A Brief History of Spelunking
Spelunking, also known as caving, is the recreational exploration of earth’s natural cave systems. Of course, humans have sought shelter in caves for as long as they’ve walked the earth. So, when did this survival tactic become a pastime for spelunking devotees?
Photo courtesy of daringdesetinations.com
Spelunking, in fact, dates back to 1889. The pioneering Frenchman, Edouard-Alfred Martel, studied and documented cave science as he explored. A lawyer by trade, Martel purchased the French cave, Gouffre de Padirac, and led tours through it. He also organized caving trips to destinations around the world, documenting over 1,500 caves in his lifetime.
Thanks to the efforts of Martel, the so-called “Father of Modern Speleology” (the study of caves), spelunking is a thriving pastime today. With many rules, requiring much equipment, expertise, knotting skills, and not least of all, athleticism, spelunking is not a hobby to be casually pursued.
Among other necessary precautions and preparations (which can be found in this USA Today article), spelunkers should always climb with a partner, wear non-slip shoes, a helmet, a headlamp, and a secondary light source. The Pelican ProGear 2710 and 2720, complete with night vision lighting capabilities, are the perfect spelunking headlamps. Meanwhile, all of our powerful and heavy-duty Pelican ProGear LED Flashlights come with clips for quick, easy storing.
In the words of Martel from Les Causses du Langudoc: “No man has gone before us in these depths, no one knows where we go nor what we see, nothing so strangely beautiful was ever presented to us, and spontaneously we ask each other the same question: are we not dreaming?”