So you want to know what I take with me on my explores?
These are the items I use for my photography and the items I find handy to keep with me.
For a full account on keeping safe exploring I suggest you read my full article on the matter
(link when available)
*Exploring underground is a very dangerous hobby and requires much more safety equipment than mentioned here!
*Please note I have no sponsorship or affiliation with any of these products/ companies.
I upgraded from the 600D to the 90D early 2020 and have loved the usability, features, quality and battery life.
The Canon 90D is a 32.5MP APS-C CMOS sensor which will shoot 4K 30fps or 1080p at 240fps.
for full specifications click here
What I like about the Canon 90D
32.5MP sensor to give more flexibility editing and cropping.
Improved video quality over the 600D
Long battery life
In camera features such as HDR and Time-lapse
Usability and efficiency
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM
The 10-18mm is great value and is a great wide angle lens. With little distortion I can capture much more especially when doing internal shots. this is my go to lens for almost all of my shots.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
The nifty fifty is a staple lens for most photographers. the large aperture of 1.8 can take in lots of light and provide a really narrow depth of field to isolate objects of interest.
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS
Not everything is up close and personal so sometimes I do have the requirement for a zoom lens. I managed to pick this one up cheap just to fill the gap where a little more magnification is needed.
Mavic Air 2
This DJI Mavic Air 2 was bought as an upgrade from the Phantom 3
The 4K 60fps video and 48mp images from this drone are extremely impressive for the price point.
A drone gives you a perspective you would not normally see and helps give context to a locations size.
The main reason I love the DJI drone is how easy it is to control. With the help of GPS and a live camera feed the drone is stable and manoeuvrable to get the shots I want.
Moza Aircross 1
The Moza Aircross is a very capable motorized gimbal, providing smooth shots with the payload of my DSLR and lens.
Although I invest my time more into photography and often leave out video if needs be I know I can bet buttery smooth shots even when walking over uneven ground.
YoTilon 49" Lightweight Tripod
Although not a name brand the YoTilon is a great tripod for its price.
The main reasons I went for this tripod were portability, easily adjusted ball head, light weight build and sturdiness.
As almost all of my shots require multiple seconds exposure a tripod is essential, but it also needs to be portable!
Polarduck Mini Tripod
For an even smaller tripod that fits in your pocket I have the Polarduck Mini Tripod. This tripod is very similar to the Manfrotto PIXI EVO 2 but is less than half the price and has all the features and quality needed for my requirements.
20W Rechargable Work Light
The 20W Rechargeable Work Light is cheap and cheerful from ebay.
The light has a high, low, flash setting as well as a smaller light on the side for when you want to be discreet. The reason I chose this as one of my main lights is because I can clip it to my belt loop with a carabiner, its light throw is wide enough to light a room for photos and it takes rechargeable 18650 batteries.
XHP90 LED Flashlight
So, I can light up a wide space... but what about things in the distance (or down a mine shaft/cave). The XHP90 is a super bright torch with a zoom function to light the darkest tunnels for as far as you can see.
Although this torch uses the same 18650 batteries (so I can keep a few spares handy) the battery life is pretty poor, but I don't have it on as much.
Clothing and Safety
Abandoned buildings are full of things that can cut or irritate your hands. A good pair of work gloves are easy to take with you and make a world of difference keeping your hands safe.
I have chosen the Site KF440 gloves from screwfix as they are dirt cheap, light weight, grippy, comfortable and resistant to tearing and sharp objects, what more could you ask for.
Dust, fumes and asbestos are very serious hazards when entering abandoned places. Fine particles you can't see can easily be breathed in, breath in too much or the wrong thing and it can lead to death!
putting some cloth over your face or using a bad fitting cheap mask will not work! make sure your mask/filter is P3 rates and the mask seals securely around your face. I use a half face respirator with replaceable P3 filters from Arco. A good mask can also help filter out some smells too!
Abandoned spaces always have questionable flooring, selecting the right footwear to keep you safe is very important. When looking for boots your first aim is to find something comfortable and secure, with good ankle support.
Safety boots can also be found with steel mid soles, these protect you from standing on nails which is a very likely risk in most abandoned places.
DSLR Camera Canvas Backpack
You are spoilt for choice for bags, it all depends on your requirements.
The reasons I chose this bag (unbranded from Amazon) was:
Lots of pockets for everything I need, loads of space without being too big.
Easy access to my camera, tripod and light through different openings.
water resistant and sturdy, I have taken this bag everywhere with me and had no problems. It is also machine washable.
Comfortable to wear with good padding and adjustable straps.
Other Useful Items
Whistles are small, easy to carry and can call for help if you get stuck somewhere. searching for "EDC" (Every Day Carry) whistles is a great way to find well designed compact whistles, or other tools.
Exploring abandoned buildings can get messy. Putting your hands in grease, dirty or something that will irritate your hands is no fun! I can honestly say that a compact pack of hand wipes is one of the best items I carry with me.
Now this suggestion you should take with a grain of salt. Multi tools are extremely useful in countless scenarios. Having access to a hand full of tools to help you get out of a sticky situation, fix something on the fly or bodge something to keep you going is great.
Now here is the catch, carrying a tool could be classed as being equipped for breaking and entering so depending on the situation this could turn very problematic. Another issue when carrying a multi tool with a knife is, depending on your local laws, the blade size or type could be classed as a weapon and it would be an offense to carry in public.
Boarded up buildings, basements, mines and caves are all very dark places. Abandoned buildings are hazardous enough without your torch running out of batteries and having to navigate blind.
Pack more batteries than you think you will need and make sure they are charged!
This may seem an odd item to bring with you but the door you entered through won't be the door you exited through if it slams behind you and locks! a door stop is cheap, light weight and could save you from getting trapped in somewhere!