The risk is worth it!
So if you're like me, you avoid every natural cave or mine you find and patch it up with stone. Then you turn left or right and continue mining. Well for all those people who are afraid of exploring them, it's worth it. Just make sure you either leave occasional dirt blocks or something like that so you don't get lost or don't go far. The reason the risk is worth it is because mines are littered with GOLD! And caves have some too. Not to mention redstone is also common. If you don't want to risk getting lost or something that makes sense. Just remember how much gold you can be missing out on. I once found 54 gold in one exploration.
Added by: BOOM Nov 27th 2011, ID#16756