Urban exploration explores abandoned urban structures from underground railways, old buildings, tunnels, and more. The world of Urbex is full of beautiful sights that can be eerie and breath-taking all at the same time. For this beauty, this hobby often attracts photographers and adventurers alike who want to share the beauty that goes behind the decay of these old structures and the stories they tell.
When exploring abandoned places, there are a lot of dangers that come with this thrilling hobby, and if you aren’t prepared, you could be seriously hurt or face serious legal charges. Here are some of the dangers you may face when you make a choice to take on urban exploring.
The buildings you explore through urban exploration are in a state of decay. They aren’t up to code, and there’s no one coming to make repairs. There are holes in the walls and floors, and it’s easy to fall through floors that are no longer sturdy. The buildings also run the risk of collapsing as termites and rot could damage the foundation.
Exposure to Harmful Chemicals
When you are exploring old buildings, you are exposed to the harmful elements they once used to build and decorate their structures. You can be exposed to lead paint, asbestos, and carbon monoxide. Exposure to these chemicals can be harmful to your health and even lead to death.
Being Caught by Landowners or Law Enforcement
The locations that are best for urban exploring are often off-limits or have no trespassing signs posted. Often these locations are not monitored, and it’s possible they may not care that you visit. When you explore places like this, you run the risk of running into landowners or law enforcement because trespassing is against the law. Charges can be pressed against you, and you could face hefty fines or even jail time.
Encountering Dangerous People
Abandoned buildings and structures will commonly attract people as safe havens away from the public. Homeless people, criminals on the run, squatters, and more can call these abandoned buildings their home, and they can be fiercely protective. You never know how someone is going to react when you come across them. Not only that, you want to be on the lookout for dangerous items. Many of these squatters can leave behind drug paraphernalia such as needles, broken pipes, etc. You have to be aware of your surroundings.
Wildlife and Pests
In many of these structures and abandoned places, nature has begun to take over the areas, and that extends far beyond the flora that has crept in. Wildlife tends to move into these places and take residence because of the warmth and shelter they can provide. Depending on the location of the structure, the animals can be small, or they can be bigger and more dangerous. You never know if a mountain lion or bear has chosen this area to raise their cubs.
How to Stay Safe While Urban Exploring
The best way to ensure you are safe during your exploration is to ensure that you are well prepared. When you are ready with the right tools and have a thorough understanding of the location, you are more likely to prevent any dangerous situations or injuries. Here are a few simple tips to help you ensure your safety is a top priority.
Explore in numbers – Whenever you can, try to explore with a friend or a group of people. Safety in numbers is the key, especially if you come across dangerous people. Having friends can also mean someone can help you if you are in danger.
Scout and Research the Location – Before you go, be sure to research the maps and do some research on the area. You want to look up what the local wildlife looks like and take note of any dangerous landscapes you’ll have to traverse through. A good idea may be to drive to the location just to have a look around and get a lay of the land.
Talk to the Locals – To add to the research element, try and talk to the locals. Many of them are familiar with the dangers or what to expect in the area. They may have some information on the history of the building that can help you feel safer when you do go.
Pack Safety Gear – Just in case something goes wrong, you need to be sure you have the right gear on hand. Pack a first aid kit and other practical items that might be a good idea, like a tactical knife or pepper spray.
Urban exploring can be exciting and an adventure you’ll never forget, but you must remain safe as it can be perilous. Stay vigilant of your surroundings and enjoy the beauty of the abandoned.
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