What is urban exploring, you ask?
Urban exploration is the act of exploring the modern ruins and off limit places all around us. Some things of interest to urban explorers are steam tunnels, abandoned asylums, ex-military bases, and anything else interesting and off limits. Be warned: trespassing is illegal, and exploring can sometimes be dangerous. That said, it's still a very fun hobby.
What do I need to go urban exploring?
1) First off, a good flashlight. Not only will not having one hinder your ability to see cool things around you, it will also greatly lower your ability to see potentially dangerous obstacles. Remember the places urban explorers go are not maintained for the general public, or at all for that matter. It's not uncommon to see collapsing ceilings or floors, holes in the walkway, cliffs in tunnels, or a countless array of dangers. Bringing a bright flashlight is even better. You can always dim it down by covering it with you shirt if you need to avoid attention. Also something small, that can fit in your pocket is desirable. This way if you have to depart hastily, you can hide your light quickly, to avoid looking out of place.
These days LED lights are your best bet. They are cheap, bright and small. They usually take standard batteries that will last a long time, as LEDs use little power. Avoid large Mag lights as they can weight you down and be cumbersome to maneuver with.
2) Bring a toxic dust mask or even better, a respirator. Dust masks will not help with asbestos. That is because asbestos fibers are so small they go through these cheaper masks. Home Depot sells an asbestos-rated one for about $30 USD. If you are concerned about asbestos, make sure the one you buy says "asbestos" on it. The US center for disease control recommends a NIOSH rating of P100 or better. You will also want a mask because lead paint, mold, and excessive dust may and be present.
3) Gloves, definitely bring gloves. Many explorers encounter times when they need to climb a rusted ladder, lean on an old pipe for balance, or even crawl hands and knees on the floor. You wouldn't want any funky bacteria forming a culture under your nails now, would you? Here is the item to be cheap about though. The gloves are going to get real dirty and maybe even ripped so just buy an inexpensive pair.
4) Good cheap shoes/boots. Again buy 'em cheap because they're going to get trashed anyway. Many tunnels and abandoned places will have puddles of water sometimes thick enough to canoe down, so any waterproofing would be an asset. Also slip resistance is a real plus, too. Payless usually has good deals on this kind of stuff.
5) Don't forget the camera. You never know when that perfect Kodak moment will spring forth. If you are going to use a point and shoot camera make sure you have one with manual controls for shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. This is because flash not only wont help much, but will also make the photos in a UE environment look flat.
Under NY penal code charges related to urban exploring are in article 140, which deals with trespassing. Charges fall into three categories, which are violations, misdemeanors, and felonies. Violations are the most miner and are similar to a parking ticket. Misdemeanors are more serious and can result in jail time. Usually a fine, community service, or probation is the result if convicted. Felonies are the most serious and can wind you in jail and/or with a stiff fine. Also with felonies you lose basic rights, such as the right to vote or hold public office.
Section 140.00 Criminal trespass and burglary; definitions of terms.
S 140.10 Criminal trespass in the third degree.
S 140.15 Criminal trespass in the second degree.
S 140.17 Criminal trespass in the first degree.
S 140.20 Burglary in the third degree.
S 140.35 Possession of burglar`s tools.
S 140.40 Unlawful possession of radio devices.
If caught and charged usually through plea bargaining charges can be greatly reduced or dismissed. For this to happen you really should have a lawyer.
We will be discussing and signing copies of our book Long Island Oddities at the following dates and locations:
10/23/13 7PM Carle Place, Barnes and Noble
10/24/13 7PM Bay Shore, Barnes and Noble
10/30/13 7PM Lake Grove, Barnes and Noble