Nearly every major city around the world is home to hundreds or possibly thousands of abandoned buildings. While most people will go so far as to cross the street rather than walk in front of an abandoned building, there are a select group of individuals who are eager to venture into vacant and oftentimes dilapidated properties for the sake of adventure. This activity is known as urban exploration, or urbex for short.
No matter which city you plan to visit, urbex is something that can be done during your trip. For instance, those traveling to Bangkok could walk up an abandoned skyscraper. Here are some basic guidelines for first-time urban explorers before getting started:
1. Respect The Law
You’re technically trespassing anytime you choose to urbex. With this in mind, it’s important to know where you stand in the event the police come, since you have no right to be there and they have every right to question you. Disrespecting law enforcement will only make matters worse. In the event police stop you during an urbex adventure, remember to be polite and courteous. The chances of being put in jail are already very low, so showing respect will dramatically lessen the odds you’re put in jail or fined.
2. Prep Your Phone
Make sure to turn your phone on silent before entering an abandoned building. Otherwise, you may draw too much attention when someone sends a text or makes a call. Furthermore, you don’t want your brand new iPhone XR to be damaged from all the crawling, climbing, and squeezing into tight spaces, so make sure to browse iPhone XR cases for one that can keep your device safe from harm.
3. Wear Proper Footwear
Abandoned buildings are dirty, dank and typically littered with trash big and small. Swap your sneakers for a pair of waterproof boots whenever deciding to go on an urbex adventure. Your boots should also be steel-toed if possible. This will reduce the chances of being injured while walking through an abandoned building.
4. Always Avoid Going Alone
As is the case with hiking and other activities which take us off the beaten path, it’s a good idea to have company when urban exploring. Two heads are better than one, and having at least two people present means someone can go get help in the event the other is seriously injured or gets stuck.
5. Always Practice Caution
Abandoned buildings are naturally going to be a bit dangerous. Rotten floor joists, crumbling stairs, and broken windows can all lead to serious injury to those who are taking the risk of exploring abandoned property. Always look before you leap during an urbex adventure, and if something looks structurally unsound, do not take the risk. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
6. Bring Extra Flashlights
Flashlights are an essential piece of kit for an urban explorer. But don’t make the mistake of bringing only just one. Have a spare flashlight in case the first one breaks or loses battery power. Bring spare batteries if possible. You don’t want to be in the midsection of a sub-basement of an abandoned building when the light goes out and you have no other means of illumination.
Pick a random city and there are sure to be a number of noteworthy abandoned buildings worth exploring. Some cities have more than others, but urbex locations are seemingly everywhere. Before you go, make sure to prepare accordingly. Urban exploration is a fun and exciting thing to do, but like most thrills, there is a level of risk and danger involved. Be considerate of the risks and dangers, but make sure you have a great time.
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