Access all areas: a user's guide to the art of urban exploration / by thought of himself as a humorist first, Ninjalicious, who was known in everyday life as Jeff. and often photographing the more “off-beat” areas of explorer is a whole way of looking at the world, where every ladder . Access All Areas - Ninjalicious. Ships from and sold by unlimragesa.cf Access All Areas: A User's Guide to the Art of Urban Exploration Paperback – November 20, On the surface, Access All Areas is primer and "how to" manual to everything that is Urban Exploration.
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(Download Free eBook) Access All Areas: A User's Guide to the Art of Urban Exploration by Ninjalicious audiobook | *ebooks | Download PDF | ePub | DOC . Title: Ninjalicious access all areas a users guide to the art of urban exploration issuu publications that are allowed by their authors to be downloaded as pdf. all while guiding you through abandoned buildings, construction sites, drains, of illustrated, expert advice from Ninjalicious, the editor of Infiltration zine.
Try sticking a board between the links in a chain link fence to make an Ensure that you have hands improvised step. Try climbing with and and feet before attempting a without gloves. Notice how you occasionaldifficult climb. Work on your speed maybe have your friend pretend to chase you over the fence. Move from shorter fences to taller fences, and from easier ones to harder ones.
If anyone comes along and asks what you're doing, just say you're practicing climbing - there's no law against that. Throwing a ball over a fence also provides a good excuse for you to climb over and retrieve it, but you probably won't need an excuse.
For your next trick, work on rope climbing. Even if you hated it when you were in gym like I did, you'll find that being able to shimmy up a rope can be a truly useful skill in situations where getting up to a second-storey window or a fire escape is the only possible way into a building.
After you get to the point where you can use a knotted rope to help to climb up the side of a building without too much trouble, try free climbing the rope without bracing yourself on anything. Practice dismounting from the rope onto a staircase or fire escape. You can either work on this until you think you're good enough at it to do it while exploring, or just admit to yourself that you're not much of a rope climber.
The one thing you don't want is to assume that you'll be able to climb a rope while exploring without any problems, only to find out you just don't have it in you when it's too late.
NO CLIMBING Playing Games Being successful in urban exploration requires a huge variety of skills, ranging from hiding to climbing to fast-talking, and sometimes it's helpful to cultivate those skills while you aren't actively exploring. Hobbies tan- Access All Areas 13 gentially related to urban exploration, such as trainhopping, geocaching, parkour and buildering see Glossary for definitions , can all teach handy skills useful in exploration.
So can simpler fun-oriented pursuits. Hideand-seek is a classic urban exploration training game. The basic idea behind hide-and-seek is for one person, dubbed "it", to count to a preset number say, 30 while all the other participants scurry off and hide anywhere they wish within a given area.
Then they are sought. For explorers' purposes, this game works especially well when played indoors somewhere with multiple levels, and tweaked in such a way as to allow stealthy players to move from their hiding places and sneak back to "home" and become "safe" this propagandistic terminology was clearly worked out by parents.
In another hide-and-seek variant, played in the dark and sometimes called Bloody Murder, each person who is caught treacherously joins the "dark side" and aids her captor in seeking out her erstwhile colleagues in concealment. This game is totally awesome. It probably should have had a cooler name, but oh well, at least it's memorable.
Wearing dark clothes and equipped with two-way walkie-talkies and flashlights, we would attempt to travel across town by as direct a route as possible without anyone spotting us. There was no precise way to measure our level of success, since people who did see us probably didn't realize the greatness of their achievement and thus generally failed to tell us they'd spotted us.
But we usually knew and admitted to ourselves when we'd screwed up and taken too long to dive behind the hedges or roll beneath the truck, and we kept a mental tally of our failures. This was not only one of the most fun games of all time, it was also a risk-free way to practice our skills at orienteering, running, hiding, scouting ahead, moving stealthily and communicating either silently or with walkie-talkies. Only its two-dimensional nature, and the difficulty of playing it in a highly populated urban setting, keep it from being the perfect urban exploration training game.
