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UER Forum > Rookie Forum > Backwoods Rural Exploring (Viewed 2009 times)
Aran 


Location: Madison, WI
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Even when unnecessary, it just looks cool.

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Backwoods Rural Exploring
< on 7/12/2017 3:08 AM >
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This weekend, I'll be exploring a new terrain- backwoods rural abandonments. Almost everything I've explored up until now has been urban, and I'm familiar with the hazards and risks of urban abandonments.

However, the abandonments I'll be exploring this weekend (there's a whole resort full) are known for being extremely sketchy. They are deep in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and some are along the backroads. This is the type of area where shotgun- wielding loners chased my boss, mother bears are known to roam, and cell phone service is spotty at best.

So, any tips for this different terrain? How much different is a backwoods rural exploration from a inner city exploration?




I was born too late to explore the world, but too early to explore the stars. So instead I'll explore the city, and see what I can see.

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oldNdustT 


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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 1 on 7/12/2017 3:43 AM >
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TICKS !! Yuck




DarkAngel 


Location: Alaska, Washington, Idaho, or Hawaii
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His operating system is unstable.

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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 2 on 7/12/2017 6:01 AM >
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Completely different thing to be honest. Biggest things I'd mention:

-making sure you know exactly where you are going.
-leaving a map of that location with friend/family with a 'if I'm not back or call by X time, call the police' note. In case of no cell service, it can save your ass.

On your person:

-bring a good blowout/trauma kit and know how to use it. This includes quikclot, a SAM split, and Izzy wrap, plus other stuff. BUT if you get injured, a kit like this can and will save your ass.
-extra batteries
-reflective/high visibility paracord and or trail marker tacks in case it gets dark. That way you can still find your way back to your vehicle by following the reflective stuff
-bear/wildlife defence at minimum bear spray and/or an air horn
-map and lensatic compass (if you know how to use one) or GPS
-bug spray
-gaffers tape. Useful for a million things, including closing the gaps on your clothes (ankles and wrist for example) to keep ticks/whatever out.


In your vehicle:

-extra batteries, food, water, survival stuff to stay in your vehicle.
-extra fluids for the vehicle, can or two of fixaflat, a good jack, prepped spare, etc.
-overnight kit just in case (minimum of a space blanket, some kind of heat control, extra water, etc)
-shovel, saw, come along, etc to get unstuck or clear a trail
-bug netting (personal or area)

Personally, and take this from a guy in a tiny spot in Alaska, there other things as well.

-I have a 5w UHF radio on me, plus a high output one built into my truck just in case.
-Firearm on my person, plus a long gun in the truck or on me as well.
-just added a military signal roll to the truck
-larger medkit in the truck plus food, water, propane stove, survival kit, etc.
-a bunch of other stuff that likely isn't too relevant outside AK



[last edit 7/12/2017 6:03 AM by DarkAngel - edited 3 times]

skatchkins 


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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 3 on 7/12/2017 3:06 PM >
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For these types of situations, I ALWAYS have my camera out, visible around my neck. If someone sees you first, they can make non-threatening assumptions hopefully first. I have found this, plus even a nicer (polo with a collar) shirt helps them arrive at maybe not why you're actually our there, but what you probably aren't out there for. Like the cowboy who didn't know what the hell we thought we were doing, but also knew we weren't the cattle rustlers returning for more of his livestock.

IMO also, if spotted, fight your instinct to turn and hide and walk towards a property owner with a touristy wave and a handshake ready if you can sneak it in before any other words are exchanged. Ask a question to get them thinking a different route, like "Man this place is great, I've been trying to figure out some history of the area, do you know how long ago this was built?" You could have also been following some deer out for photos and gotten sidetracked.

I'd say member, Peptic Ulcer, has this stuff pretty down pat too. Although he's a little more creative in his stories. It doesn't hurt either to have a couple local names at hand, like a nearby ranch, hill name, anything to show you are actually there to learn and explore. Topo maps are great for that, including finding structures that you can't Google Earth through the trees to actually see.




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blackhawk 


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manes lupus

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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 4 on 7/12/2017 3:17 PM >
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Run if you hear banjos playing...


