I wrote most of this up a while ago for another site, figured it might be of some use here.

kts' Guide To Getting Into Urban Exploring

DISCLAIMER: I'm not responsible for you getting injured, arrested, killed, or laughed at. Use your head.

I've been doing this for a while now, here's how I got my start:

I began by reading a thread that Carnage posted on another site. I would look for clues to a site's real name or location in the photos that Carnage posted. I found most most of the sites Carnage posts via satellite and saved them for future reference.

From there I headed over to the forums here on Urban Atrophy and UER (http://www.uer.ca) I introduced myself and found some people to go exploring with (or I went solo to a number of locations, most locations are perfectly find to go to solo, in fact many of them are better going solo.) I also used the main image gallery page on UA and the history of the places to try and hunt down their real names and where they were located.

RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH

UEing is all about research. Research old hospitals, military bases, industrial stuff, etc in this area and hunt those locations down on satellite maps. I used to Google Maps exclusively but MSN Live's bird's eye view is REALLY handy. Drive through Baltimore, DC, etc and scout for places. There are TONS of places out there, some of them have been explored to death but a lot of them are probably still untouched.

Before I was known and granted access to the private areas of UA and UER I had to research everything and I was able to locate almost every location in the main galleries on UA. Try and do that, and then expand from there and look up other places. Topozone is also another good resource.

Start posting on UA and UER. Say Hi. Organize a trip to a location you've discovered (even if it's a well known place, you can probably find someone who wants to go.) Private areas on UA and UER once you get access to them is the best for this but also talk to people via PM. Don't post a location's real name in a public area, people don't like that. Hint at where it is or use commonly known fake names people use for locations (Pal State, Pax, etc)

If you want to know about a place don't post the question in a public area, that's just begging for you to be flamed. Try PMs. You may get ignored by a person or two but it's a hell of a lot better than getting flamed to hell and written off by everyone.

Ethics

Take only photos, leave only footprints.

Don't smash things, spray paint things, steal things, etc. Leave the location the same way you found it. Moving an object a bit to get a shot is OK but even now it's something I really don't like to do and rarely do so.

Now get out there and explore something!