It is, however, fun. Laser tag is also fun. While urban exploration does not generally involve the use of futuristic weaponry, it does involve hiding, moving stealthily, navigating complex multi-level mazes and thinking threedimensionally. Paintball, while a little more messy, painful and expensive, teaches many of the same skills as laser tag, including working as a team. The only big problem with the shooting games is their focus on aim.
Aim is one of the few skills that's of not much use to explorers. An old-fashioned game of capture the flag, played in an urban setting, might 14 Access All Areas be better training.
Capture the flag is cheaper and requires less silly clothing and expensive equipment, and it's damn good exercise, especially if you're competitive.
On-the-Job It would be nice if we could all train until we were in peak physical and mental condition, but of course it's tough to resist the temptation to get out onto, or under, the street and put your skills to the test in a realistic setting.
Until such time as proper urban exploration training academies can be founded worldwide, you can improvise by on-the-job training through minor missions that aren't likely to result in anyone being hospitalized or arrested, but still provide useful experience in sneaking and seeking. Please don't be an idiot and head into active subway tunnels on your first expedition.
It's easy to arrange small missions that won't have any real negative consequences if you screw up. At your own school or workplace, or in any interesting buildings your friends or family can get you into legitimately, try to examine the interesting areas while not being seen by anyone.
Hide your visitor pass or employee badge and then try to map out the whole building without being questioned.
When you get a lapel pin at a museum, a hand stamp at a concert, a temporary visitor pass at an office or any sort of similar visible proof of valid admission, conceal it and then try to talk your way around its absence without showing your receipt or pass to anyone unless it is absolutely demanded. When you go out of town, sneak around your own hotel and, when dealing with employees, don't offer any proof that you're a hotel guest unless you must.
These kinds of exercises offer you good practice at sneaking, looking innocent, fast-talking and dealing with stressful situations without actually putting you at risk. While on-the-job training missions can certainly be quite challenging, the line between practice missions and real missions can be drawn at the point where the external obstacles become greater than the selfimposed obstacles. In those situations, do away with any artificial handicaps, prepare fully and focus on performing as well as you possibly can.
You will not get additional shadowpoints because you wore a blindfold while you tried to sneak into a train tunnel at night - you will just get caught or hurt, thereby making things worse for not only yourself but for everyone else. By being careful while you're exploring, you're doing a favour to the whole urban exploration community.
While one person can often do an excellent and thorough scouting job, in most situations you shouldn't do much intensive exploring alone, since the areas we visit are often areas where you won't be found for a while.
There are a few exceptions, of course, and you'll probably find you make more and more exceptions the more you want to get somewhere and the less your friends do, but try not to make too many.
Besides the safety benefits of having someone else along to give you a hand if you get into trouble or to go get help if you accidentally get into real trouble , there are also the exploratory benefits of having someone to give you a boost, to hold something open while you climb through or to keep an eye out while you do something suspicious.
You also have someone else who can open something after you've loosened it. Having an extra pair of eyes and ears is extremely handy, and having someone else's common sense is invaluable, especially if yours, like mine, tends to get muted when you're excited about something.
Many of the best expeditions I've been on wouldn't have been possible if I'd been going solo, and in quite a few other cases I've had a sense that I could have found some fantastic places if only I'd had someone else with me. Exploring is also more fun with a friend or two. Numbers While I strongly recommend bringing one or two friends along, I'm not keen on exploring in large groups. There are plusses to such groups, sure: it's fun to be around a lot of people, and it feels safe knowing that you'll probably outnumber any unpleasant people you might encounter.
Whether or not it is actually any safer is debatable, but it certainly feels that way. You can also draw upon a larger skill set if, for example, your group has an expert climber, an expert sneaker, an expert cartographer, an expert photographer, an expert fast-talker and an expert You don't need a cleric. But when you enter in force it really feels more like an invasion than an infiltration. The sense of danger and stealth evaporates.
The group can only move as quickly as its slowest member, sneak as quietly as its noisiest member, squeeze through openings as small as its largest member and, often, behave as intelligently as its stupidest member. It only takes one person deciding to see what a button does to ruin the trip for everyone!
