Finding abandoned biuldings: The only way to start exploring is to find somewhere to explore! Probably the easiest way to do this is search up “abandoned ________ (insert your town/city)” and look for articles and posts from other explorers on abandoned buildings near you. You can get an idea of what you are going to find, dangers, things to see, security, etc, but usually urbex websites (this one included) won’t tell you exact locations. Not sharing exact locations is a general rule of urbex, as an area can be destroyed when vandals and taggers find a way in. I usually use google earth to locate abandoned buildings, and then use street view to search for a way in and see what the area is like.
This is an example of an urbex site from google satellite. A decrepit looking structure in an overgrown lot is almost always abandoned and explorable. (this particular site has been demolished, don’t bother looking for it)
What to bring: Every urbex site creates its own situation, but in general, you won’t need that much equipment to go exploring. A flashlight is usually helpful. Safety gear like respirators and gloves are recommended and often necessary. A multitool can also be a good thing to have, but if it can be labeled as a weapon by the police leave it at home. NEVER BRING WEAPONS, DRUGS, SPRAY PAINT, OR OTHER ILLEGAL STUFF as your punishment can go from “don’t do it again” to jail time if you’re caught trespassing with this stuff on you.
My Standard Gear, respirator, light, and multitool
Getting in: Sometimes getting into an abandoned building is as easy as walking through the front door. Sometimes it’s as hard as jumping a fence and climbing to an open window on the second floor. Usually it’s somewhere in between. Look for broken windows, collapsed walls, and other areas you may be able to squeeze through. Never pic locks or break anything to get in, as this can increase your legal troubles exponentially. Also, the more complex your entry, the harder it is to explain to someone that you just “wandered in”.
A glass-free, open window like this is a jackpot for the urban explorer
What not to do: Don’t steal things, don’t break things, and don’t spread location specifics. Not only do these things increase your legal troubles, they also make the area less interesting and appealing for other explorers. A common phrase in the urbex community is “Take only photos, leave only footprints”. It sounds obvious, but try not to get caught, as this can lead to entry points being closed off and security getting tightened.
Have fun exploring and take lots of photos!