Frequently Asked Questions about CaveSim

1. What is this thing? 
    It’s called CaveSim, and is an obstacle course built to look like a cave.  Here's our map (click it to enlarge).  Some artistic license has been taken to make the map more easy to read.  This is the first version.  The next version will meet the requirements for the NSS Cartographic Maps Salon.

CaveSim map

Watch our slideshow to explore CaveSim virtually:

2. What is it for? 
CaveSim is for teaching people how to go caving safely and softly: How to avoid hurting caves, themselves, or other cavers.

3. How does it work? 
     The person in charge of CaveSim tells a participant (caver) when to start caving.  The caver crawls into the entrance and through CaveSim.  As the caver crawls, they should try not to bump any of the cave formations.  There are some really fragile formations that they should not even get close to.  If the caver bumps a formation, sensors detect the bump, and a buzzer sounds.  A computer keeps track of how many times each formation is hit.  The caver continues to move through CaveSim until they get to the exit.  They can then look at their score and the next caver can start caving.

4. Who can use CaveSim? 
    Anyone willing to follow the rules of CaveSim may use it.  CaveSim can be used by people who have never been underground and by experienced cavers alike.  CaveSim can even be used for search and rescue training.

5. What are the rules of CaveSim?  Cave safely, cave softly, respect the cave, respect the cave operators, respect the other participants.

6. What is CaveSim made of? 
    The formations are made of plastic and metal.  The walls, floor, and ceiling are wood and special coatings.  The outside is painted with recycled paint.  No real cave formations were harmed or even touched in making CaveSim.

7. Who made CaveSim 
    Dave Jackson and Tracy Jackson created CaveSim with great support from Blue Star Recyclers (http://www.bluestarrecyclers.com/).

8. Does CaveSim travel?  CaveSim can be taken apart and put on a trailer. 
    Great volunteers help to set it up.

9. How big is CaveSim?
    The passage is generally 3 feet tall and 2.5 feet wide.  In some places the passage is smaller.  CaveSim can also be set up with a 5 foot wide passage.  CaveSim currently has 48 feet of crawling passage.

10. Will I get stuck? 
    Probably not.  If you feel like you’re getting stuck, back up and come out.  CaveSim has emergency exits.

11. What do formations in CaveSim look like?
Here's a picture.  Also check out our Gallery page.  Did you know that we have a talking bat in CaveSim?

12.   Will I get dirty? 
    There is no real mud in CaveSim, but you may get dirty from crawling.  Dress clothes are not recommended.
13. Do I need cave gear? 
    The person in charge of CaveSim will give you a helmet (with headlamp), knee and elbow pads, and gloves.  Please return your gear to the person in charge when you’re done.

Frequently asked questions about REAL caves and caving

1. Isn’t it called spelunking? 
No, it’s called caving.  Spelunking and spelunk are terms coined by a reporter in the 1940’s, and cavers think of spelunking as amateur caving.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spelunking.  Cavers rescue spelunkers. ☺ Oh, and it's called CaveSim, not SimCave or Sim Cave or Sims Cave.

2. Are there any caves in Colorado?  
Yes, Colorado has many caves.  Anyone can visit Cave of The Winds in Colorado Springs, and Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs.  Both "show caves" offer a variety of tours at at different difficulty levels ranging from lit walking tours to crawling wearing a helmet and headlamp at different prices and time lengths.  Check out US Show Caves Directory.

3. What's inside a cave?  
Caves contain many types of formations like the ones in the pictures above.  Cave formations are called speleothems.  Check out Dave Bunnell's great Virtual Cave

4. How can I learn more about caving?   
Check out our Links page.  There, you'll find links to caving organizations like the NSS.
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