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1. The permission of the landowner or cave manager must always be sought before visiting any cave. The trip leader or leader plus assistant should carry out this task. Many people find a large group on their doorstep uncomfortable.
2. If permission is refused, or the owner/manager is not home, visit another cave. The cave will still be there next year, but an illegal visit to it now may cause its closure to all.
3. If granted permission, any special conditions of access should be rigidly adhered to. Unless given specific instructions, gates should be left as found. Fences are easily damaged. Treat them with care and, where possible, avoid crossing them.
4. Farmers appreciate knowing of any unusual item noted, eg. a sick sheep, a fence with a gaping hole, etc. A simple report upon returning from the cave tells the owner/manager that everyone is out safely and makes it more likely that a request for a return visit will be looked upon favourably.
5. The cave being visited and the estimated time of return should be noted on an "Intentions Board" or a note left in a vehicle.
6. Many Government officers charged with managing cave areas require a report following a trip into one of their caves. The report should be filled out as fully as possible. It will increase your standing in the eyes of the management authority if they can see that you are serious about your caving.
7. A report should, in any case, be written for inclusion in the Karst Data Base. Your trip may not have appeared to achieved much, but knowledge is built up a little at a time. All pieces are important, no matter how insignificant they may seem at the time.
8. While above ground in a group, keep in mind that your actions will reflect on all cavers. Noisy or outlandish behaviour will not generally improve caver's image in small country towns.
9. When underground, ordinary caver to trip leader ratio should be about 5:1. A ratio much greater than this leads to a reduction in group control and safety margin.
10. The landowner or cave manager has granted permission for you to enter property under his or her control. You are therefore a guest. If you ever want to revisit that particular cave area, this should be kept in mind.
Reproduced from Nargun, Vol. 21, No. 8, Page 76, March 1989. Nargun is the newsletter of the Victorian Speleological Association Inc.
At the Australian Speleological Federation site:
VSCT is an Associate of ASF and follows these codes.