In the right circumstances caves can be ideal natural shelters.
Many times a cave will have temperature of about 52 degrees year round if the depth of the cave is approximately 10 – 15 feet below ground. After all, 3 feet into the ground the earth has a consistent temperature of 52 degrees. Some cave temperatures will be 65 degrees or warmer, just depending on the geological activity under the cave. Imagine needing to use a cave in the winter when the temperature could be negative 15 degrees. A cave that is dry and 52 degrees before building a fire is a life saver. The same applies for the summer time when the temperature is well over 80 or soaring into the 100’s. 52 degree shelter is almost unheard of, unless you can find a cave that is appropriate for shelter. This aids a survival situation into more of an inconvenience than desperation.
After you have found a cave, take these precautions;
1. Animals. Make sure you won’t be invading a mean critters territory. Wildlife may be depending on their home (cave) for their shelter and that of their young. Take caution when inspecting the cave.
2. Sound structure. Inspect the rock above you. Make sure it is not ready to fall from the ceiling along with rocks above the outside of the cave which could fall and injure or kill you at the opening of the cave.
3. Dry cave. Of course a dry cave is optimal, but if the cave has a drip or two, that’s okay. Just make sure there aren’t cracks which could let in huge amounts of water such as runoff from the mound above the cave.
4. Depth. Ensure you can take shelter deep enough in a cave in case of lightning producing thunderstorms.
5. In case of earthquake, leave the cave. The rock formations holding the cave together could shift enough to cause the cave to collapse or create a major shift which could rain down debris from the ceiling.