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11 Safety Tips for Exploring the Abandoned

Safety Tips for Exploring the Abandoned

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I know I am not alone when I say exploring an abandoned location is thrilling! Exploring the remnants of what was once a beautiful theater, mall, school, home, amusement park and so on is an experience that takes you back in time and lets you visualize the location stuck in time from the moment it was left. However, exploring these locations can be potentially dangerous (not that that will stop any urban explorer!). Here are some tips for safety when exploring these locations:

1- Research the location before going. Know where you are going and any specific dangers you should be looking out for. Learn the history of the location if you can-it will make you appreciate and respect the location a little bit more and make it far more interesting!

2-Bring proper equipment. Entering an abandoned building comes with many dangers. You never know what you may be exposed to or what injuries you may sustain. Being prepared will minimize these dangers. For essential equipment while urbexing click here or for a complete list of items to bring click here.

3-Be aware that you may not be the only one there! If you are interested in exploring a location chances are someone else is to. There is a possibility that you will run into someone else exploring or in some cases you may run into a local who inhabits the building. Don’t be surprised if you run into an animal or two as well!

4- Bring a buddy! Never explore an abandoned building alone, follow the buddy system. You never know what could happen in the building with rotting floors and ceilings. In the case that you need help having a buddy to fetch it if you are unable to may be a life saver. It will also be helpful in the situation that someone is there that has ill intentions. There is strength in numbers!

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5-If you encounter someone never run! The reason for this is twofold. For one the building is abandoned-it is old and deteriorating. You never know how strong the floor is or what may jump up and grab you. Second if you run you will look like you know you are in the wrong!

6- Never give away the location! While urban explorers seek only to photograph and not to harm there are people out there who vandalize and steal from abandoned buildings. Giving away a location may leave it vulnerable to being disturbed and destroyed by someone who does not respect the location and its history.

7-Be aware of wild animals that may call the location home! Chances are you are going to run into some kind of animal at some point. This does not necessarily mean they are dangerous, but be cautious and know how to respond. Never run or show fear!

8-As soon as you get home-shower! You will be walking through asbestos, mold, and dirt and will undoubtably track some out with you. When you get home-remove any clothing worn, throw it in the wash, and take a shower!

9-Don’t take souvenirs! Never ever take anything out of an abandoned building. Although it may seem like no one wants it and that it has been left behind it still belongs to someone and may have some value to them. Respect the property and history of the location.

10-Dress appropriately. Obviously you don’t want to show up to an abandoned building with shorts and flip flops on. Wear long pants, bring a jacket, and wear boots or strong, supportive sneakers.

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11- Accept that some places are just off limit! Urban exploration is thrilling, but some dangers are just not worth the risk! If there is no easy access to the location do not enter! Never, ever break and enter! If you can’t find a spot to just walk through accept that you may not be able to explore this location.

One last thing I would like to mention is to be sure you are always respectful of the location! Where ever you are it was (any may still be) owned by somebody. Appreciate the history associated with it and don’t take things out, leave trash behind, or vandalize anything!

Now that you know how to be safe while exploring you may be planning your adventure! Check out some essential gear that you should bring!


  1. You forgot to mention getting permission to be there. I have managed to get the approval of the property owner and/or manager 9 out of 10 times, and often someone will provide me with a key to the property. Being someone who enters with permission makes photographing the location much easier and far less risky.

    • Yes! That is a very important point! I always strive to get permission, it makes the process of photographing the location much less stressful! Thank you for mentioning that!

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