Most of the people who are new to urban exploration tend to oversee the dangers this hobby carries. They find a cool looking empty building and decide to go in all by themselves. No planning, no partner, no anything but a cellphone in their pocket. This is not something I would ever recommend someone new to urbex do. But it’s still what a lot of people do when they decide to go exploring for their first time.
The reason you should always avoid urban exploring alone is that it’s incredibly dangerous. Especially to the inexperienced explorer. Floors can cave in, ceilings can collapse, you can run into shady people, you can get stuck, and so many more things can go wrong. If you run into trouble while inside an abandonment, you’re on your own.
I’ve personally been in a dangerous situation that could’ve seriously harmed me if I had been alone. This happened two years ago, I was exploring an old two-story house with a few friends. I went up the stairs by myself and after my 6th or 7th step on the second floor, my right foot sank into the floor all the way to the thigh. I heard a loud cracking sound come from the floor, which I imagine was the sound of wood breaking and ready to fully collapse. I panicked and shouted to my friends for help.
I was lucky they were able to reach me and end up pulling me back to safety. I walked out of that house with nothing but a few bloody scratches and a small bruise on my leg. Was I alone in that situation I honestly think I could’ve hurt myself a lot more than I did.
People getting hurt while urban exploring is not something that’s new. It happens way more than you think. In some instances, explorers have died in terrible accidents.
You’re more likely to be approached when alone
I recently published an article about the 7 types of people you’re more likely to run into in abandoned buildings. If you haven’t read it, go check it out. Abandoned buildings no doubt attract a whole host of different people. Urban explorers, homeless people, junkies, scrapers, and so many more.
While you’re exploring, if you were to be alone, you’re twice as likely to be approached by other people than if you were with a group of friends. You never know what someone’s intentions are. They could be friendly or they could be dangerous.
Running into people while exploring is something that’s going to happen to every urban explorer in the world. It just is. Being surrounded by friends can lower your chances of shady people with bad intentions approaching you while you’re exploring.
You should always go with at least one other person. When it comes to urban exploring, you never know what can happen. Having someone by your side to help you if an accident occurs is always ideal. Not only should you explore with other people, but you should also be prepared. Bring the essentials when exploring abandoned buildings. Such as water, gloves, flashlight, cellphone, some sort of self-defense weapon, sturdy shoes, etc…
A joke I’ve heard is that you should also explore with someone who can’t run as fast as you, in case shit goes south.
You won’t feel comfortable exploring alone
Unless you’re not afraid of anything, exploring by yourself will usually stop you from going into certain parts of a building. Sections of a building that look extra spooky for whatever reason usually go untouched by solo explorers. Mainly because you won’t feel too comfortable being in that scary-looking room, or basement, all by yourself.
If you were with friends, things would be different. You’d want to explore every single room in that entire building. No room will go unseen by you and your friends. You’ll push each other past your fears and venture into that dark room with a weird noise.
Exploring with others will almost always have more benefits than going alone. But if you do go alone, at least do some of the following things I’m about to tell you so you can be safe.
If you do explore alone, here are some safety tips to follow
I’m doing everything I can to discourage you from exploring on your own but if you decide not to listen to my advice, then fine. The least you can do is follow some basic safety tips I’ve laid out on another article I wrote. The article is called How To Stay Safe When Urban Exploring. I’ll summarize the article below but you should probably read the whole thing.
If you scroll to the middle of the article, the very first tip I give new urban explorers is to NOT EXPLORE ALONE. But if you’re a stubborn SOB and decide not to listen to me, then at least be sure you follow some of these tips:
- Plan your trip
- ALWAYS let someone know where you’re going and when to expect you back
- Don’t rush your exploration
- Have a fully charged cellphone with you
- Take food/water/First aid kit
- Wear sturdy boots
- Avoid dangerous areas of a building
- Don’t explore at night. (Yes it’s cool but it’s also more dangerous)
- Bring some sort of self-defense weapon.
Meet other urban explorers
I understand that everyone’s situation is different. You may not have someone to go explore with you either because you have no friends or your friends are busy with their own stuff. Or perhaps your friends are not all that interested in urban exploring.
It happened to me. I got interested in urbex mainly because of the cool Youtube video I’d come across. I got hooked pretty easily and knew I wanted to take part in this hobby. My problem was that my friends didn’t like the idea of walking into old run-down buildings simply to explore them. They thought it was pointless.
So what I did was I joined urbex forums and Facebook groups to find like-minded individuals. I eventually met some really cool people near me that also liked to explore and we got together and have been exploring for some time now.
It’s what I recommend urban exploring newbies do. If your friends aren’t interested in urbex, then simply find people who are. You do that by joining forums and groups as I did. You’ll most likely come across people in your area that you can get together with and explore.
Urban exploring truly is a dangerous hobby. Anyone who says otherwise is lying or doesn’t know what they’re talking about. We venture into unfamiliar territory because we crave to see the forgotten. Often times that leads us into dangerous situations. Having no one by your side that can pull you away from danger can be the difference between life and death. Think long and hard before you go exploring alone.