Fidelity: request for input


New member
I am in the process of writing an extended essay on the topic of fidelity, both in general and as it relates to caves, caving culture, and the larger natural world. Instead of discussing fidelity here or elsewhere, I would invite anyone who wishes to write down their thoughts, then either share them here or send them to me via private message or email. I am unaware of any previous examination of this subject in spelean literature, and so am interested to see the ways, if any, that cavers are able to think about it in relation to their activities. Submissions of any length, style, or focus are welcomed. Please do not submit anything that you are unwilling to have partly or wholly repeated, in print, credited or not according to your wish.

This message is being posted on UKCaving, Cavechat, and Tag-net. Feel free to post links elsewhere. I would like to get the most diverse and complete response possible.

Thank you!


Active member
I thought I understood the meaning of the word fidelity but can't, for the life of me, see how it relates to caves.

Is this another case of "divided by a common language"?


New member
Oceanrower said:
I thought I understood the meaning of the word fidelity but can't, for the life of me, see how it relates to caves.

Is this another case of "divided by a common language"?

No, and believe it or not this is a useful response.


Well-known member
I too am struggling. I assume not fidelity as in accurate reproduction, but the loyalty towards person/thing ? It's quite a vague brief you've given, and I don't think I've come across a Tag-nut before, or indeed it's brethren, the twin horrors of dangleberries and winnits.


New member
I?m fairly new to caving so I don?t know if my input has much value.

The club I joined doesn?t have too many females but from what I get from the lads in the pub it seems they all joined single and hooked up with someone in the club. I presume they were single but they might not have been. I know that two of the lads were not single and one is still seeing a girl outside of the club as well as one inside.

Good luck working all this out.

How are you going to factor who doesn?t tell you what they really mean like the exit polls after an election?



Well-known member
Well, members of other clubs are obviously infidels, so use it in the sense of brotherhood, rather than reproduction...


Simon Wilson

New member
Writing this in between trombone practice. It's one of few fully chromatic instruments along with fiddle, swanee whistle and kazoo which require a reasonably good ear to achieve a level of fidelity acceptable to most listeners ears.


Active member
I used to be faithful to just one club but then I moved and was swayed into the arms of another. It's very difficult keeping them secret from another. There you are wet and exhausted after a hard excursion, and suddenly there's a familiar face! quick hide! It's not your weekend to be here! Or you've been seduced (kicking and screaming each to their own preferences) into a gear shop with one club, and then next meet with the other it's all explanations, oh I was just wandering past some shop or other a while back trying to look innocent. Caving fidelity is hard.
You big tart Caving_Fox.

It's the cost that bothers me. Being faithful to one is relatively cheap, but then another takes your eye and it's romantic weekends away at a rural farm with all the associated cost.  Then, you see some others dressed in rubber, enjoying watersports and you want to join in.  Then you have to buy the specialist equipment.

David Rose

Active member
I do think this forum is a little strange at times. Fidelity? Well, any investment based on bonds or shares carries an element of risk, and Fidelity is no different to other providers in this respect. I believe the firm has a decent reputation, but you never know: unforeseen events could wreck your savings if you rely on them too much. The usual advice one tends to see in newspaper personal finance pages is to spread your risk by having several different pots of money, depending on your resources, but to be honest, I think you would be better consulting a financial adviser than a bunch of cavers.


This was my first taste of caving infidelity.

Since then I've become a serial adulterer.

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Fidelity is the truth obtained by an insight into oneself. Only the individual can cognitively grasp this truth as it is untransferable. Sadly the higher the price of fidelity to the truth which one sees in the judgment of conscience the greater the temptation to infidelity. Such is the human condition. ( See Karol Wojtyla's View of the Human Person ). Such a concept as fidelity can apply to any part of life including caving if you take the meaning as be true to yourself. Understand yourself as you are very complex and and thoughts and ideas will whirl in your mind. Look at caving as a relief from the complexities of modern existence and an escape from modernity. Take your cave fidelity with you and appreciate the things on a spiritual level. Be " Mindful " and never rush appreciating the " moment " which once departed is lost forever. ( My humble photography works at this level ). Only by being at peace with yourself can you be entirely happy.

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
This poem exhibits Fidelity. It's called Desiderata.

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.


Well-known member
We had a Fidelity radiogram. For the youngsters on this forum, a radiogram was a piece of 1960s furniture with which you could play your Beatles albums/singles - if you could afford the mindboggling expense. You could also listen to the Light Programme, the Home Service and Radio Luxembourg. Whilst the 2 watt (4 watts peak) amplifier was of very high fidelity, the record player was absolute rubbish and would quickly reduce those fabulously expensive records to a nightmare of pops, jumps and scratches.

So what's all this to do with caving you might well arsk.

My record collection contained Mendelssohn's Fingal's Cave, The Caves of Altamira by the Dan and Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict by Pink Floyd, which I guess is a relevant as any other entry in this thread.