Posted by skatchkins
For these types of situations, I ALWAYS have my camera out, visible around my neck.


When I'm carrying a cam and lense worth a couple grand unless I'm shooting it stays stowed.
One trip is all it takes... and a face full of cam won't help your looks any.
I make eye contact a priority. Never had any issues... but than I've always been lucky like that.

Only time the cam is in my hands and I'm not shooting (never wear them on my neck, but do keep a tether on it) is when I want a weapon.
I wouldn't hesitate to put a pro cam into a bad guy's head, it wouldn't hurt it

Keep tripods out of sight when not in use. They can been misinterpreted as a rifle.
Been there, done $that$



[last edit 7/12/2017 4:29 PM by blackhawk - edited 1 times]

Non ducor, duco
brain-vomit 


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dammit.

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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 5 on 7/12/2017 3:37 PM >
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Agreed on everything DarkAngel and Skratchkins said.

Definitely always better to be overprepared than to chance being stuck, especially in an area like that. Really good idea on letting someone back home know exactly where you are too. I'd also read up on what to do upon meeting a bear and whatever other kind of animal could be roaming around just in case.

And yes having the camera out and being friendly definitely helps avoid hostile situations with surprise run-ins! A couple of weeks ago, some friends and I drove out to rural Quebec to check out an abandoned church and graveyard from the 1800s. A farmer saw us and came to ask what we were doing. Ended up talking with him for a few hours and getting a ton of history about the area from when his great grandparents bought the place back in the 1920s, told us about an old house not far that belonged to the minister of that church and gave us permission to trespass and check it out (Plus we got to befriend his massive dog, always a plus lol).




2Xplorations 


Location: Texas by God
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Dude, do you even explore?

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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 6 on 7/17/2017 2:36 PM >
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Not being prejudice towards city dwellers or anything but if you have to mark your trail to find your way back to your car, youre just not ready for the bush.

Also Im all for being prepared, carry as much junk (junk=weight) as you want but the best thing you can carry is knowledge and experience. You cant buy those at REI or the Army Navy surplus outlet.

Spend time in the backwoods learn how to navigate and travel. The simple fact is most of the stuff you can find to explore in rural areas is near a road so a wilderness expedition type assault effort probably wont be required. Just a lot of walking if you cant drive in.

Good luck. Wear good boots.




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blackhawk 


Location: High Plains Drifter
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manes lupus

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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 7 on 7/17/2017 4:01 PM >
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Posted by 2Xplorations
Not being prejudice towards city dwellers or anything but if you have to mark your trail to find your way back to your car, youre just not ready for the bush.

Also Im all for being prepared, carry as much junk (junk=weight) as you want but the best thing you can carry is knowledge and experience. You cant buy those at REI or the Army Navy surplus outlet.

Spend time in the backwoods learn how to navigate and travel. The simple fact is most of the stuff you can find to explore in rural areas is near a road so a wilderness expedition type assault effort probably wont be required. Just a lot of walking if you cant drive in.

Good luck. Wear good boots.


Truth.
Better memorize the area before you go in.
Water is the most important item and the heaviest.
Don't bring useless junk.
Bush towel, walking stick, hat, shades, no shorts, long sleeves.
High top lace up boots; protect your ankles.
You can't afford to be incapacitated by an injury; think before you move.
Never expect to be rescued if you fuck up.




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DarkAngel 


Location: Alaska, Washington, Idaho, or Hawaii
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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 8 on 7/17/2017 9:48 PM >
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Posted by blackhawk


Truth.
Better memorize the area before you go in.
Water is the most important item and the heaviest.
Don't bring useless junk.
Bush towel, walking stick, hat, shades, no shorts, long sleeves.
High top lace up boots; protect your ankles.
You can't afford to be incapacitated by an injury; think before you move.
Never expect to be rescued if you fuck up.


True, BUT being able to navigate/find your way out if you get lost or turned around is also a vitally important skill. Lots of people have gotten turned around and ended up dying/starving/whatever within a few miles of a major road because they couldn't find their location.

So both are important. Knowing the target area and truly understanding how to find your way out with a minimum of gear if something does happen.

