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Thread: kts' Intro Guide to Exploring

  1. #1
    kts's Avatar
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    Default kts' Intro Guide to Exploring

    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!
    All I do is party...
    L/amE

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    Good write up. I'm sure it'll help some people.

  3. #3

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    Bring a flashlight. No one ever seems to. I have one that slides right in my bag so I have it anytime I have my camera.

    Also driving around to find locations is awesome. It only works in the city since the chances of you finding something out in the middle of nowhere is slim. But the past 2 weeks I found probably 5 abandoned spots just by driving around Baltimore.

    I also like to case a place out and drive by as many times as possible to take note of activity.

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    kts's Avatar
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    Good point on the flashlights.

    At DefCon this year phreakmonkey did a talk on UE, in it he said to always bring 1 more flashlight then you think you'll need. He followed that up with "I'm here giving a talk and not exploring, but what do I have in my pocket? A flashlight." and he pulled it out to show that he did indeed have a flashlight.

    I used to only carry 1 flashlight with me but now I'm starting to carry 2 and I'll be getting a small keychain one for Christmas as a stocking stuffer. Always a good idea to have a backup in case batteries die, your main one falls into a deep dark hole, etc.
    All I do is party...
    L/amE

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by kts View Post
    Good point on the flashlights.

    At DefCon this year phreakmonkey did a talk on UE, in it he said to always bring 1 more flashlight then you think you'll need. He followed that up with "I'm here giving a talk and not exploring, but what do I have in my pocket? A flashlight." and he pulled it out to show that he did indeed have a flashlight.

    I used to only carry 1 flashlight with me but now I'm starting to carry 2 and I'll be getting a small keychain one for Christmas as a stocking stuffer. Always a good idea to have a backup in case batteries die, your main one falls into a deep dark hole, etc.
    I have a spare in my glovebox and everyone always tells me they forgot their light but not until we are already inside. I use a 3AA mag, maybe I will buy one of those tiny mags in case.

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    Level 3 User BlueTaco's Avatar
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    Never underestimate good old fashioned paper maps either, like USGS topos. Rural areas, especially, don't have good satellite coverage. The only reason that I found PAX was that I was sitting at work one day, staring at an ADC map of xx County and I was like, "What's that?" When I got home, I checked the satellite maps, and realized it was PAX.
    Work. Buy. Consume. Die.

    -Otep

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