Cave Diving: What to Expect, Equipment Required and Safety Advice

Cave Diving: What to Expect, Equipment Required and Safety Advice

Cave Diving: What to Expect, Equipment Required and Safety Advice

Always dreamed and considered diving in a more complex, adventurous environment? Then cave diving might just be the adventure that you’re looking for! While it’s an interesting and adventurous expedition, there are some safety aspects that you need to remember before taking the plunge into cave diving. Keep reading to find out our top advice, equipment needed and safety tips you need to keep in mind if you’re thinking about cave diving.

What To Expect When Cave Diving

Cave diving is a unique scuba diving experience, adding the enjoyable side of scuba diving with an added extra thrill and adventure. Cave diving is when you dive into an enclosed cave with no access to the surface and most likely, no light. It’s a more challenging adventure, therefore making it one of the most dangerous experiences in scuba diving. Being in an enclosed space with no access to the surface means that there’s no quick way to the surface if needed. 

Cave diving offers a unique experience that brings out our adventurous and discovery side. They have very little light and oxygen - because of this, they are teeming with life that we don't often see. Caves are also full of unusual rock formations, breathtaking sites and mysterious territories that are waiting to be discovered. 

Cave Diving: What to Expect, Equipment Required and Safety Advice - Mike's Dive Store

There are different types of caves that you can explore when scuba diving. There are four main types of caves to discover which are:

Sea Caves: These caves are formed naturally by mother nature's waves and aren’t usually very deep or long. 

Coral Caves: Coral caves are often shaped like tunnels and filled with lots of wonderful wildlife. Coral caves have been formed by large formations of corals 

Lava Tubes: These are created by volcanic activity, lava tubes are formed when a volcano erupts and hits the sea. As the lava is still flowing and cooling it creates a tube. 

Solution Caves: Formed very slowly over hundreds of years by water containing carbonic acid seeps through the limestone and dissolves the rock. 

Cave Diving Gear

When diving in caves, you’re diving in a different environment which means you need to be extra prepared with additional or different scuba diving equipment. You need to invest in equipment that’s durable, hard-wearing and high-quality so that it can withstand rocky environments. Since you’re diving in a more dangerous environment, you need to invest in the most high-quality gear possible. Here are our recommendations for additional and different types of gear that you’ll need for cave diving. 

  • Guide line for navigation: You should always have a guide line between the leader of the dive team which leads to the open water. You may also tie the line down at the entrance of the cave. 
  • Light, back-up light and a back-up to the back-up (make sense?): Being able to see what you’re doing is essential when cave diving. Caves can be cut off from the light so you’ll most likely need a torch for when it gets dark in the cave. Don’t forget to bring three dive lights just in case the first two fail. 
  • Fins: The types of fins that work excellently with cave diving and are great for manoeuvring are Jet Fins as it’s a stiff, high-performance fin that works well in caves.
  • Masks: When choosing a mask, you want to find one that accommodates cave diving environments. Types of masks that work well are low profile, well fitted and comfortable. 
  • Exposure protection: When choosing exposure protection, you’ll want to find something to keep you warmer for longer as the water may be cooler where the light doesn’t hit. Consider investing in a thicker wetsuit (5mm - 7mm) or a drysuit.  

We stock all these dive gear in our store, check out the Light, Fins, Mask, 7mm and drysuit range here. 

Cave Diving: What to Expect, Equipment Required and Safety Advice - Mike's Dive Store

Cave Diving Safety Advice 

Now that you know how amazing cave diving can be when done properly. But, it can also go wrong if you don’t follow some important rules. Cave diving is one of the more dangerous activities that a scuba diver can do, so you need to be extra prepared and fully briefed before diving into a cave. Here are some important rules to follow when cave diving:

  • Keep a close eye on your navigation and oxygen. A good rule to follow is to use 30% of your oxygen descending and exploring, another 30% getting back and the last 30% for emergencies. Keep checking your pressure gauge to ensure that you’re well within limits.  
  • Take the cave diving course to know exactly what to expect and the hazards. Most cave diving accidents are usually caused by untrained divers which are completely unavoidable.
  • Sediment ruins visibility, so to avoid sediment being kicked up from the bottom of the cave, you may need to alter your kicking style. A few kicking types that are best for cave diving are: frog kicks and flutter kicks. 
  • Always dive with a group so other people are there to support you if needed. Cave diving is more dangerous so it’s best to dive with others in case of an emergency. 
  • Be prepared with the right gear, check that you have everything beforehand and check that your buddy has the correct equipment too. 

Cave Diving: What to Expect, Equipment Required and Safety Advice - Mike's Dive Store

We’re Here to Help 

If you’re considering starting cave diving and you have any questions or concerns about the environment and the type of equipment you need to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, please email us at where we have a team of scuba diving professionals that’s here to help you out with any scuba diving and cave diving questions you may have.