Urban Exploration, Urbex: guide fot the novice explorers, what to take with you?

What to bring with you to exploration?

Explorer in an abandoned brick factory
Explorer in an abandoned brick factory.

Exploration of abandoned places is dangerous. Before we will try to get into ruins it helps to know what you should take with you, what to wear and to know a little information about things that are helpful. Of course what we should use and wear depends on the abandoned place we choosed. However, you should always use convenience wear that it's not too visible to others.

Medicines in an abandoned hospital
Medicines in an abandoned hospital.


I personally recommend clothing to be as comfortable as possible: there are situations that we need to move quickly, run, crawl or climb. It will also be a good idea if we plan to spend a lot of hours exploring. Also make sure you will not be too visible - it's probably a bad idea to go to an abandoned buildings in pink jacket and yellow trousers. Make sure your trousers are long - usually in abandoned buildings vegetation is expanded(nettle, etc). Well, the fact is we often will look like "pigs", so do not dress in expensive fashion stores.

As for camouflage, it's a matter of taste. Too strong camouflage is bad if you will get caught: it is much easier to explain ourself in normal clothes, with tripod and camera than in the army cloths with a knife in our hand. Shoes should be sturdy and waterproof. If we are going to take pictures or carry any other heavier equipment, you should also obtain a backpack (for example one which is adapted to carry a tripod). Gloves will also be very necessary.


Mandatory equipment. I don't know many places where you won't need a flashlight. Basements and hallways are usually dark, and a normal electrical light will probably not work. I would recommend to always carry an extra batteries with you.

Explorer climbing up the wall of an abandoned mill
Explorer climbing up the wall of an abandoned mill. Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Information about place

Before we will sit into a car and drive the nearest abandoned building, you should make a small reconnaissance and gather some important information about abandoned place. Is there any security, how can you get inside, which hazards can be expected, etc. Believe me, getting such information may help you significantly during exploration.

With a flashlight in the basement, Chernobyl.
With a flashlight and a Geiger counter in the basement of an abandoned factory. Chernobyl, Ukraine.

Object / area map

Map is very useful, especially if we deal with a large area or multiple objects. It will be much easier for us to move around or get to the next building, and it will save us a lot of time. If you like to shoot, time is always valuable, the sun goes down so fast.

GPS coordinates

You have to remember that abandoned places usually do not have their numbers and streets and even if they have, you probably won't find them in GPS. Not to mention that abandoned buildings are often hidden deep in the woods or hear the mountains. Using the coordinates will always give you confidence that you will get to abandoned place and you won't spend a few hours on walking, finding and question people for directions.

First aid kit

Scrapes, cuts, cuts, bruises, swelling ... If you will start exploring, all of this will probably find you. Wearing the whole medicine cabinet with you would be the safest and the most sense, but for me personally it is too heavy. But I have always with me bandage, patches, hydrogen peroxide and ointment for bruises. Of course water and hygieni handkerchiefsc as well. This is the minimum, and it will protect us only from the basic and the smallest injuries that can happen to us.

Knife / barlow

We are going to dangerous places, so I recommend to secure yourself as much as possible to defend. Especially, that in my opinion the most dangerous thing you will find during exploration are people.

Dust / gas mask

Wearing a dust mask in abandoned buildings have a lot of sense, as there are a lot of substances that are not necessarily welcomed by our nostrils and lungs. More often, however, we can see on the pictures explorers in gas masks; this is a visual procedure, usually used to increase the attractiveness of the photograph. It also allows to hide explorer's face.

Geiger counter

During visits to places such as Chernobyl, you should purchase a Geiger counter: it shows you concentration of radiation and will alert you before you will come closer to a dangerous place.

My travels.

As you may have noticed, nothing on this site has been added for some time. But no, I did not leave this project, I'm just busy with others. Currently I am building a website called Fshoq!, where I'm writing a travel blog, where you can find both my new and those old adventures. So if you are waiting for more of my texts or pictures, this is the place I think it is worth looking into. After I will make Fshoq! site more popular, I'm going to get back to Into the Shadows, as I'm having more and more explorations of abandoned places to describe. Meanwhile, see you later!

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