Abandoned Exploration Attire


Perhaps one of the biggest challenges faced while trying to explore is the fear of being caught during an exploration. This article is designed to help you blend in while tackling abandoned and unused places. Some of the equipment mentioned is going to be fairly specialized, others may be be more flexible, allowing you to fit in a variety of spaces. I’ll offer a brief explanation of when to utilize certain gears and how to get the max out of them. All pictures in this article are of myself and my personal equipment. Please excuse my lack of being photogenic, I feel much more comfortable on the other side of the camera.


Myself when exploring

This is not a photo of me going to work, but of me preparing to go scouting for secret spots. With this gear, I am versatile. I can fit as a construction worker, as a city sewage plumber, as a site inspector, a railroad worker, etc. All these are professional appearances that will allow you to explore freely, without fear of being bothered. For those of you who like to scout for abandoned places like myself, here is a list of gear you should get to elevate your scouting abilities. 


The hard hat is probably the most important piece of gear for establishing yourself as belonging in a structure. Stay away from custom hard hats since they are fairly pricy. White normally denotes outside contractor or foremen. Avoid green hardhats since those normally denote a new member of the crew. You can also place a few stickers on your hat to indicate experience. The sticker wearing folks are those who hold seniority. Most stickers can be found on Amazon or E-bay. One of the most important stickers to have will read along the lines of “I have stop work authority.” Utilize this piece of gear for any exploration within or around abandon structures

High Vis Vest

This is going to be essential for any adventure that will bring you close to roads, railroads or airports. Reflective stripping is a must these can usually be found at Walmart for fairly cheap. I highly suggest buying one in yellow and one in orange.

Safety Glasses

Whether they be clear or tinted, make sure your safety glasses are ANSI safety rated. Not only are they required for every site but they also make you look like you belong. Second only to the hardhat, safety glasses are a must. 

Gas Monitor

The yellow monitor you can see flashing on my chest is a 4 gas monitor that keeps track of oxygen in the atmosphere. This is absolutely critical if you plan on exploring old mining sites, abandon oil fields or refineries, and underground tunnels. Easily the most important but also the most expensive part of my equipment, costing around $300.

Lastly you will need a flashlight. Flashlights are not just useful for urban exploring, but they are must have tools for life in general. If you are like me however, and you do a lot of your scouting at night, then a solid good flashlight is an absolute must. 

Handsome Devil

In this photo you can see that instead of the Vest I’m utilizing a button up shirt usually referred to as a work shirt. The key characteristics to this are that it is heavier fabric normally denim or cotton. Your aim is to get a long sleeve with a neutral color. This helps to protect your body and arms from injury as well keeping a professional look. Stay away from loud colors like red or green. Khaki is the most often seen in construction jobs so that’s what you should focus on. You can also see that I have a flashlight in my pocket. As mentioned in the point above, flashlights are important for any exploration that takes place. Ensure you have a small powerful light along with extra batteries.

Above you can see some of my personal use items. The bottom left is a pair of work jeans with the Hi-vis bands sewn into them. I normally utilize this when around the railroad to blend in with other workers. The bottom center is my personal light along with the 4-gas monitor to the left of it.

As you can see there are 3 pairs of boots all with different uses that will help you blend into the right areas if someone discovers you. The top left is a pair of bates ultralights. Due to their lightweight nature they allow me to cover plenty of ground as well as protecting my ankle while travelling abandon roads and, railways. They are not steel toe so they aren’t suitable for abandon buildings or construction sites if somebody scrutinizes them.

The center is steel toe gum boots manufactured by MUCK. These are waterproof wader style slip on boots designed for extreme conditions. I utilize these when exploring mines or sewers. These are the most specialized boots I own. They open up a world of underground exploration. The final pair is just regular steel toe construction boots that are suitable for any regular city exploration.

The best thing you can do to blend in is to study construction and rail worker in your area then make your gear match theirs. By doing this you will open up a world of possibilities since you will look just like your supposed to. This allows you to explore more areas, find more secret spots, and level up your game as a scout. If you enjoyed this article, don't forget to join the urban exploring community by signing up for CityXcape. The app should be released soon so that you and other explorers can find and share secret spots. 

What have you found today?