It was used freely, without any positive or negative connotations, although only rarely outside the US.
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Caving often puts the needs and welfare of a cave before those of the active participants.
It is fair to say that while caving shares some attributes of sport activities, for many it transcends sports as many cavers pursue cave science, mapping, photography, and the management and conservation of cave environments.
This is regarded as the first use of the word in the Americas.
Throughout the 1950s, spelunking was the general term used for exploring caves in US English.
Pursuing these developments, Petzl started in the 1970s a caving equipment manufacturing company named Petzl.
The development of the rappel rack and the evolution of mechanical ascension systems extended the practice and safety of pit exploration to a wider range of cavers.
Caving – also traditionally known as spelunking in the United States and Canada and potholing in the United Kingdom and Ireland – is the recreational pastime of exploring wild (generally non-commercial) cave systems.
In contrast, speleology is the scientific study of caves and the cave environment.
In 1941, American cavers organized themselves into the National Speleological Society (NSS) to advance the exploration, conservation, study and understanding of caves in the United States.