press to call now

Cave and Cavern Diving


Cavern      Intro To Cave      Equipment Requirements

Cavern and cave diving are not for everyone. Nevertheless, if you are comfortable and relaxed in the water, possess above-average buoyancy control skills and -- most importantly -- have a genuine interest in exploring natural overhead environments as safely and as conscientiously as possible, then these may be appropriate and enjoyable activities for you.

Intro to diving

This section of Ginnie Springs Outdoors' website is designed to accomplish a number of goals. Among them: - It answers several of the most frequently asked questions regarding cavern and cave diving. - It provides comprehensive information about Ginnie Springs Outdoors' Cavern and Intro to Cave Diver courses, including how to enroll in such training. With this information, you will be better prepared to determine whether cavern or cave diving may be right for you, and how to take advantage of Ginnie Springs' comprehensive training opportunities to learn to cavern or cave dive as safely as possible.

Important: Cavern and Introduction to cave diving courses are available from Independent Instructors at Ginnie Springs Outdoors. All of the instructors are Independent Contractors, and the terms of each course are established directly between you and the instructor. Because none of the instructors are its employees, Ginnie Springs Outdoors is not responsible to you for the actions of any instructor.


Cavern Diver Course

The Cavern Diver course prepares divers to, as safely as possible, explore that portion of a cave system that is within direct sight of daylight. It functions as either the first step in a comprehensive program of overhead-environment training, leading to full Cave Diver certification, or as a separate course in and of itself.

Duration: Two days, four dives

Class Schedule
Prerequisites:
Although NSS-CDS training standards do not require students to have any more training or experience than is represented by an entry-level, Open Water Diver card, most experts recommend that, before enrolling in any form of overhead-environment training, divers must:

  • Be certified to at least the Advanced Open Water Diver level, or have equivalent training/experience.
  • Possess above-average buoyancy-control skills.
  • Be extremely comfortable and relaxed in the water -- even without a mask.
  • Own most or all of their personal dive equipment, and be thoroughly familiar with its function and use (see required equipment list).
  • Have logged a number of dives, particularly in the months just prior to participating in overhead environment training.

Although most divers will benefit from Cavern Diver training, students who meet these recommendations will not only get more from the course, they will also be the ones most likely to complete the course successfully and receive an NSS-CDS Cavern Diver Training Completion Card.

Topics: The Cavern Diver course incorporates academic learning, dry-land exercises and in-water training. Academic topics include:

  • Cavern Diver training: Intent and limitations
  • Cave conservation, landowner relations
  • Accident analysis and corresponding safety rules
  • Cavern/cave formation and terminology
  • Cave and cavern entrance types
  • General and specific hazards of the overhead environment
  • Equipment requirements and modification
  • Cavern/cave diving techniques overview
  • Cavern/cave dive planning procedures
  • Standard cavern/cave diving communications
  • Psychological aspects of cavern/cave diving; stress management

Problem solving and emergency procedures.

Dry-land exercises cover:

  • Equipment modification
  • Basic reel use
  • Guideline deployment, including tie-offs and wraps
  • Guideline retrieval, including team member role responsibilities
  • Guideline following under adverse conditions/touch-contact communication
  • Gas sharing while maintaining guideline contact In-water training includes repetition of all dry-land drills, plus:
  • Anti-silting propulsion techniques
  • Simulated loss-of-visibility and loss-of-breathing-gas emergencies
  • Multiple practice cavern dives

Cavern Diver course fees include all instruction, (2) days admission to Ginnie Springs Outdoors and all air fills. The NSS-CDS Training Completion Card fee is an additional $25.00. Equipment rental or modification items are not included in the course fee. NACD and/ or PADI Cavern Diver certification may also be available, for an additional fee of $25.00

Please note: The new NSS-CDS Student Workbook is not included in the course fee but may be purchased in advance from Ginnie Springs Outdoors.

