|This is somewhat a question, but I will also share a story of what made me really start to ask this question.|
There is one hiking trail in my area that I have walked since my early childhood, and still walk on today in my twenties. One of the highlights of this trail is this amazing military bunker, which has pretty much been left to rust for decades now. Even though the bunker entrance has always been chained up, this is most definitely the location that first drove my interest of urban exploring. Something about the mystery of what was behind those massive doors and how deep underground the bunker was drove me to explore whatever abandoned location I could. I still to this day, however, have not gone inside the bunker. It wouldn’t have been hard, since all that stopped me was a single chain, but I really hate breaking anything at a location if it isn’t an accident. Besides, this was still government property, and I could easily be facing a bit more than a trespassing charge if I was caught.
Imagine how tempting that bunker was the day I found that the chain had been cut.
I have seen multiple points at all of the entrances to this bunker to break into it, but they had all been sealed before I had a chance to take advantage of it. This time, the easiest way in was wide open, and I could finally fulfill my childhood dream of exploring this bunker. Or I would have, if there wasn’t a homeless man sleeping directly outside the bunker. I hoped he was just visiting, and really didn’t want to bother him for my safety and his. I left the bunker unexplored that day.
Next day, I return to the bunker. The homeless man is out there again, and my fears are soon legitimized. He was living in the bunker, and he very well might have a problem if I tried to go inside. I was crushed by this, honestly. I wanted to go in so badly, but for my safety, and the man’s safety as well, I had to pass on the bunker. That and trespassing on government property still freaked me out.
The bunker is sealed now, and I’m actually starting to regret going the safe route. This childhood dream of mine could’ve been realized, and now I don’t know if I will get the chance again.
So my question, since I originally made this post to ask a question. When do YOU decide it’s time to pass on a location? I’m genuinely curious to know where other people’s minds lie on something like this. I am still fairly new to urban exploring, so maybe there are some precautions that the more experienced members of the community take (or blatantly ignore) that the rookies don’t even think about.
Tl;dr. A homeless man and a fear of the government caused me to pass on a location. When do you decide it’s time to pass on a location?
|A pack of smokes or fifth of whiskey goes a long way with the homeless. Even a couple cheeseburgers will usually get them to leave you alone. |
I see Spam people.
|I'm still very much a rookie as well, but here are some of the times I've decided to pass on a location:|
The first was actually a bunker as well, although a very, very tiny one. It had an average sized metal door, that was horribly rusted. I could see through the doorway though, as there were cracks appearing in the metal. Inside I could see a plethora of old pipes and machinery, and I was very intent on getting in, however the door was rusted shut. I attempted to find other entrances, I even considered bashing the doorway down, but there was a campsite right next to the bunker and the campers would've heard the noise. After a week or so of trying to enter, I decided I'd been beat, and I left.
The second was with some steam tunnels below a local university. I had attempted to gain access many times, even going online to some people who'd declared they'd gained entry on reddit. However, every time I knew an entrance existed, it was locked, whether by padlock or door lock. Eventually, after a week or two, I gave up, but vowed I'd return after I got the hang of lock picking.
Those are my two stories, the first which I left because I saw no way of getting in, while the second I realized that I'd have another shot at it in a couple months. Still though, I continue to check on these locations when I'm nearby, just incase somethings changed that would allow me to enter. Hopefully one day you'll return find the bunker open and waiting for you, it may just take some time before another person comes by and 'cuts the chain' again!
(Also another tip, generally I've found homeless people to be pretty friendly, could just be my area, but if I know I'll be entering into their turf I'm always sure to bring enough cohorts to outnumber them. So maybe just bring another person or two along and ask the inhabitant if you could enter if you run into a similar situation)
|I appreciate you sharing your experiences here, Noisavni!|
I probably should’ve talked to him. There are certainly some chill ones, but they’ve started being a little more hostile in my area as of late. The third day, I did have two other people with me, but they seemed even more hesitant than me than to approach his turf like that. I think I could’ve talked them into it, but this guy looked a little drugged out, and my buddy has recently had a violent encounter near a homeless encounter.
