New members – forum guidelines
Ok so maybe you have something to share with us or maybe you’re looking to start exploring. Either way skills or ability will vary with each person but remember…As a new member you may not have the experience that other members do any site visited without due care can be VERY dangerous.
Things to remember:
• Always be aware of your surroundings
Is there asbestos or chemicals or even pigeon excrement? All these could affect your health either short term or long term and could have serious effects. You should always remember to take a dust mask at the very least. Ideally you should ensure you have a P3 respirator as this will protect your lungs from asbestosis.
• Breaking, entering and the law.
By entering a plot of land you are not breaking the law. By entering a building you are not breaking the law. By entering a tunnel you are not breaking the law, and so on. These are trespass which is not a police matter. This could result in a fine if the land owners decide they want to prosecute but this is very rare if you show a genuine interest in the place and show you mean no harm.
Breaking a lock is breaking the law. Popping a window is breaking the law. Any form of forced entry is a crime and laws do apply. These can vary depending on the location. If you were in a disused building then you could be arrested for breaking and entering. If in a live site you could be arrested for theft, attempted burglary or other similar offences. If you enter a particularly sensitive site like an airport, London underground or similar then you will more than likely be arrested under terrorism laws.
Remember, by entering an open location and taking photos, you are not breaking any laws and cannot be charged without reasonable evidence that a crime has been committed.
However, if you break or force entry to a location then you are breaking the law and serious charges will be applied if you are caught and could very easily lead to prison. Its simple…don’t break in or force entry.
• Other things to remember
Other than the fact that you don’t want to be carrying a lot of kit with you on an explore, there are other reasons you should only take what you need and think about what you have on you.
Carrying a lighter or matches with no cigarettes could suggest that you are attempting arson on a location.
Carrying marker pens without a very reasonable explanation could mean that you intend to graffiti a site.
Never take any form of illegal substances with you to any location, for any reason, ever. This will just end it tears if you are caught with them.
Don’t carry any tools or pocket knives as this could appear in the eyes of the law as ‘going equipped’. You get the idea.
• When entering a location.
Remember to always carry food of some sort with you and a bottle of water to stop dehydration. Also if you become trapped or stuck then you could be there for hours or even days but this is very unheard of.
When entering a location then ensure you have a fully charged mobile phone on you encase of an emergency. (Remember this will not have a signal underground).
Agree with a trustworthy person on what time you will be out by and stick to it. Ring or text them to let them know you are entering the location and inform then when you leave at the agreed time. If anything happens then they can call 999 stating where you are, how long you have been there and where you got in. This could save your life!!!
• Photos and equipment…
Look through photography forums to find out how to photograph these places well. It is usually done using exposures and lighting them with torches.
Many explorers have lost cameras whilst in these places. In low light in a location you don’t know there are many ways you could damage or break your camera or even have it stolen. I won’t go into detail but would recommend that you have insurance on any valuable items you take exploring with you.
• Kit list
This can vary depending on where you are going, lighting, and what equipment you have but as a guideline I would recommend:
Torch, spare batteries for your torch, a backup torch, bottle of water, food, rucksack, tripod, camera, gloves, dust mask or respirator, gas detector, rope, first aid kit.
• Final thoughts
I know this all seems very serious and boring and the main aim of exploration is to have fun but this isn’t a sport and this isn’t a walk in the park. Urbex/exploration must be taken very seriously and anyone looking for cheap frills should go to a theme park or drive a fast car etc.
If you are not careful and competent then you could cause serious injury or even death to yourselves or others.
Take it easy and start with plotting rooms and deep shelters that have been done many times before and need less thought and preparation when being explored.
Get some reports up, meet some new faces, learn from other explorers and most of all…
Have fun and stay safe