Recommended Equipment

A black backpack with a freakishly large zipper.

If you're going to start exploring abandoned buildings, there are some useful things you should bring along with you. We'll take a look at some of them here.

  1. A backpack. This is almost essential as it will carry almost all of the other equipment I outline here.
  2. A good first aid kit. You won't know how important this can be until you actually need it. It should contain bandaids, some kind of antiseptic, and never underestimate how useful a pair of scissors can be.
  3. Good boots. You should wear something that's really going to protect your feet. Ideally, they should be high enough to support your ankles, and the soles should be tough enough to resist nails should you step on one.
  4. Leather gloves. As much as protecting your feet is important, protecting your hands is just as important. Look at some of the gloves offered by companies that supply police forces.
  5. Food and water. Regardless how long you intend to be, bring them both. You never want to end up dehydrated, and you never know how much longer you're going to be than planned.
  6. A cell phone. Even if you keep it turned off or muted, you should always have one with you just in case of emergencies.
  7. A GPS. This is an invaluable tool, especially for getting to places of interest that may be a bit off the beaten path.
  8. A good tough flashlight and fresh batteries. Personally, I have always loved the tried and trusted Maglight. Not only is it bright and rugged enough, but in the worst-case scenario, it can help defend you. Another incredibly handy light source is a headlamp. What I really like about these is that they're hands-free and always shining where you're looking.
  9. Clothing needs to be a balance of the practical and camoflage. By this, I certainly don't mean wearing combat gear. That's just silly. I mean that you need to blend with your surroundings. If most people around the area you're exploring are wearing casual clothes, showing up in your best paramilitary outfit is likely to stand out somewhat. You want to be wearing what anyone else around you might be. Also, wear things you don't mind getting dirty, ripped, etc. and that are going to offer the best protection against heat, cold, cuts, etc.

Of course, there is always more you can bring including breathing masks if you're worried about the air quality. Don't forget to pack a camera if for no other reason than to record memories. Think for a moment, however, how each piece of gear you bring might appear to the police should they stop you. Anything that could be seen as a break-and-enter tool will only make things worse for you. Leave the huge knife, martial arts weapons, pry-bar, lock-pick set, etc. at home. All these will manage to do is change your simple trespassing fine into a break and enter charge.

Planning your outing well, and equipping yourself properly will go a long way toward ensuring a fun, safe exploration.