NSS-CDS Training Program

Stage Cave Diver


Sooner or later, most active cave divers discover they’ve gone as far as possible using a single set of backmounted doubles or sidemount. When this happens, the question becomes, “How do I go further?” The first step is to use stage bottles.

There is more to stage diving, however, than simply strapping on extra bottles. Without proper training and equipment, the added burden of carrying stage bottles can increase your gas consumption to the point you don’t actually go any farther. To prevent this, you must learn:

  • How to properly configure stage cylinders for backmount and/or sidemount.
  • The most effective ways to deploy stage bottles.
  • How to avoid environmental damage when staging.
  • Effective strategies for gas management when stage diving.

The Stage Cave Diver course teaches you this. It’s also an important prerequisite for DPV Cave Diver training.


  • Be at least 18
  • Be certified to the full Cave Diver level or equivalent by a widely recognized training organization


  • Typically two days
  • Typically three or more dives

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Course Standards

Form These are the standards instructors must follow when teaching this course. It includes information on student and instructor prerequisites, course content, skill requirements and limits of training.