Helpful Resources for all your underground needs.
Whether you are looking for information about cave conservation and exploring, what gear to buy and where, or what organizations you might want to get involved with, the resources below should help you find what you are looking for.
Note: In order to protect the spaces we love The Nashville Grotto does not provide information about where to find caves or how to gain access or maps to those caves. Entering a cave without permission is highly discouraged and can often result in fines or trespassing charges from landowners. If you are interested in joining us on an official grotto sanctioned trip, please contact us or check out our membership page for information on how to become a member.
- Nashville Grotto - Safe Caving: A Practical Guide (or) How To Survive and Make It To The Mexican Restaurant by Jason Lovvorn [PDF]
- NSS Guide to Responsible Caving [PDF]
- NSS Guide to Safety & Techniques
- Cave Safely, Cave Softly NSS Brochure [PDF]
- NSS Caving Equipment Checklist
- NCRC -National Cave Rescue Commission
- First Aid Courses -Red Cross First Aid
- NSS Medical Section -Medical information for cavers
When purchasing gear for caving—or any activity when your life is at risk—it is important to put your trust in retailers who have the best record for testing the gear you are purchasing. Buying gear from un-trusted places such as Amazon, Wish, or Wal-Mart can often lead to sub-par gear or complete knock-offs. Trust the best, and here they are:
- On Rope 1: Caving, Rescue, Industry - The certified source source for all your gear needs.
- Inner Mountain Outfitters: Inner Mountain Outfitters is your best resource for caving, climbing and rope access equipment.
- Karst Sports: Shop for helmets, harnesses, rope, headlamps, carabiners, and other gear for sport and professional from Petzl, Black Diamond, and others.
- Cumberland Transit: Helping Nashville be #VentureReady Since 1971
- REI Co-Op: From backpacking to cycling to staying in shape and more, outfit your outdoor activities with the latest gear, clothing, and footwear at REI.
- American Cave Conservation Association (ACCA)
- Bat Conservation International (BCI)
- Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
- National Park Service (NPS)
- Karst Waters Institute (KWI)
- Project Underground (PU)
- The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
- United States Forest Service (USFS)
Merlin Tuttle's Bat Resources
- Finding, Protecting, and Restoring America’s Historic Bat Caves
- How Disturbance Harms Hibernating Bats
- World’s First Artificial Bat Cave
- Finding, Protecting, and Restoring America’s Historic Bat Caves
- How I Photograph Bats
- Climate Change and Bats
- White-Nose Syndrome
- Rabies in Perspective
- Exaggerated Disease Warnings
- Bat Flash! NatGeo’s “Virus Hunters” spreads groundless claims about bats
- COVID-19 Impact
- Good Intentions Can Still Leave a Bad Taste
- Merlin Tuttle’s Bat Conservation Membership
- Friends of South Cumberland State Park: The mission of the Friends of South Cumberland State Park is to aid and assist the park management and staff in meeting its objectives, and to inform, educate, engage, and inspire its members and the public to protect, conserve, and enjoy all the resources of the park.
- Galavant Outdoors: female-centric outdoor recreation group that embraces discomfort in pursuit of growth, and relish the small details of a trail just as much as the view. Galavant challenges the idea of who an outdoors person can be, proudly supporting our LGBTQ+, POC & differently-abled peers who are typically pushed to the margins of the outdoor industry.
- Sierra Club Middle Tennessee Group: Our mission is to Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet. We are volunteers dedicated to exploring, preserving and sharing the beauty of our nation's and Tennessee’s wild spaces.
- Tennessee Trails Association: The Tennessee Trails Association is a non-profit (501c3) organization, founded in 1968, whose mission is to promote the development of a state wide system of hiking trails.
- TennGreen: ennGreen works to conserve land where people and nature can thrive. Through sound science and partnerships with landowners, other organizations, and state, county, and local agencies, TennGreen identifies and conserves biologically important land and open space across Tennessee for wildlife corridors, critical habitat, and public benefit (e.g., recreation).
- The National Speleological Society (NSS)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
- Geological Society of America
- American Geological Institute
- Caving News
- The International Union of Speleology
- Karst Information Portal (KIP)
- National Cave and Karst Management Symposium (NCKMS) Steering Committee
- National Caves Association (NCA)
Events & Festivals
- Winter Adventure Weekend -Held at Carter Caves
- OTR -Hosted by The Roberston Association
- Cave Capers -Hosted by CIG
- VAR -Hosted by BATS and DINGO
- TAG Fall Cave-In -Hosted by the Dogwood City Grotto
- NSS Events List
- Wormfest -Hosted by DUG
- Karst-O-Rama -Hosted by GCG
- Speleofest -Hosted by the Louisville Grotto
- SERA Carnival -Hosted by the Nashville Grotto
- FloydFest -Hosted by Horse Cave
- Florida Cave Cavort -Hosted by FSS
- Hodag Hunt -Hosted by WSS
- Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Cave on Earth - by James M. Tabor
- Complete Caving Manual - by Andy Sparrow
- Encyclopedia of Caves - by William B. White (Editor), David C. Culver (Editor), Tanja Pipan (Editor)
- Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver by Jill Heinerth
- On Rope: North American Vertical Rope Techniques
- The Longest Cave - by Roger W. Brucker (Author), Professor Richard A. Watson Ph.D. (Author)
- Trapped!: The Story of Floyd Collins - by Robert K. Murray & Roger W. Brucker
- Speleobooks: Resources for caver merch of all kinds: stickers, magnets, books, t-shirts, rocks, geodes, jewelry, patches and more!
- Bat Goods: This site is operated by the folks at Speleobooks, with more than 40 years of experience at handling bat-related products of every description. A percentage of every purchase from Batgoods.com is donated to help support bat conservation, research and education around the world.
- Waterproof Paper: Our goal is to provide outdoor writing supplies to people who work and play where these products are needed. The products that we sell are used by hunters, hikers, fishermen, fire fighters, surveyors, construction workers, scientists, naturalists and many other types of people.
- Cavers Paradise: Cavers Paradise is a Caver Owned Campground in the heart of TAG.