The Cave-In is the Southeastern caving community’s legendary yearly celebration of Caves and Caving. Attendance hovers around 1000 of your best caving friends. TAG is also the main fundraiser for the Dogwood City Grotto – to keep us going and helping new cavers, teaching safe vertical practices, and protecting caves and access to them. Any profit we make above operating expenses is returned to cavers in the form of Grants to various projects around the caving community.
Fireworks photo by Chuck Canfield
You must be an active NSS member or a guest of an active NSS member to attend. Your NSS membership status data is fed to us every 24 hours but relies on the NSS office to process your membership or renewal. This can take a few days to iron out, so if you join or renew give it a few days to show up in our system. You can register online here (this is the preferred method It’s via Paypal, though YOU DO NOT NEED AN ACCOUNT), or you can print and mail in a registration form. You can save a few bucks over the at-the-door price by Pre-Registering for the event from July 1st through September 1st. After that, the price increases to the regular rate, AND YOU MAY ONLY PRE-REGISTER ONLINE, NO MAIL IN’S ARE ACCEPTED AFTER SEPT. 1st. The Cave-In begins at NOON ON THURSDAY and ends SUNDAY AT NOON. If you arrive early, plan on staying elsewhere until Thursday. You will not be allowed in early.
Salamander photo by Chuck Canfield
The vast majority of people camp out for the event – it’s half the fun! Besides, the closest hotels are roughly 20 miles away. The camping is primitive, with no electrical hookups, but the campground is excellent, dispersed style and mostly flat. All campsites are pre-existing. You are not allowed to cut trees to ‘make space’ or ‘create a campsite’. All campsites are first come first served. There are clean portable toilets in multiple locations across the site and a 10 stall shower house with hot water. There are gear washing/decontamination stations onsite also. We try to allow individual campfires, but only as burning conditions approved by local authorities allow. We also have a large caving gear vendor area, with 10 or more of the finest vendors each year. We also have hot food available on site, and a wonderful dry pavilion if you don’t want to cook. 10lb. bags of ice are available from the food vendor. CELL SERVICE IS IFFY ON SITE. PRE-PLAN ACCORDINGLY!
Hammock Photo by Chuck Canfield
Yes and no. Smaller campers OK (less than 20′). Originally we all car or tent camped – so the site was not designed or intended for RV’s. All sites are first come first served. If you have a camper more than 20′, you will have a tough time finding room for it. All campsites are pre-existing. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CUT TREES TO “MAKE SPACE”. The roads are heavily wooded and narrow, with minimal improvement and large trucks will sink into the mud. There are no electrical hookups, and we do not allow generators (even quiet ones built into campers) so plan on boondocking. We also do not have any dump stations. We much prefer tents or small pop up campers. BE WARNED – WE HAVE HAD TO TURN AWAY LARGE 5TH WHEEL, AND CLASS A CAMPERS DUE TO MASSIVE SIZE.
Besides caving your tail off, there are lots of things to be done on-site or nearby. Firstly, there are many excellent caves only a few miles from the Cave-In, and hundreds more within an hour’s drive. We have a climbing contest, 5k run, Morning Yoga, Walkabouts, hiking, biking, nearby canoeing / kayaking, excellent nearby top-rope, bouldering and TRAD/bolted rockclimbing, campsite decoration contest, sub-parties, Friday and Saturday night bonfire socials (as conditions allow) Movie night, Slideshow at the pavilion, cave information booth, squeezebox, (in)famous caver shaming, great live music… heck we even have our own radio station! And, we’re cavers, so you know that we’re some of the friendliest of folks – stop in and chat for a bit, anywhere you find yourself!
No. We do not allow any off-highway vehicles. We do welcome bicycles, and personal battery powered medical scooters. If you have a hard time getting around, we suggest parking close to the vendor ring. (Vendors only INSIDE the ring – campers must stay outside the ring) If you bring your personal medical scooter, be warned that all roads are gravel at best, and it’s usually muddy to some extent.
No. Animals or pets of any kind are not allowed. Please leave your furry friends at home!