Urbexing: Urban Exploration

Urban Expoloration

What is Urbexing?

Urban exploration, more commonly known as urbexing or roof-and-tunnel hacking, is the exploration of the abandoned ruins of buildings and other manmade structures.

An urbexer, or urban explorer, documents their findings and expeditions via photography and videography projects. The urbex photography community is quite big and doesn’t look like it will stop any time soon.

Since these buildings are abandoned and sometimes still owned by companies, trespassing onto the property is usually the only way to get in. This isn’t always the case, so sticking to buildings that are open to the public can help you avoid a ticket from the cops.

The Dangers of Urban Exploration

Although urbexing is an exhilarating hobby, there are some dangers that comes with it, including both physical danger and punishment from the authorities.

There are a couple things you need to watch out for if you decide to venture out on an urbex trip. Keeping these things in mind may keep you out of trouble.

Loose/Rotted Floor Boards

No one wants to fall from the second story of a building to the first floor because of rotted upper flooring. This one explains itself, so proceed on wooden upper floors with caution.


If you don’t want to risk dealing with your local police, stay out of buildings that have no trespassing signs. Getting a trespassing ticket isn’t fun, so if you do decide to enter private property, keep an eye out for the cops.

One of our favorite places, the Thorn Apple Valley Slaughterhouse, is being renovated soon, so we follow these premises while getting in there.

Homeless People

Unfortunately, there are some homeless people who do not want you in the building that they are squatting in, even though they don’t own the place. People have been chased out and attacked by a few of them.

If you hear anyone, make your presence known. If they seem a little agitated, just leave or let them know your just taking photos. Some will let you go once they find that out. Others may not, so be prepared for the crazies.

Finding Urbex Locations

Finding urban exploration locations near you is all about research. Before you make a trip out to a place, look areas up online and see where some are near you. There are tons of urban exploration sites and YouTube videos to check out.

After you select a place, check to see if it is a safe area for parking or travel. Never endanger yourself just to get a couple shots of an abandoned location.

Look up the place on Instagram or online via urban exploration forums and see if any local urbexers are geotagging the area during their visit.

Most people won’t give you the location easily, because finding it is part of the fun. Luckily, we get our information from our urbex photographer partner over at Art of Decay.

Above all, be safe and enjoy your expedition. And please, don’t destroy or break anything while you’re there. It only takes one person to ruin it for everyone.