From building a natural disaster shelter to making an underground storage chamber, there are a lot of reasons why people have to dig a cave. With the assistance of modern-day tools, digging a solid cave is not as tedious and time-consuming as before. All you have to do is to make a plan, gather equipment and materials then you are good to go. If everything goes smoothly, you would be able to construct a stable well-supported cave by yourself without much difficulty. That being said, the entire process is far from being a walk in the park.
Although advances in technology let people dig cave quicker and safer, you still have many problems to take account of. One minor mistake in the planning or the executing is more than enough to cause disastrous consequences so you have to be thorough and precise. Don’t know much about cave digging and its demand? Then you have to check out this article if you want to dig a cave. Below are a couple of issues that require your attention before and during the dig, you must check them out. A standard step by step digging guide is also provided you could avoid beginner mistakes.
Digging A Cave: What You Have To Keep In Mind
- Put Together A Comprehensive Plan
A bit of improvising on the spot won’t hurt but it’s strongly advised that you have a well-thought plan before digging caves. Considering the nature of cave digging, you could have trouble optimizing material usages and so on if you don’t have a plan on hand. For most of the time, you should be able to draw a basic blueprint of the cave structure base on your personal needs and requirements. To be on the safe side, you could even ask for inputs from professionals in the field to further refine the design of the cave.
- Select An Appropriate Dig Site
Generally speaking, prioritize embankments as well as sides of a hill since these places allow you to start digging you cave well below surface level. If you are simply unable to see any location like that in the immediate vicinity, a secluded area should suffice. You also have to take the purpose and dimension of the cave into consideration while searching for a suitable site. The blueprint that you made earlier would come in handy here as it narrows down the number of potential spots.
- Acquire Necessary Papers In Advance
Depending on the local rules and regulations, you may have to obtain several documents in order to legally start digging. If you just outright disregard the lawns and casually dig a cave, you could get into serious trouble with the authority which is often messy. In several cases, you would face a considerable fine and also have to fill the cave using your own money. Therefore, one of the first things you need to do when it comes to cave digging is to get a go-ahead from the officials.
- Prepare Digging Gears And Tools
It goes without saying that cave digging is a high-risk endeavor, grazes and cuts are fairly common but more dangerous situations could also occur. That is why it’s of utmost importance that you put on protective gears for the duration of the project. In most of the case, wear a pair of safety glasses, gloves and rugged boots. About the tools, there are numerous options available at your disposal from the ordinary shove to the hard-hitting jackhammer. If you work around noisy equipment, it’s a rather good idea to use earplugs to preserve your hearing ability.
- Set Up Proper Safety Measures
While we all want to keep the dig as safe and secure as possible, unforeseen incidents happen all the time. As a result, it’s essential to prepare for the worst scenario and think about ways to protect your well being in a cave in. The simplest safety measure is to tie a rope around the waist and let it trail from the cave entrance to where you are digging. In the event of an unexpected collapse, rescuers could pull you out or at least locate your position much easier. Never go down to the dig site without having your mobile phone in your pocket.
The Process Of Cave Digging
- Step 1: Excavate The Soils And Take A Look At Them
Once everything seems good to go, the project could begin and the first thing to is to excavate the soil. Ensure that you could dispose of the excavated soils in an efficient manner as they may get in the way. While you are at it, check out the soils and see what type they belong to: rocky, sandy or clay. Rocky soils would offer substantial resistance so use heavy equipment if you run into them. On the other hand, sandy soils are often prone to cave in and clay soils are less likely to collapse. No matter what soil you encounter here, keep reinforcing the surrounding structure as you dig.
- Step 2: Process The Exterior Surfaces Of The Newly Dug Cave
After you manage to take out a good amount of soils and secure the space you need, it’s time to think about the surfaces. In most of the case, you should level the cave exterior surfaces and add in additional support materials such as cemented bricks and concrete blocks. The materials could even be used in conjunction with a manufactured structure to in order speed up the processing progress. You should not use woods for a permanent shelter as they not as rugged as other materials on the market.
- Step 3: Outfit The Cave With Basic Necessities And Ventilations Vents
In this final step, you need to make the cave habitable for human beings by proving it with basic necessities. If the cave is used for storage, you only have to run in some wires to mount a couple of light bulbs here and there. However, if the cave is used as an emergency natural disaster shelter, it must be equipped with water tanks, composting toilets, power generators and alike. In any case, make sure the cave possesses several vents to keep the air moving.