Risk Factors for Hiking on Lava and Caving in Lava Caves
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Walking on a'a is a high risk behavior. The only lava flows that are easily traversable are pahoehoe. The dangers, even pahoehoe lava, are primarily due to the razor-like sharpness of lava. Lava can be as sharp as glass, and one can easily cut oneself in the event of a fall. Appropriate precautions should be taken when hiking over lava. Long pants and gloves are always a good idea. The heat produced by the sun on top of the black lava surface may deter some people from wearing long pants. One should expect much greater severity of cuts on ones legs in the event of a fall when wearing shorts. The pahoehoe surface is smooth but can contain all sorts of variations in the surface that can catch ones foot and cause a stumble. It is also important you remain aware of the texture of the flows upon which one is walking, as shallow lava tubes may collapse. One should bring adequate amounts of water as dehydration can occur quickly on the black lava land.
It is important to have permission to enter a cave.
The Hawaii Cave Law has some of the strongest penalties in the nation for cave trespassing and vandalism
Risk of entering the cave around the Cave House
The Lua (hole) in front of the Cave House has very loose and unstable rock around it. No one should attempt to climb on these rocks or enter the Lua from the house side.
The Cave House lua may be entered from the east side near the road; however, even that area has unstable rock. Anyone entering the Lua and related caves does so at his or her own risk.