I know Covid is currently keeping us all inside, including the Urbexers. Now, some might not know what Urbexing is, or what Urban exploring is. Well, it’s visiting abandoned buildings to take photographs (some film videos). The basic rules is to not break anything to enter and to not take anything. Sadly, some don’t understand this and put graffiti everywhere. But that’s not what today’s article is about. Today’s article is about the tips for when you go Urban exploring, and to make sure you stay within the laws/do it legally. So, let’s go!
1. Stick to historic sites
But, historic doesn’t have to mean tidy. There are locations that are rarely preserved at all. Just make sure you use Google (or recent authorities) to figure out which legal abandonments there are for you to explore.
2. Ask permission
Once you find an abandonment to explore, check your local government officers for information about the property. A good place to start would be tax records to discover the owner’s information. Or use Google for a registry of deeds in your own town. Once you find the owner, visit them in person to sign liability releases or other paperwork that shows you’re allowed on the terrain.
3. Contact the local police
If the previous one fails, you could still access the building; if you ask for permission. Not every location allows you to enter, even after asking, but it’s an idea to contact the police when you can’t find the owner or contact them.
4. Arrange a tour
This is an easy solution for terrains that aren’t unpreserved, but of historical value. Sometimes the owner (or a preservation group) takes visitors on a private tour. Sure, urbexers don’t like being accompanied, but the guide may be useful for rare information about the history or architecture.
5. Don’t use the term ‘urban explorer’
Not when you’re asking for permission to head to an abandoned location. A ‘photographer’ gets access to such places way easier via permission or a tour. Surely everyone knows the intentions of photographers, but not everyone knows the true origins of urban exploring, as some believe this means tagging historical buildings with graffiti or break stuff. That isn’t true.
6. Don’t take tools with you
After all, the number one rule of urban exploring is to not break anything to enter. The things that have been broken before for others to enter, is okay. But don’t go break entryways yourself. So, don’t bring any screwdrivers or other tools with you. Anything more than a camera and flashlight can cause problems when the police catches you.
7. Don’t take souvenirs
Some people find it tempting to take stuff that’s scattered around the place, but it’s wrong. And it’s also the second rule of urban exploring: one shall not take any objects owned to the building. Say the owner checks the place after you’re gone and you took something, he might not trust other urban explorers. And don’t leave your litter behind. Take a picture, film a video and leave only footprints behind.
Love, Deem/Skye Lewis ❤
Image source: Pexels