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International Training Camp for Young Speleologists on the Swabian Alb

From July 28th to August 11th, 2018
Tent camp at the caving club building in Blaubeuren - Seißen

Recommended age for participants: 16 years and older

Caves are geotopes and biotopes and thus sensitive climate archives which are worth to explore.
Research and protection of those climate archives and their current climatological conditions being indicators for climate change is an actual and important European concern.
Speleologists can support the exploration and protection of those climate archives by international cooperation.
A good training is the best precondition for research and caving activities.
Therefore we offer different training courses and a wide supporting program covering all important subjects of caving. Due to small groups the training will be very effective.
An additional intention of the camp is to meet other young cavers. You can establish ties, talk about common interests, hobbies and culture and perhaps meet again in your home area to visit karst areas and caves for future joint research.

The camp is intended for young people who want to start with caving or who already have some experience and want to extend their skills.
You should be able to communicate in English or German language.

We will offer the following courses:

I. Techniques for Cave Exploration including Rescue Topics

Main topic of this course is to learn solid basic skills in cave exploration. There will be topics about ropes and knots, security, rescue, rappelling in shafts, rope ladders and single rope techniques (SRT).

II. Cave Surveying
A detailed cave map is essential for cave research. You will learn the basics techniques of cave surveying and how to draw a cave map with a computer (Therion). You will train the use of DistoX together with a PDA and you get to know other different surveying equipment like compass and clinometer.

III. Biology, Fauna und Eco-Systems in Caves
Methods for collecting cave fauna and flora will be shown. You will take samples in a cave and learn how to draft documentation and interpret the data. Course participants should develop a concept about the status of flora and fauna in a cave and become more sensible about the cave as a fragile biological system.

IV. Geology:
Geology is investigating how caves form but also delivers valuable information for cavers.
We will learn the basics of karst geology such as:
  • Forms of karst structures: dolines, ponors and resurgences
  • Fossils and minerals, stratigraphy and geological methods of work
  • Karst caves: speleogenesis and contents of caves
As weather situation allows, we will make field-trips on the Swabian Alb.

V. Electronics in Caves
Electronic Radio Direction Finding, Communication techniques through the earth, GPS navigation. Theoretical presentations and practical work.

VI. Logging of Climate Data in Caves
Equipment for measuring climate relevant parameters and transferring that data to the surface will be explained. Theoretical basics and practical use of the equipment will be demonstrated.

VII. Cave Climatology
An introduction to the subject of climate in caves is given. What is climate in caves, why is it done, cave protection and exploration. Air temperature and air circulation measurements will be done in theory and practice. It will be explained how to plan an own project and how to do the data analysis.

VIII. Applied Hydrology
Measurements of water drain and water pile up experiments will be made to calculate unknown cave volumes behind springs. We will also do salt tracer experiments and analysis. Theory and practical work will be shown.

IX. Palaeontology and Archaeology
Together with a specialist of the national museum for natural history you will look for pre-historic bones in a special district and compare these bones with others from the museum. You will learn to name these findings.
We offer you field trips to the caves in the world culture heritage (since 2017) in our region.

For all participants the following additional presentations will be offered:
  • Regional geology, speleogenesis, cave contents, biospeleology, knowledge about technical caving gear, cave rescue, cave protection, bat protection and much more...
  • Field trip on the Swabian Alb.
  • Field trip: Landscape- and prehistoric hike in the Schmiech-, Ach- and Blau- river valleys.

The evenings in the camp mainly serve a social purpose. If you own a musical instrument or sports equipment, please bring it with you to the camp.
The camp is located in the caving club building of the “Höhlenverein Blaubeuren” near Blaubeuren-Seissen. We can offer a big room, restrooms and showers and a campfire place for comfortable evenings. You can camp at the edge of the forest around the building. There is also enough space for motor homes. Electricity will only be available occasionally.

Please take the following basic equipment for caving with you:
Overall (Schlaz), sufficiently warm underwear, e.g. under-overall, warm track suit or equivalent, rubber boots with a good profile, helmet with electrical lamp (no carbide lamp), spare lamp, rechargeable battery loader.

The participation fee is: Age 25 and younger € 270.00 (Sponsored by the EU)
Age 26 and older € 360.00

This includes:
For 16 days: accommodation (recreation room, place for a tent, restrooms with showers), 3 meals per day, support and training in small groups by experienced cavers, excursions and entrance fees for common activities, a CD-ROM with the course documentation, youth group insurance (health, third party liability, accident) for participants aged 25 and younger for the duration of the camp. Please bring an international health insurance certificate to make processing easier.
For participants age 26 and older we strongly recommend to have their own insurance (health, third party liability, accident including salvage costs as offered for example for “Deutscher Alpenverein DAV”-members).

An advance payment of € 50.00 is oblighatory. Please send it immediately after receipt of the confirmation of your course registration. The remaining fee must be send until June 30th, 2018.

For registration please fill out one of the registration forms with a computer (prefered). There are 4 variants available: DOC-files or ODT-files for open-source text programs, both in german or english.
Save the completed file and please add your name the the file name.
Print out only the first page and add the required signatures on paper.
Scan the page or make a photo of the lower half of the page.
Send this photo with the completed file to:

For more information, addresses, etc. please see: or call: +49-7394-1566, mobil: 0174-7463011

Please send your registration with email to:
Or with regular mail:
Petra Boldt
D-89601 Schelklingen-Schmiechen
Phone: +49-7394-1566, mobil 0174-7463011

From 4.5.18 – 11.6.18 I can’t get regular mail because I am on vacation.

Closing date for registration is June 30th, 2018.

Due to the limited capacity, we recommend immediate registration.

With the confirmation of your course registration you will get a detailed map where we are located and a list of what things you should bring with you to the camp.

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