While some people want to get in touch with nature and go hiking through the wilderness, there are plenty of us that appreciate manmade structures just as much and want to go urban exploring. From abandoned sports stadiums to underground tunnels, urban exploration offers a lot of great opportunities to see the history of humanity by visiting once-great structures that are no longer in use.
Many would think that you can simply grab a backpack and a bottle of water and start exploring, but there’s a lot more to it than that. You have to make sure that your trip is a safe one before going on your adventure. Whether you’re new to urban exploration or have made dozens of trips, here are five things that you need to know before you go on your next expedition.
Tell People Where You’re Going
As seen in the popular movie 127 Hours, based on real-life events, it’s crucial to inform others where you’re headed before you begin any sort of exploration. You can contact family, friends, or anyone who cares about your well-being, and let them know the exact or general area you’ll be exploring. Give them instructions to check in with you every so often and have a plan of what to do if they don’t hear from you after a certain period of time.
Bring Adequate Supplies
No matter where you’re going, having access to the proper supplies matters. It’s vital to survival, especially in the case of an emergency. Whether it’s medical supplies, filming equipment, food, water, toiletries, or backup energy batteries and communication devices, supplies are something you’ll regret not having. It’s better to bring too much than too little. If you must travel light, bring the necessities and be sure to go back to replenish supplies as needed. It will benefit you and those around you if you pack smart.
Know The Area
Whether you’re going somewhere local, or somewhere completely foreign to you and those with you, it’s a good idea to have a map of the area. Even if you think you know the area like the back of your hand, you may not know all there is to know about an area. Bring an updated and recent map of the area you’re exploring so you don’t run into any confusion, or get lost. Getting lost in an unknown area can be incredibly dangerous. If you do get lost, a map can help you regain your heading, or at least give you an idea of where you are if you need to call for help and describe your location.
Bring a Translator Device or Know the Language
If you’re taking your exploration to land that’s foreign to you, bringing a translation device will make your trip so much easier. It’s good to learn how to speak and understand at least the basics of a language foreign to you. If you aren’t confident in your abilities and want to make sure nothing gets lost in translation, a translation device will come in handy. Plenty of online retailers sell relatively inexpensive translator devices similar to a cell phone, or in earbud form that help translate spoken conversations back and forth. There are apps that can translate typed messages as well.
Do NOT Trespass
It should be obvious, but trespassing is illegal and not very safe. Urban exploration is exciting and it’s hard not to get carried away and delve deeper into areas that are off-limits, usually for good reason. If you’re told to stay away from a specific area, it’s taped off, or even if an accessible area simply seems unsafe to you, don’t venture further and don’t take the risk. It won’t be worth it and you could end up getting injured, or disrupting the structure. Be smart and explore safely.