about the proper training here because nobody talks about the other side of being a cave diver; that you need to advertise the fact that you’re a cave diver.

Step one

You need to put a cave line marker on your keychain.

Most people don’t actually know what that piece of plastic on your keys is but, you do, and so will all the other cool cave divers. A simple line arrow is classic but you can mix it up if you like with a cookie or REM if you want to be different. You’ll collect plenty of line markers over the seasons, they’re like Pokemon cards for cave divers and you’ve gotta catch ‘em all. But don’t steal somebody else’s…

Step two

Get really obsessive about boltsnaps

Regular people don’t understand the joy of finding a really good boltsnap. Finding the right size boltsnap with a smooth action that sits in your hand just right and clips off the first try is a sensual thing to a cave diver. While most people and even some divers might just look at a boltsnap and shrug their shoulders and just buy the cheapest one, a cave diver will do their research and buy the right one. Or two, or Three, because you can never have enough double-enders…

Step three

Backup everything

You are now a collector of both torches and cutting tools.  In a cave, there is obviously no natural light so you need to bring the light with you, and your sparkling personality won’t cut it I’m afraid.  So you need to bring with you a primary torch, a backup and a backup backup torch. You will become a Customs Officers’ prime search target because you will be well versed in hiding knives all over your body. Just encase you get entangled in some way you need to be able to reach at least one of the six dive knives all over your person to cut yourself free.

Step four

Sidemount those cylinders

While you can get in lots of caves in a twin set you really need to sidemount those bad boys, I know you’re seeing sidemount divers more and more in open water but believe it or not sidemount diving was actually developed for cave diving, not open water.   By sidemounting your cylinders you’re much more compressed and flexible to squeeze through those tight little gaps that you rarely ever meet because you tend to stick to the open areas. Not all cave diving is squeezing through restrictions but you need to be prepared right? Plus you look cooler as a sidemount diver.

Step five

Obsess over your trim

Not your hair cut or your waistline the way you’re weighted.  You can’t really screw up in cave diving with your buoyancy, so your trim needs to be on point. Nobody wants to be silted out, I don’t like silt; It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere in all the cracks but, more importantly, you can’t see through it.  Cave divers will have trimmed their lead down to a bare minimum and have it place exactly where they need it so, if you’re blindfolded you should hang in the water flat without thinking about it so you’re not bumping in the floor or the ceiling.

Step six

It’s all about the length

Your hoses need to be the right length now, there’s no excuse and you can’t get away with factory-installed hoses anymore, you need custom lengths to fit you and some need to be long, and you know why. In some cave systems you may need to swim single file and how are you going to deal with an out of air situation with a 90cm hose? You won’t, so you need to stretch that alternate hose out to over 2 meters.  However, you can’t supersize all of your hoses as you need to stay streamlined so, apart from that one long fella the rest of your hoses need to be the perfect length so you don’t get any flappy snag hazards.