I’m sure it’ll be open again one day. They just put a lock on it again like last time so I might be in luck. Honestly, after reviewing my pictures, it looks like a city phone number is on the door for those who want to request access. I’m sure they wouldn’t let a college student in who just wants to take pictures, but maybe it’ll be worth a shot.
|Never decide to pass on a location. If you can't make it happen now you'll probably be able to down the road. |
|Posted by intruda|
Never decide to pass on a location. If you can't make it happen now you'll probably be able to down the road.
Maybe... but don't be foolish, because some places are best left alone.
I once tried gaining access to an unused tower on the far edge of a rail yard, but could not get inside. I returned a few weeks later to discover a railroad police vehicle stationed not too far away. I got the hint and moved on.
Later on some teenagers got caught tagging the place.
|For me, gut feelings are pretty important on whether I decide to enter a location or not, but keep in mind that nerves can often be confused with gut feelings, so try not to let them overcome you. |
If I'm nervous about entering a new location, like you seem to have been, I tend to go with my analytical senses– how likely am I to be caught by authorities, bystanders who could report me to authorities, etc? If those probabilities are low, and there's an opportunity for exploration, I would rarely pass it up.
As others have said, squatters and homeless folks aren't always a cause for concern. Of course, exercise caution and it's better to take a friend or two for safety, but many people are happy to have friendly conversation or just ignore you as long as you don't intrude on their space or mess with their stuff. Food, water, warm clothes, beer, cigarettes, etc. can go a long way in making a friendly acquaintance. And you never know, the person in question might be able to give you some information on the site which you wouldn't have known otherwise!
Personally, I'd keep stopping by the site and checking the door, and definitely take that opportunity if it presents itself again. Sounds like it'd be a pretty cool location!
There's more to life than what you see on the surface...
|I've only been at this hobby for a couple years now but my thoughts are such:|
no natural p.o.e such as an open doorway with no doors, open windows or gaping holes in the wall/fence, etc. Sometimes you may have to do a little scouting or driving by before the opportunity presents its self but if there doesn't seem to be a way in that appears like a "natural" entry then I would pass on a location.
If the place is boarded up or fenced off pretty heavily I would pass on it, you never know if you need to make a quick exit.
signs of human traffic: mowed grass, vehicle tracks, footprints or fresh looking garbage might make me give a second thought before exploring. large construction equipment because the city just passed a bill to demolish the building or renovate it.
last is trust your gut instinct. and that's different for everybody. If something feels off then stay out. maybe you got that feeling that someone might be watching you. maybe it seems just a little too quiet even if no one is around. maybe the weather is an overcast day. maybe you picked up a funny smell. maybe your attention keeps being drawn to that dark room out of the corner of your eye and you just can't put to words what it is. That being said, maybe you might just be nervous. stop, take a deep breath, stay calm and quiet. observe what's around you. if you still don't like it, time to go haha you can always come back another day.
There might not be anything wrong and you are just to scared to go in, but at the end of the day it's better to prioritize your well-being than be sharing a story so that someone else doesn't make the same mistake as you.
|I’ll usually be the first to start up conversation, and quickly drop a “hey man… I didn’t see you if you didn’t see me”. It’s not sure-fire, but the cautious/defensive attitudes generally change when it’s established that you’re not a threat, and that you don’t really care what they’re up to. |
|I can definitely understand wanting to pass on a location. I have done this on a few occasions for only a handful of reasons. Some of those reasons are that I have somewhere to be like work or other arrangement, no recon on the location, or I don't have any of my gear with me. I can definitely understand not wanting to mess with the homeless some can get hostile but usually they are pretty chill I've had a few run ins with them and they were nothing but friendly with me. Granted how I mentioned not doing any recon on the location depends on the location and the size of it. I recently went to Denver and went in with no recon. The trip turned out good but I always recommend doing some recon as it is really my main reason for not gong in a location as you are unsure of any hazards or risks that await such as security, chemicals, structure damage or other things. |
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