Similarly, if one person in the group 16 Access All Areas does something stupid like steal or break something, the rest of the group is likely to be punished more harshly on that person's account.
It's tougher to keep a large group focussed, so people may hurry ahead to shine their flashlights on something they find interesting, wander away to have a smoke or hang back to take some flash photographs. It's common for larger groups to inadvertently break down into several smaller groups, making things more chaotic.
Unless everyone in the group is experienced and focussed, the odds of six people sneaking past a guard without being noticed are very slim. Not surprisingly, large exploring groups tend to get busted disproportionately often. There may be strength in numbers, but there is stealth in keeping those numbers small, and when you're exploring stealth beats strength any day.
Another consideration regarding numbers is the number of initiates one should bring along on expeditions. While it is certainly noble for you to share the joy of exploring with people who are new to the hobby, unless you're visiting somewhere quite simple and safe, I'd recommend not bringing more than one novice on any given expedition.
On tricky trips, new explorers need to be watched and tutored carefully, so you can keep them quiet with frequent shushing, repeatedly remind them not to take or damage anything, warn them to conceal their flashlight beam, tell them to not to smoke while you're tunnelling, caution them about cameras and alarms, explain why it's a bad idea to take flash photographs on a rooftop at night, advise them not to take needless risks and so on.
Things that seem like common sense to experienced explorers are often nowhere near as commonsensical as you might suppose, and you don't want to put yourself in a situation where you're worrying more about the people you're with than the obstacles of the place that you're exploring. Sex A nice thing to be, if you are one, or a nice thing to bring along, if you can get one, is a girl.
If you are a guy, you may want to ask a member of the fairer sex to come along with you when you explore inhabited buildings, particularly places like churches and hotels. Except in a few scenarios - such as at construction sites, or in monasteries - women generally come under much less suspicion than men, since it's a well documented fact that girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice.
Who would risk getting mud on that? For most people, the idea of a Access All Areas 17 woman deliberately going somewhere she's not supposed to be just doesn't make any sense. Capitalize on this ignorance! At the risk of making broad generalizations, women are also nice to have along since they tend to be better at fast-talking than men, and tend to have better instincts and intuition than men.
While I don't believe in ESP or anything like that, I do believe that some people are better at picking up vibes than others, and personally I tend to trust those vibes. Trusting my own intuition and the intuition of others - especially women - has saved me from bad situations on multiple occasions.
If you are a woman, you may want to ask a member of the not-asfair sex to come along with you when you explore unpopulated or highly underpopulated areas. This is not because you need someone else to act as your bodyguard, but simply because creeps are more likely to be creepy when they encounter a woman or a group of women without male accompaniment. It's tough to say exactly why this is, though it probably has something to do with sexism and cowardice.
And, to keep things fair by making a broad generalization in favour of men, guys I've explored with tend to be better with three-dimensional spatial relationships than women I've explored with, and thus are generally better at navigating and mapping complex structures and systems. It's tough to say why this is Age Most active explorers are between the ages of 15 and 35, though there are many people older than this who occasionally dabble in the hobby, and most people get their first taste of wandering into storm drains, construction sites and abandoned buildings when they are kids, before their sense of adventure has been blunted and dulled by consumer culture.
It always saddens me when someone reads Infiltration and says to me, "Wow, this is so cool! I used to do this when I was younger, and it was the best! Most people are probably mature enough to start exploring by their early teens, and probably aren't too old until past retirement age, and then only because of the physical restrictions.
I love looking at old buildings with old people, because they match, and older people often have great stories and a wonderful appreciation for the way places used to be. I generally don't go exploring with people under 18 any more, but this isn't because I don't enjoy exploring with them; it's just because I don't want to be charged with endangering a minor or corrupting the 18 Access All Areas youth.
