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Foundation Concepts

Foundation Concepts

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Published by shotgun_mario
Ethics guide that promote sharing and enjoyment of underground spaces by urban explorers while not jeopardizing the quality, safety or security of locations.

Written for Minneapolis-Saint Paul region, but applicable to all of the urban exploring lifestyle and similar/crossover hobbies as well.
Ethics guide that promote sharing and enjoyment of underground spaces by urban explorers while not jeopardizing the quality, safety or security of locations.

Written for Minneapolis-Saint Paul region, but applicable to all of the urban exploring lifestyle and similar/crossover hobbies as well.

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Published by: shotgun_mario on Mar 27, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Foundation Concepts of Good Exploring Habits for MSP
Compiled By Shotgun_Mario. Passed down by eons of explorers. The core of the community. Within these three statements you’ll find everythingthat all our members stand for, and meanings we try to get across to every explorerwe come across. Over time and experience, it’s become apparent that pretty mucheveryone who explores long enough ends up with a similar likeminded thought process regarding locations. If you like to go to the same places we do, these are thethings we value the most, and we hope you’ll incorporate these techniques into yourown exploring habits. Here’s the what, the why, and the how of what we do. Here’s a typical newbie to exploring, and what might have happened to them on oneof their first outings… 
Lets say you’ve been out walking in a park, and decided to go off the path into thewoods. You’re walking around, and suddenly you see a hole in the ground. It’s really deep, and it’s big enough for a person to fit inside. You decide to see where it goes,and the thought of finding a secret cave underground is really exciting. Soon the caveopens up in height, and you’re standing in the middle of a room.  All of a sudden a light appears from around the corner, and you suddenly get really freaked out that it’s the police or criminals. A voice rings out a friendly “Hey!” as the voice’s owner walks up to you. A guy with a headlamp greets you, and says hisname is Steve. You feel a lot less paranoid now. Steve tells you that he’s one of the people that dug the cave open about a month ago, and that it’s an old brewery cave from the 1800’s. Steve also begins to tell you about how the cave is really clean for it’s age, and that no one has been in here since the 1950’s. He says that now that youknow about it, the cave is depending on you to keep it safe. Steve continues to tell you something about “location preservation”, but halfway through you quit listening, and instead started thinking “WOW this place is awesome, I bet my friends Bobby and Joey and Johnny would love this place, and I bet that cute intern would think it’s really neat that I know about this!” Steve tells you to not tell anyone you don’t trust really well,but since you’ve known your friends for such a long time you know that they’ll listen to you. Steve gives you his phone number and tells you to call him up the next time youwant to go out caving. He also mentions that there are A LOT more people who do this,and that if you meet Steve a few more times and he thinks you’re cool he’ll introduce you to more people who do this. But instead you decide that bringing your own friendsdown will be more fun since you already know them. You decide to not get in contact with Steve again.
 So the next weekend you bring Johnny and Bobby and Joey down (the intern thought  you were strange when you mentioned in the copy room that you ‘wanted to take her to a cave you knew about’, so now you’re the office weirdo), and you four have a great time down there. You purposefully didn’t invite Steve, because you don’t know him aswell and he might not be as much fun. Unfortunately, you forgot to tell your friendswhat Steve told you about keeping the place nice, and while you had your back turned Bobby decided to write his name on a wall over a piece of graffiti from the 1950’s,and Joey smashed up some old plates and tools in a corner that look like they werethere since Abraham Lincoln was in office. They were your friends though, and youdidn’t want to say anything to them afterward, so you kept quiet. But you’ve already decided next time you won’t take them along, and that will be that. At least Johnny was respectful, so you’ll go with him again. On the way out, you all forget the TacoBell wrappers and beer bottles you left behind, or worse you didn’t think anything of it because there were old bottles already all over the place. Next week you and Johnny go back down, and the place looks even worse than it did when you left. There’s trash everywhere, lots of spray paint on the walls, and the whole place smells like someone puked. When you sigh and tell Johnny what a shame it isthat someplace so nice went to hell, Johnny says he came down during the week witha bunch of other friends and they threw a party. He admits that it’s a mess, but it’ll bealright because his friend Timmy told him there are caves all over Minneapolis, and  you guys can just find a new one and party there. He also invites you to the party next week that Bobby is throwing down there, and the one the next day that his friend Mikeis gonna have. Suddenly you realize maybe you can’t trust people quite as well as you first thought, and maybe you should have just stuck with Steve’s invite. 
You may think this seems unlikely, but we’ve seen too many times to count, andwe’ve seen first hand what can happen when one person shows their friends, andthey show their friends, and they show theirs, all without passing along the threefoundation concepts to good exploring habits. Pretty soon, locations look nothinglike they did before, or vandalism becomes so rampant that there’s no reason to goback there because all of the original charm is gone… or worse, a cave gets sealedbecause too many people are going there too often, making too much noise ormaking the entrance really obvious! THE THREE FOUNDATION CONCEPTS 
* You don’t know it, but it’s highly likely that any caves or drains you’ve already been* in in the metro area are accessible because of these concepts, and likely because of members in this community. No thanks required, but we do take donations. :)
The shorthand version: 
1. Location Preservation: Take care of & use caution regarding your exploringlocations.2. Cautious Explanations: Be selective of who you tell what and when about exploring.3. Community Communications: Keep in contact with each other to know what’snext! 
and… The (very) Longhand version: 
1.Location Preservation.Location Preservation.Location Preservation. 
This first concept is what we’re all about, and the most important that we try toevoke. Exploring locations. We love the caves, the drains, and the buildings. We want nothing more than to enjoy these locations for what they are, as long as fate allows.Our number one goal of this community is to promote good ethics and discussionrelating to the access, availability, and good-treatment of our locations. We want as many well-intentioned people to enjoy these places for as long as possible,unaltered, and the only way this can happen is to promote a set of standards andethics that’s grown out of our needs over time. Sometimes these ethics fluctuatewith the location, sometimes with time, sometimes with the amount of explorersthere are. There are no standards written in stone, and even if there were no onewould agree to all of them the same way. And that in itself is a good thing. But, the ones that are pretty much universal to all locations, times and places are:
No damaging property, be it private, public, or any sort of gray areas. Thisincludes vandalism, blatant or obnoxious graffiti, or any other sorts of ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable. (thanksWikipedia!). I should mention that spray paint on brick tunnels is one of thefastest ways to get people enraged. If you can’t resist painting underground,there are miles of boring concrete drains around that could use a splash of color. 
Avoiding over-use of locations. You don’t need to go back to the same

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