It is always helpful in knowing what you should take
with you on an urban exploration trip. We've listed a few things you may
consider taking with you if you decide to go on an adventure of your
own. There are links for each item listed to where you may purchase the
item online. Of course, use your saving senses if you can find an item
cheaper at a local shop. We have tried to link to items that are of good
quality at a reasonable price. To see our equipment list,
click here. You may also visit the
OES Gear Shop where you can purchase
highly recommended items for urban exploration and paranormal
You'll need a bag or backpack to carry all of your
gear in. The pack should be large enough to hold a flashlight, extra
batteries, camera, extra clothing, first-aid kit, water, snacks and what
ever else you decide to take. You should choose a quality backpack that
will be very durable to ensure you don't loose your gear while
Click Here for a wide variety of backpacks available on Amazon.com.
A flashlight is a must-have tool for all urban
explorers. You will need to see in those dark places some how! We prefer
using MagLite flashlights. They are extremely durable, sealed to prevent
explosions or fires, and could last many years with proper care. Always
have a back-up light in case your primary light is damaged or runs out
of batteries. You may also want to consider a headlamp to keep your
Click Here for MagLites and
click here for a headlamp.
While this is more of an optional item, we usually
carry a spotlight of at least 500,000 candle power with us on all
explorations. Since a spotlight can usually light up an entire room or
drain, you must exercise caution if you decide to use one. Nothing will
attract more attention than an abandoned building glowing like a
Click Here for a cordless, rechargeable, one million candle power
You may be wondering, "Why do I need a respirator?!"
Well many abandoned buildings are full of this nasty substance called
asbestos. Asbestos is a VERY lethal substance that was commonly used as
insulation years ago. When asbestos particles are breathed in, it
lingers in your lungs and will eventually kill you.
Check out our Safety
Section for details. You will need a respirator with the
correct filters that are rated for asbestos to guarantee protection. Be
aware that paper facemasks offer no protection against asbestos.
Click Here for a respirator with the correct filters included.
Gloves will protect your hands and keep them dry in
wet conditions. We suggest you purchase a pair of gloves that are
comfortable, form-fitting, water resistant, and durable.
Click Here for a pair of gloves that meet all four requirements.
You will need to keep hydrated during your
explorations, especially during the warmer months. Be certain to pick up
a bottle of water or two before you head out. Refrain from drinking
sodas or other carbonated beverages as they do not provide hydration at
all. You may also choose to combine your need for water with your need
of a backpack by purchasing a CamelBak system. In either case, use a cap
or something else that will protect the area where you put your mouth to
avoid contamination from the nasty elements you will likely encounter.
Click Here for a choice CamelBak backpack.
A pocket knife is a very useful tool to have around.
Although it is more of an optional item, a member of each of our
explorations usually carries one. The knife you choose should be sharp
Click Here for our preferred pocket knife.
Although a first-aid kit is an optional item, we
highly suggest that you take one along. There are a wide variety of
injuries that could occur while exploring. We recommend taking an
all-purpose first-aid kit that has plenty of supplies.
Click Here for such a kit.
You will probably want to take a camera along to
document the abandoned building, cemetery or drain you're exploring.
Taking photos and showing everyone what you found during your adventure
is half the fun! There are three basic types of cameras you may
Click here for a digital camera,
click here for a 35mm camera, or
click here for a one-time use disposable camera.
If you plan to split into groups to cover a large
area, radios are a great way in keeping in contact. FRS/GMRS radios are
the best you can buy without obtaining a license from the FCC. Under the
right conditions these radios can reach miles away. They should work
fine in most places you will explore.
Click here for a set of two FRS radios that are rechargeable and
have a 22 mile radius.
Take a roll of masking tape with you on your
adventures. Some locations are very large and you can get lost in
seconds, especially in tunnels or drain systems. Using masking tape is a
non-permanent way of marking where you have been to ensure you can
always find your way out.
Click Here for masking tape.
Carry at least one extra set of batteries for each
piece of equipment that requires them, especially your flashlight. We
prefer to use rechargeable batteries as they pay for themselves after a
couple of uses. Make sure to check what size batteries your equipment
needs before heading out.
Click Here for a selection of rechargeable batteries, or
click here for a selection of normal alkaline batteries.
below are optional items. They are no where necessary for urban
exploring, but they are cool to have!
Night vision systems are a really cool toy to have in
your pack. As long as you have one of these with plenty of batteries,
who needs a flashlight?! You can see through the dark without any light
at all. Night vision scopes come in a wide variety of sizes, styles,
strength, and price ranging from a few hundred dollars to thousands of
dollars for the more advanced systems. Thermal cameras are another
option for seeing without ambient light. These units are extremely
expensive but require absolutely no light source as they produce an
image based on temperature.
Click Here for a night vision scope or
click here for a thermal camera.
A Global Positioning System (GPS) is an extremely
useful tool for urban explorers. Using multiple satellites in orbit
around the planet, a GPS unit can determine your exact location anywhere
on Earth within a few feet. No more getting lost while looking for a
place to explore. With many GPS units, you can tag the coordinates of a
place you've visited so you'll know where to find it again.
Click Here for a portable vehicle GPS unit,
click here for a GPS unit you can use with a laptop (our preferred
click here for a handheld GPS unit.
What better way to remember your exploration than to
have a video! And as a plus, it will double as a way to catch paranormal
evidence if you're in to ghost hunting. Make sure to buy a brand that
includes a night vision feature so you won't need ample lighting in dark
Click Here for a Sony MiniDV camcorder or
click here for a Sony 30GB hard drive camcorder. If you have a
click here for tapes.
If you're the type who likes to ghost hunt while
you're exploring, the next few items are for you. Using a digital voice
recorder or a microcassette recorder with an external mic, you may be
able to catch ghostly voices on tape known as Electronic Voice
Phenomenon (EVP). Visit our
EVP Page for more details and recording tips.
Click Here for a digital voice recorder,
click here for a microcassette recorder, or
click here for an external microphone. If you have a microcassette
click here for tapes.
Another piece of equipment that you may want to take
for ghost hunting is an Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Detector. These
instruments detect slight changes in EMF that may be associated with the
presence of ghosts. EMF detectors come in several models that you may
purchase, but make sure you're buying the meter for your needs. Most
retail EMF meters detect AC fields, which are manmade. These EMF meters
will pick up interference from things like electrical wiring,
microwaves, and televisions. Only a few EMF meters detect
naturally-occurring DC fields. This is what you want to purchase if
you'd like to detect the presence of paranormal activity.
Click Here for the TriField Natural EM Meter, which detects DC
Click Here for a basic EMF meter, or
click here for a digital EMF meter with a built-in thermocouple
thermometer...but be warned, these two models detect AC fields. Use
common sense and be aware of your surroundings at all times with
whatever meter you decide to purchase.
A thermocouple thermometer can be used to detect
changes in the ambient air temperature instantaneously. This is
extremely useful if you are trying to document cold/hot spots during a
paranormal investigation. IR thermometers are useless as a ghost hunting
tool as they only detect surface temperatures, but may come in handy for
Click Here for a very well priced thermocouple thermometer, or
click here for a EMF/Thermocouple meter combo.