So: youth, be obedient. Elders, come with me. Younger explorers face some advantages and some disadvantages. Obviously younger people have the advantage of near-endless endurance and enthusiasm, but they're also more likely to suffer from problems with impatience and overconfidence. These are all huge stereotypes, of course, but there's still something to them. On the plus side, a group consisting entirely of teenagers is much more likely to be casually dismissed as a bunch of bored kids than a group of people in their late 20s and 30s.
On the minus side, a group of three or more teenagers is likely to attract some attention from guards, employees or nosy people generally, and is likely to get shooed out of places like offices or public buildings more quickly than older explorers might.
Teenagers asking for directions at a concierge or a security desk are much more likely to be treated with suspicion. A group of explorers in their late 20s and early 30s, conversely, has a much easier time walking through hotels, convention centres, office buildings and most other occupied spaces without being noticed, because people are much quicker to assume that adults are somewhere on business - which is widely perceived to be the only legitimate reason to be anywhere - and to know what they're doing.
The drawback is that when older explorers do get caught they're less likely to be dismissed as bored kids and more likely to be considered improperly socialized adults in need of reprogramming.
They are thus more likely to have to explain themselves to authorities that can't imagine why anyone would do something as bizarre as wander around appreciating interesting structures. Middle-aged and older people probably get even more slack in this department, simply because they're more likely to be deemed harmless, sweet and grandparenty.
Appearance It's sadly superficial, alas, but when you're visiting a populated place, it's not a good idea to bring along people who will get noticed.
Biased and awful though it is, it just doesn't make sense to take people with attention-getting tattoos, piercings, haircuts, hair colours or clothes unless, of course, they're willing and able to adapt and throw their personal style out the window for the evening. Unfortunately, this excludes a lot of cool people, but we can only hope that the joy they get from having a pink mohawk equals or exceeds the joy they would have taken from sneaking into a bank tower at night, because they can't have both.
Access All Arens 19 Moustaches and beards, as distinguished or funny as they can be, aren't great accessories for urban explorers.
Not only do they provide a handy distinguishing feature guards can look for when they're plucking your image off the surveillance videotapes, but people just naturally tend to regard men with facial hair with greater suspicion, wondering exactly what they have to hide. The bad cowboy always had a moustache.
The good cowboy didn't. As a more practical consideration, respirators work better on clean-shaven faces, meaning that those utility tunnel explorers without moustaches and beards are less likely to die of asbestosis.
Explorers who don't already have facial hair should probably stay that way, and those who aren't too attached to their moustaches, beards, pennastubble, soul-patches, van dykes, goatees or muttonchop sideburns may want to consider giving them up.
Those with hair flair are lucky to have the option of getting rid of it; unfortunately, some people are going to have a lot of trouble becoming great explorers of inhabited spaces through absolutely no fault of their own.
Subtle or overt biases against dark-skinned people run pretty deep in many places, and biases against Middle Eastern-looking people are in the midst of an unfortunate renaissance. While no one should abandon the idea of going exploring based solely on their skin colour or ethnicity, people with darker complexions should be aware that they face longer odds of going through doors unnoticed.
This is sad but undeniably true. Ethics Beyond the "do not enter" signs and outside the protected zone, you and your friends are free to behave as you really are, and you don't want to disappoint yourselves.
When you're considering potential exploratory partners, try to enlist people who you know have finn consciences. Keep in mind that these people will not necessarily be your traditional goody-goodies; a lot of people who usually behave well do so because they're mindlessly obeying rules and laws, not because they're carefully considering which actions are helpful and right and which are hannful and wrong.
People who think laws are more important than ethics are exactly the sorts who will wander into an abandoned area and be so confused by their sudden freedom and lack of supervision that they'll start breaking windows and urinating on the floor.
Law-free zone, right? That means they can do anything they feel like, right? Wrong, of course, which is why it's important to seek out people with positive ethics, who will show respect for sites by not breaking 20 Access All Areas anything, taking anything, defacing anything or even littering while exploring. From what I've seen, people who don't use the law as a substitute for their own moral compass tend to develop stronger consciences and greater self-discipline simply through greater use kind of like how trees that grow outside are stronger than trees that grow indoors, because they've been blown by the wind often enough that they've learned to stand straight on their own.
