Caving and Exploring Underground

I used to know a guy whose hobby was exploring underground mines, caves and tunnels. Mike his name was, and he loved going underground with torches and lamps and exploring dark spaces that could be up to 10 kilometres long. So, to explore them properly, you might need to set up camp below ground.
Some of the best caves to explore are in Great Britain, The Philippines, Australia and New Zealand. Geology is really important when searching for good caves.
I never really understood Mike’s fascination for caving. He described it as mountaineering in reverse. ‘They go up and we go down’, he used to say.
You need a lot of specialized equipment for caving. Apart from the lamp that I mentioned earlier, you also need a hardhat and good waterproof clothing and boots. It can get very wet and cold underground if you don’t have the right clothes.
You also need to be pretty fit because there’s a lot of crawling and squeezing though small gaps to be done.
Around 50 caves in Britain alone are now considered places of special interest and are protected sites. So, conservation and conserving the environment is a part of the activity.
As far as I know, Mike is still caving and exploring below ground. It’s not for me, though. I’d prefer, well, doing just about anything else in my spare time!

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