Potholing - what is the attraction?

Going into confined spaces underground does not appeal to me. I have friends whose tales leave me shaking…

So I am glad this chap has been located. phew

I did quite a bit of caving/potholing when I was younger (in the scouts). Started in Devon, a cave known locally as Bakers pit (or maybe pot), it was a “dry” cave in Buckfastleigh. Cycle lamps on cheap safety helmets and boiler suits… get covered in mud and then a dip in the river Dart to get cleaned up.
Graduated to the much bigger and wetter yorkshire limestone caves. Some interesting underwater bits :astonished:
Life seems so much more sedate now…

Potholing, what’s the attraction?

One credible theory is that, for some, the experience of being confined in a dark tunnel recapitulates the birth experience of an infant: the struggle to leave the womb and pass through a narrow, confining yet strangely cooperative channel; and the astounding sensuality of the experience of autonomy, of the will, of personal physical power, and of being loved.

Such an experience can hardly be described, or ‘remembered’, but it can exert a lifelong urge to re-experience it for some, like speleologist and escapologists, and - of course - bondage devotees and “re-birthers”. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


You know Peter sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Interesting though that Temple Grandin the autistic designer of more stress free abbatoirs noted that when the animals are compressed they are calmed. She herself designed a compressing device which squeezes her whole body ( a giant hug if you like) which she used when the world outside was causing her stress.


You can get weighted counterpanes for exactly that.


I didn’t know that. Although I think at the moment any counterpane would be too much to bear.


There are lots

even the sheet is a bit too much…:upside_down_face::wink:

I guess the attraction is views like this:

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I believe that pressure waistcoats / suits are regularly used in assisting people with autism cope better and enable them to function and cope better

Exactly, but that is probably the exception. It’s something different, not many people do it,(or have the balls to do it) and can be quite exciting in a perverse sort of way.

It is one of the few opportunities left to set foot in a place that no man has ever been.
Mark, my introduction to pot holing was also down Bakers Pit whilst taking part in a Dartmoor Outward Bound course.

Muddy, wasn’t it😂.

When I first went there, the entrance was in the middle of a rubbish dump, and some fuckwit had decided to set it on fire. Then they put the big drainpipe/steel staple ladder stuff in.
There was another "dry "cave system nearby that I explored a couple of times, maybe Pridamsleigh.

@David_GAY said, You know Peter sometimes a cigar is just a cigar

Well, the birthing of a child is not rolling a cigar, David. I know most men are highly sceptical of and uncomfortable with any account of pregnancy and childbirth that isn’t couched in mechanical terms, and don’t well tolerate it’s existential mysteries.

But your insightful reference to the calming effect of the ‘squeeze’ is well-known, and it is the powerful wave-like contractions and alternating periods of relaxation that trigger the response in the child to actively participate in her journey through the birth canal.

I think most midwives would endorse the account I offered, and most mothers too.

For all the psychobabble, potholing has absolutely no relationship with giving birth/being born. It’s not all about getting into, and getting out of tight places.


@Mark wrote, " It’s not all about getting into, and getting out of tight places".

Nobody said it was.

And no need to get yourself into the breech position about an innocuous theory, Mark…but there you go, big boys often do, and nature usually has a way of sorting it out…:hugs::joy:

I think the attraction s something deep down…



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