+1 on water. You can go for weeks if needed without food, but trust me when I say that the 3 days without water is spot on. Out of personal experience, I can say that I'd have made a deal with the devil and murdered someone for a cup of water after 3 days.

(I was in the hospital NPO, so despite IV hydration/nutrition, I was still having the GI side issues of severe dehydration/lack of food)

Useless junk is... useless. Ounces make pounds, and pounds make pain if you have to hump it out. Is also why I leave the heavier stuff in the truck and take the safe minimum in with me.

GOOD high top boots. Cheapo walmart ones will fail you in an emergency. If you are serious about stuff like this, get a good set of Danner, Red Wing, etc and break them in properly. Not doing so will lead to bloody feet and agony walking.

Btw, that does remind me. Grab a pack or two of moleskin for the bag. Helps a ton if you have to do long hikes/rucks. Just cut a strip of it and put it on the back of your heels/ankles. Saves a lot of wear and tear on your skin.

Most of all, understand and know what you are doing. Even experts can and have gotten killed over silly shit they forget or skip. If you aren't 110% sure of your skillset, bring someone who knows.

Mostly I say this about Alaska, but nature in general fits it. Respect the land and understand it, or it'll kill you.




blackhawk 


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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 9 on 7/17/2017 10:32 PM >
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DA, 3 days with no water is a very long time indeed.
Never tried it, don't want to.
Water is one the most important first aid items to carry, always. To clean wounds, to rinse poisons or eyes. No water means a very limited lifespan at reduced energy levels.
A couple power bars that have sodium and potassium in good amounts can save you in the desert.
Tobacco is also useful especially in fatigued states. The energy boost to the brain is tangible.
There's a good reason it was put in K-rats.

Good boots will save you from severe sprains, even broken bones. It's far to easy to twist an ankle and the middle of nowhere is not the place to do it. High top boots protect the Achilles tendon from direct injury including snakebites.




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Peptic Ulcer 


Location: Katy, TX
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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 10 on 7/18/2017 11:36 AM >
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I may be misreading this but from what I understand the OP is more concerned with "encounters" than with the survival aspect of RUREX. With that in mind, +1 to Skatchkins advice about the attire and having the camera out. If you can manage it, an awe inspired naivite look is also nice when approaching the place. I usually shout out "Hello! Anyone home!" This helps to show that you arent threatening.

With that being said, you have no idea what you may be getting into as far as inhabitants. Since its in the back woods you may be stumbling on a meth lab or grow operation in which case things COULD get ugly REAL fast. Look for signs. Listen for generators and if there may be a chemical smell or the smell of weed. That muddy, half buried water hose or PVC pipe running to the building may not be part of the original setup. If things just dont "feel right" turn around and walk back to the car, dont run.

Rural explores are both delightful and terrifying at the same time. The quiet spooks me the most but is also helpful. The fact that you are alone and isolated from nearby assistance adds a level of danger to rural explores that just isnt there with your typical urban explore. Thus much of the other advice you have been given is good as well. Be prepared and let folks know where you are and when you should be back.

My experience with rural folks has been fantastic. Yes you have your crazies but in general most country people are nice simple people who usually cant understand why anyone would want to go into some old place to take a bunch of pictures. They also REALLY dont like people trespassing on their land and are suspicious of strangers. Keep this in mind when considering your actions towards these folks. It's much better to engage them in conversation than to run off and risk either being shot at or having the cops called.

With that being said good luck and be safe!




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stealthwraith 


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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 11 on 7/19/2017 7:58 AM >
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I can't speak much to the whole survival part of things since I've been a lazy city girl for more years than I care to admit; but I can say that squatters in hard to reach locations REALLY don't want to be found for any variety of reasons. Keep your awareness even though you think you're alone in the middle of no where. If you're making a crap load of noise they can hear you coming; but you're going to drown them out so you
can't hear them.

And bump on the whole tripod mistaken for a rifle thing. When I worked outside of town and occasionally stayed there alone to cover the owners vacation my instructions were to greet all unexpected visitors with the double barrel shotgun first. From a football field length away a tourist with a tripod looks hella threatening! And yes, I know how to use it if they didn't stop and behave themselves.




