Friday, November 5, 2010

Urban Exploration

What is urban exploration?

Urban exploration. It goes by many names such as UE, UrbEx, Infiltration, and Reality Hacking. It is all about going into places you are “not supposed" to go. Urban exploration has 2 different meanings:
 The first one is related to the city we live in. We are enclosed, almost entrapped, in this urban environment. We follow the streets guided by the paths that are drawn, no chance to escape our average everyday existence. Urban exploration is the research, documentation, escape, exploration, and mapping of these forbidden spaces that include maintenance or service areas, utility tunnels, abandoned buildings, such as mental institutions, and basically any place where the everyday public are not supposed to be. Open a door, cross a fence, or sneak into a hole and you visit the world of Urban Exploration. You have left the normal world, you are exploring.

The second meaning is related to the abandoned places or utility tunnels themselves. Sometimes these hulking structures lay rotting in the middle of the city and sometimes they are in the quiet suburbs abandoned and waiting in silence. These are places isolated from the “normal” world, places most people will never venture into or see. This what drives you to these forbidden places and changes everything in your reality with your first step forward. With that step you are in, you are exploring.

How to do urban exploration?

- No breaking and entering. This does not mean that every urban exploration trip is legal, but never break anything to enter a site, locks included.
Try to sneak in without any damage, much like a stealthy ninja.
Ask permission to visit places via their owners as often as possible.
- Respect the places you visit. No tags, no vandalism, no senseless destruction, no theft. Do not forget that people will visit the place after you do, so let them experience it just as you did! Always try to leave the place untouched and use the motto: "take only pictures, leave only footprints..." 
- Safety: urban exploration can be a very dangerous hobby. Whether you are climbing a crane, walking on a rotten and fragile floor, or wandering near barrels of toxic waste the risks are everywhere. Good knowledge of the environment you are in is absolutely necessary and specialized equipment adapted to the conditions is often required, such as: helmets, climbing gear, respirator, gloves, lights, ..etc.

Click here to view my most recent 'Urban Exploration' in Culross, MB.

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