EXPLORER'S STARTER PACK
The advantage of this beautiful passion that is urbex, is that it is within the reach of everyone! For the past 3 years we have been sharing our maps and we have noticed how diverse the people who practice urban exploration are. It is within everyone’s reach to go on the road to these places full of history, but we must not forget that urbex can be dangerous. It is therefore advisable to be well equipped before setting off on your adventure. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the equipment needed to practice safely :
Have a good visibility
A bit obvious, but in places that have been abandoned for decades, holes are everywhere! Consequently, it is very important to have something to light you efficiently. This rule applies to night-time explorations but also to day-time ones! A smartphone lamp can help, but it is better not to rely on it alone. Therefore, opt for lamps with a strong and easily rechargeable battery and never go with only one lamp. It’s never nice to run out of light when exploring, especially if you’re exploring underground. So here is a small selection of our good references:
Headlamp will have the advantage of leaving your hands free, which can be handy if you need to go for a walk. It lights up to 100m in front of you and is waterproof and rechargeable via USB cable. Although it is very practical, we do not recommend that you go exploring with only this type of light.
- A small but powerfull torch, that can be taken anywhere should also be part of your urbex starter pack! Sturdy, easily rechargeable, lighting up to 1000m, 10hrs autonomy, almost blinding light when set to maximum, this is a must have.
To easily charge your lamps, phones and other devices, we recommend this multi-port USB to plug into your car! This way you will never run out of battery.
Protecting yourself from the environment
You will visit all sorts of places during your career as an explorer. Expect to come across some perfectly preserved buildings and others that are barely standing. So equip yourself accordingly: broken glass, rusty nails, asbestos and dust are common in abandoned places.
- Protect your hands, choose a pair of thin gloves. This will allow you to maintain good motor skills and to handle your equipment easily without having to put your gloves on all the time.
- Preserve your lungs. Asbestos is unfortunately often present in places that have been abandoned for several years. Odourless and often hidden in the roofs, it must be protected from it. In addition, urbex are generally very dusty. For this purpose, you will need a FFP3 mask. Disposable masks are one solution, but you can also opt for a reusable mask that can follow you everywhere!
Wearing shoes with thick soles is vital. So put away your vans and opt for rangers or safety shoes instead. The floor is almost always littered with broken glass, but also with rusty needles and nails. A thin sole won’t last long.
communicate with teammates
To conclude we will end with the most important thing: Don’t take unnecessary risks! Take time to analyse the environment before exploring, especially if it is a spot you are visiting for the first time. Trust your instincts and if in doubt, turn back. Now you know what the explorer’s starter pack is, you just need to find your next destinations and take your best pictures.
It is never wise to go exploring alone, and even when accompanied, it is important to be able to report a problem to your team at any time, because an accident can happen!