Cave Map & FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions about CaveSim 

1. What is this thing?  
    It’s called CaveSim, and is an obstacle course built to look like a cave.  Here's our map (click it to enlarge).  Some artistic license has been taken to make the map more easy to read.  This is the first version.  The next version will meet the requirements for the NSS Cartographic Maps Salon.
CaveSim map
Check out our photos to explore CaveSim virtually: Photo Gallery

2. What is it for?  
    CaveSim is for teaching people how to go caving safely and softly: How to avoid hurting caves, themselves, or other cavers.

3. How does it work?  
     Participants don helmets, lights and other protective gear (like kneepads).  When a caver (or group of cavers) enters CaveSim, recording of their score begins.  As they crawl, they try not to bump any of the cave formations.  If the caver bumps a formation, sensors detect the bump, and a buzzer sounds.  A computer keeps track of how many times each formation is hit ("damaged").  Some of the artificial formations mimic incredibly fragile formations by giving a damage point when participants even get too close.  The caver continues to move through CaveSim until they get to the exit.  They can then look at their score and the next caver can start caving.

4. Who can use CaveSim?
    Anyone willing to follow the rules of CaveSim may use it.  CaveSim can be used by people who have never been underground and by experienced cavers alike.  CaveSim can even be used for search and rescue training.

5. What are the rules of CaveSim?  Cave safely, cave softly, respect the cave, respect the cave operators, respect the other participants.

6. What is CaveSim made of?  
    The formations are made of plastic and metal.  The walls, floor, and ceiling are wood and special coatings.  The outside is painted with recycled paint.  No real cave formations were harmed or even touched in making CaveSim.

7. Who made CaveSim  
    Dave Jackson and Tracy Jackson created CaveSim with great support from Blue Star Recyclers (, and many other individuals and groups.

8. Does CaveSim travel?  Yes, CaveSim has traveled thousands of miles around the country.  Contact Dave at about your event.

9. How big is CaveSim?
    The passage is generally 3 feet tall and 2.5 feet wide.  In some places the passage is smaller.  Parts of CaveSim can also be set up with a 5 foot wide passage for rescue trainings.  CaveSim currently has 60 feet of passage with multiple routes and multiple levels.

10. Will I get stuck?  
    Probably not.  If you feel like you’re getting stuck, back up and come out.  CaveSim has emergency exits.

11. What do formations in CaveSim look like? 
Here's a picture.  Also check out our Gallery page.  Did you know that we have a talking bat in CaveSim?

12.   Will I get dirty?  
    There is no real mud in CaveSim, but you may get dirty from crawling.  Dress clothes are not recommended.
13. Do I need cave gear?  
    CaveSim provides helmets (with headlamp), knee and elbow pads, and gloves.

Frequently asked questions about REAL caves and caving

1. Isn’t it called spelunking?  
No, it’s called caving!  Spelunking and spelunk are terms coined by a reporter in the 1940’s, and cavers think of spelunking as amateur caving.  See  Cavers rescue spelunkers. ☺ Oh, and it's called CaveSim, not SimCave or Sim Cave or Sims Cave.
2. Are there any caves in Colorado?   
Yes, Colorado has many caves.  Anyone can visit Cave of The Winds in Colorado Springs, and Glenwood Caverns in Glenwood Springs.  Both "show caves" offer a variety of tours at at different difficulty levels ranging from lit walking tours to crawling wearing a helmet and headlamp at different prices and time lengths.  Check out US Show Caves Directory.

3. What's inside a cave?   
Caves contain many types of formations like the ones in the pictures above.  Cave formations are called speleothems.  Check out Dave Bunnell's great Virtual Cave

4. How can I learn more about caving?   
Check out our Links page (or our old Links page).  There, you'll find links to caving organizations like the NSS.