12 Tips for Exploring Abandoned Places
Who loves exploring abandoned places?
When I went to Chernobyl last year, I met a young Welsh woman who had planned the trip for years. She kept using the phrase “urbexing” as she talked to me.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, urbexing, also known as “urban exploring,” is the practice of entering abandoned locations and taking photographs there.
Additionally, it appears to be the foundation of an entire subculture.
1. Remember it is illegal
Because I don’t want to be sued and you don’t want to be sued either, I want to start the list with this one.
Make sure you won’t get busted for trespassing before exploring anywhere.
I mean make sure, not “look both ways, anyone there, go!”.
You’d be surprised at how often people get busted for these sorts of things.
Even if the land isn’t maintained and the building looks like it’s been abandoned for a long time, abandoned locations are typically located on private property or are owned by a family.
That house, that land, and probably the person who owns it probably don’t like you being there.It is against the law to enter abandoned buildings by trespassing.
If you sneak into a derelict mansion, it’s tempting to think that no one will notice or care.
However, you are trespassing if you enter the property without permission, as there is a good chance that someone still owns it.
Do your research, locate the owner, and inquire about visiting.
Web Urbanist recommends referring to yourself as a photographer rather than an “urban explorer.”
But hey, what they don’t know can’t hurt them, eh? I didn’t say that.
I have been interested in abandoned places for a long time, and since I was a teenager, I have gone into abandoned places and been caught a few times.
My mom has a lot of stories about the phone calls she received after these mishaps because of this, and I don’t blame them for calling her.
It is against the law to enter abandoned houses, barns, factories, shopping malls, and other buildings because they are dangerous.
Here are my safety recommendations for exploring abandoned buildings for those who have often considered it or who explore in places they probably shouldn’t.
2.Find out why it was abandoned
If a building is abandoned, there was a reason for it to end up like that.
Was the family hurt in a tragic incident?
Did the family leave the property behind when they moved away?
Was there a natural catastrophe, such as a fire or flood?
In addition to enhancing your appreciation of the location, investigating this can help you avoid injury.
You could easily walk into a radioactive hotspot if you suddenly found yourself in Chernobyl or Fukushima and did not know what had happened.
Check if the building is secure
Do not ignore signs that tell you the building is unstable. They’re there for a reason.
This may seem obvious, but when they see an abandoned building, many people don’t give it much thought.
When Chernobyl opened to the public for the first time, many tour companies did not include a liability clause.
In Ukraine, it is your fault if you hurt yourself by falling through the floor.
However, in the West, the tour company is responsible for your injury if they fail to adequately disclose whether a property is unsafe.
An American visitor broke his ankle on opening day after entering a building and falling through the floor.
When he got back to the United States, he filed a successful lawsuit against the business.
If you fall through the floor of an abandoned building, no one will sue you; however, you may sustain serious injuries or become trapped.
The floors of buildings that have been abandoned for an extended period of time weaken and become increasingly unstable.
Always check what’s inside a building before entering it.
Do you have a couch, stove, or other piece of furniture?
Is there anything hefty on the ground that is secure?
If this is not the case, you should first test the floor by either slowly entering the building or throwing a large rock into it.
This brings me to my subsequent point:
Always bring a Friend
You are out of luck if something goes wrong while you are alone in a building and you’re in danger.
It is always a good idea to bring a cellphone with you to call for help, but you may not always be able to reach it if your arms are pinned or you do not have cell service (which is common in rural Saskatchewan).
If something happens to you or someone else in a place that has been abandoned, it might be better to leave the property and call for help than to go help them.
It is likely that the floor will fail once more if it gave out.
Better than two people trapped in a house is one.
Bring proper equipment & Pack Protection
You should bring a flashlight, whistle, and rope in addition to your camera, tripod, and any necessary photography props.
Bring a Geger counter with you when you visit places like Chernobyl to measure the radioactivity in the air.
They will usually e provided by tour guides, who will also tell you where it is safe to explore and where it is not, which can literally mean the difference between life and death.
If you find any signs at all that the place is being used for anything related to drugs or other criminal activity, get out of there immediately. You should really be checking for such things before entering, if possible.
Generally, if you find signs that the place is inhabited or in use, leave. It’s probably just homeless people, but either way, you don’t want to bug them.
Don’t be surprised to find other people
Are you planning a trip to the nearby abandoned building for Halloween?
You probably aren’t the only one who has that idea.
Even though other thrill-seekers or fellow urbexers might be present at times, it’s also possible that an abandoned building wasn’t really abandoned in the first place.
I once thought a farm near Moose Jaw was abandoned as I drove up to it.
When I went outside after parking my car, I heard dogs barking.
A furious man was immediately followed by six large dogs as they ran around the corner.
I quickly reversed my vehicle and left the location.
He could have also been a psychotic axe murderer, and I figured it would be better not to take the risk, even though I probably would have been fine.
There is likewise the chance of running into vagrants or vagrants in deserted structures.
It’s possible that former patients are still living there if the building was once a mental institution.It’s eerie, but it could be true.
Park your car away from the building if you are driving to the building.
Before heading for your car, you want to distract anyone who is pursuing you by looking around.
It’s a bad idea to leave your car running, and you probably won’t be able to start it and get moving before whatever is chasing you has caught up.
They will either hide in your car or sabotage it so you can’t leave if they find it.
Small children mix with abandoned buildings about as well as they do with dungeons.
If you see a small child, leave them alone and get out of there.
Best case scenario, they’re the child of some homeless person in the building.
Worst case scenario, they’re bait or not actually a small child.
Don’t give away your location
Someone is going to ask you where you went as soon as you post a picture online of a building that has been abandoned.
Most of individuals are simply inquisitive, yet the chosen handful aren’t.
It would be a shame for these abandoned buildings to be destroyed by an arsonist because they have survived for years.
Send them a private message if you trust them or offer to take them out on the town yourself.
In addition to being safer, more is better.