Stealth: adj. designed in accordance with technology that makes detection difficult. Wraith: n. A wisp or faint trace of something
becckeez 


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trippin.

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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 12 on 7/23/2017 5:08 PM >
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People have shared a lot of fantastic advice here.

There are two things I really agree with and would, from my experiences, emphasize:

1. Exploring somewhere without cell reception? Leave your route and exploring location with someone that is not going. Preferably, let them know the timeframe you expect to be gone and then check in with them as soon as you get back within cell reception. Let them know if they don't hear from you by a certain time (choose a specific hour) they should call search and rescue/cops/etc. My husband works SAR here in Southeast Alaska... this is what damns or saves people a lot of the time.
Even the best navigators, climbers, or hikers can get turned around, slip, or worse. Leave the info with someone!

2. The drug operations and tweekers are serious biz. Great advice already shared on what to do/how to spot these things. Stay calm, but bail!


Good luck! Rural Exploring is tons of fun once you get the hang of it.






Aran 


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Even when unnecessary, it just looks cool.

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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 13 on 7/25/2017 2:48 AM >
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Thanks for all the tips! The location wasn't deep in the wilderness, though it was off the beaten track in the Wisconsin Northwoods. Unfortunately, all the buildings on site were well sealed. Someday it will be open, hopefully.



[last edit 7/25/2017 2:48 AM by Aran - edited 1 times]

I was born too late to explore the world, but too early to explore the stars. So instead I'll explore the city, and see what I can see.

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swiftone 


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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 14 on 9/21/2017 3:59 AM >
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Cook houses in the boonies is a very real thing. If you stumble upon a big enough operation with motivated operators, you could have a real, maybe life threatening, problem on your hands. Good advice on keeping an eye out for newer hoses and pipes hanging out of houses as well as being aware of weird smells emitting from the structure. And please, if you stumble upon a cook operation, don't light up a smoke while you decide what you are going to do, lol. That could end badly. Very flammable places.




swiftone 


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What is included in Rurex (Rural Exploration)?
< Reply # 15 on 9/21/2017 5:05 PM >
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In regards to Rurex......Is this only the exploration of man made sites in rural areas or does this include caves and natural rock shelters?



[last edit 9/21/2017 5:06 PM by swiftone - edited 1 times]

2Xplorations 


Location: Texas by God
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Dude, do you even explore?

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Re: What is included in Rurex (Rural Exploration)?
< Reply # 16 on 9/21/2017 5:56 PM >
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We have a rural exploration sub forum http://www.uer.ca/...id=1&catid=1000319

We don't get hung up on some definition that you must follow or it doesn't count mentality, explore what you like and post some photos or stories.

Basically anything that's not in a city. The "urban only" members wont pay much attention to it there anyway.




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Abby Normal 


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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 17 on 9/22/2017 6:33 PM >
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A couple times a year we head out for a week of exploration. We usually know where we are going, but at any given time we could be anywhere within 50 miles of that original destination. Because of that and the fact that we head underground so there is no possible cell phone communication if we have serious problems, I have started using a SPOT tracker when out mine exploring. At a minimum searchers would know our location as a starting point for the rescue. Time is your enemy in an emergency. It's not the least expensive alternative, but one that we feel is necessary given the remote locations that we explore.



Abby Normal





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swiftone 


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Re: Backwoods Rural Exploring
< Reply # 18 on 9/22/2017 7:56 PM >
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Posted by Abby Normal
A couple times a year we head out for a week of exploration. We usually know where we are going, but at any given time we could be anywhere within 50 miles of that original destination. Because of that and the fact that we head underground so there is no possible cell phone communication if we have serious problems, I have started using a SPOT tracker when out mine exploring. At a minimum searchers would know our location as a starting point for the rescue. Time is your enemy in an emergency. It's not the least expensive alternative, but one that we feel is necessary given the remote locations that we explore.

http://i68.tinypic.com/29njdqq.jpg

Abby Normal




SPOT is some good stuff if you are really out in the shit. That's smart Abby





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