Some people have the idea that urban explorers are generally troublemakers and ne'er-do-wells; on the contrary, I would say that urban explorers are generally better behaved, more considerate and more polite than the vast majority of the population, if perhaps slightly more inclined towards geekiness and social awkwardness. In any meeting of a group of experienced explorers, the conversation is likely to frequently turn to ethics, since explorers care a great deal about these issues and feel it's important to continually consider what is right and what is wrong.
So, when you're enlisting fellow explorers, it's a good idea to avoid people who seem more excited by the opportunity to be naughty and "anarchistic" than by the opportunity to discover and appreciate some cool places.
People who have been vandals, thieves or all-purpose troublemakers in the past can certainly reform and make good explorers: a lot of people who engage in that sort of nonsense when they're younger aren't really eager to deface and destroy so much as they're eager to rebel and have some non-commercial fun. If you can show them the light, offer them a more constructive way to channel their energies and teach them the all-important skill of appreciating without tagging or taking, more power to you.
Unfortunately, when a lot of people first start exploring they feel like they have to claim some souvenir or treasure from a site in order to make the experience real, or tangible, or worthwhile. They can't help it - they've been raised in a world built around gift shops. I was certainly guilty of this simple thinking in my younger days. But the broader urban exploration community has quite wisely adopted the Sierra Club's motto of "take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.
When you take a cool relic from a site, you not only vastly increase the potential charges against you if you are caught, you also up the odds that security will be increased in the future.
More importantly, you diminish the experience for all future Access All Areas 21 explorers and damage the reputation of the urban exploration community as a whole.
There's no need to make exploration about souvenirs. What was cool about Raiders of the Lost Ark was not that dumb ark - it was the running through the tunnels and avoiding the traps and dodging the Nazis and sneaking into all those cool places. You don't need to take any souvenirs to make both the experience and the site your own; if anything, you diminish your ownership of the place by defacing it or taking away a piece of it. The quotation I use to explain this Zennish ownwithout-acquiring mindset is from comedian Steven Wright: "I have a large seashell collection which I keep scattered all over the beaches of the world You'll reduce yourselves into mere robbers in the eyes of anyone who catches you.
In total, 25 issues were published — covering such urban exploration topics as the navigation of storm drains, evading hotel security and adventuring through abandoned military shelters. He also launched infiltration. His book, Access All Areas: Chapman is credited with coining the term "credibility prop", which describes a device, piece of equipment or other appurtenances used solely to reduce suspicion if one is encountered in a normally restricted area.
A specific example of "credibility prop" is simply being wet wetness being a good credibility prop for infiltration of a hotel pool. Jeff and his wife Liz were both interview subjects in the film BBS: He is credited under the handle Milky , though he was also known as Milky Puppy online. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Don't ever do this alone. Make sure that someone else knows what you are doing, and plan to check in with them at set times.
Bring a phone, light source with multiple batteries, hard hat if appropriate, heavy duty boots, and some water and food. If trying something new, do research first either on the chosen site, or at least on the type of site Infiltration[ edit ] Just because a facility isn't in active use doesn't mean it won't be monitored.
Wandering around non-public or otherwise off-limits area of otherwise inhabited sites or buildings without authorization or consent may entail far less physical danger, but an exponentially increased chance of discovery and trouble with law enforcement, site operators or other authorities.
Government buildings, airports, sea-ports, as well as rail and transit infrastructure examples being tracks, depots, rail-yards, plant rooms and car-sheds , are exceptionally paranoid due to ongoing threats from terrorism. You will end up in jail potentially for an extended period if discovered. In some countries and even some specific sites, it is worth considering individual staff, law enforcement, and "security" can be very direct in ensuring the integrity of their sites.
Industrial sites have also become quite paranoid. Staff and "security" can also be somewhat direct in respect of hotels and commercial buildings, even if the concerns are motivated by more concerns about potential criminal intent, than ongoing terrorism concerns.