  • To check availability or reserve your space, call 386-454-7188 between the hours of 8am to 6pm. You can also email our instructors.  Be sure to discuss deposit refund policy with your instructor.
     
  Price Per Student
Course with 3 or more students  $275.00
Course with 2 students  $300.00
Course with 1 student  $350.00
 

Intro to Cave Diving Course

The Intro to Cave Diver course prepares divers to, as safely as possible, conduct limited exploration of popular cave systems, beyond sight of daylight. The limitations of training restrict course graduates to:

  • Linear penetration and return along a single, permanent guideline or primary reel.
  • Dives that do not entail mandatory stage decompression.
  • Use of single cylinders (unless under instructor supervision).
  • Intro to Cave Diver certification is an important prerequisite to further Cave Diver training.

Duration: Two days, five dives.

Prerequisites:

In addition to meeting the recommendations previously outlined for Cavern Diver Training, Intro to Cave students must possess an NSS-CDS Training Completion Card or NACD Cavern Diver certification or it's equivalent. Students who possess this certification, but who lack recent cavern diving experience, should talk to one of Ginnie Springs Outdoors' staff instructors prior to enrollment in the Intro to Cave course.

Topics/Skills:
The Intro to Cave Diver course covers the same academic topics and in-water skills as the Cavern Diver course, but in greater depth. Additionally, it introduces students to several new topics and skills, including those needed to access and use permanent cave system guidelines, and extensive practice of lost-diver and other emergency procedures.

Course Fees:
Intro to Cave Diver course fees include all instruction, (2) days admission to Ginnie Springs Outdoors and all air fills. The NSS-CDS Training Completion Card fee is an additional $25.00. Equipment rental or modification items are not included in the course fee. NACD Intro to Cave Diver certification may also be available, for an additional fee of $25.00

Please note: The new NSS-CDS Student Workbook is not included in the course fee but may be purchased in advance from Ginnie Springs Outdoors.

  • To check availability or reserve your space, call 386-454-7188 between the hours of 8am to 6pm. You can also email our instructors.  Be sure to discuss deposit refund policy with your instructor.
     
  Price Per Student
Course with 3 or more students  $275.00
Course with 2 students  $300.00
Course with 1 student  $350.00


Equipment Requirements

Here is the equipment you need to supply to take part in Ginnie Springs Outdoors' Cavern or Intro to Cave Diver courses:

Important: 
We strongly encourage you to discuss the suitability of the equipment you own with a member of the Ginnie Springs Outdoors instructional staff before bringing it to class. Equally important, do not purchase any new equipment for Cavern or Cave Diver training without discussing it with us first. Equipment that isn't right can detract from your enjoyment of cavern and cave diving and interfere with your learning process. In some cases it can actually be unsafe.

Equipment List Cavern Intro
Mask
Fins (adjustable fins & wetsuit boots recommended)
Full-length wetsuit (5mm or greater)
Weight belt (if necessary)
Bouyancy control device
Regulator first stage with 2 second stages  
Separate first stages (each with its own second stage)  
7-foot Second Stage hose
Depth guage & timing device (or dive computer)
Primary dive light
Back-up dive lights 1 2
Safety Reel (one per diver)
Primary reel (one per team)  
• = Required  

Unfortunately, it is easy to be misled. We've seen a number of equipment catalogs that advertise items as being "perfect for cave diving", when in fact no self-respecting cave diver would be caught dead in them. Even the staff at your local dive store, who provided such expert advice when helping you select your open water gear, will not be able to provide sound guidance on purchasing equipment for cave diving; unless they, themselves are active, certified cave divers. This is what we here at Ginnie Springs Outdoors do. We are abreast of all current thinking on equipment configuration.

The bottom line is that you will most likely save money and make the right purchase the first time if you seek out our advice at the onset.

Students! We have special deals with major savings for you!  Please give us the opportunity to quote your equipment needs.   !