Everything you need to get started with urban exploration

Gear

Over 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which products are best for urban exploration?

Densely populated cities are rich in culture and abound in places to explore, but they can be stressful if you are a stranger to the area and are not accustomed to crowds. To get the most out of your urban exploration, make sure to know where you will be going without planning the trip out too extensively. Half of the experience will come from stumbling upon locally recommended areas and places that you had not researched. 

When exploring urban areas, consider purchasing small, durable items that you can reuse for future urban explorations. It is important to purchase items that allow you to remain organized and prepared.

Tips for urban exploration

  • To really immerse yourself, explore the history of the area and ask locals for their favorite spots. 

  • Keep a detailed list of the places that you wish to explore before your expedition ends. 

  • Research the city beforehand to learn which areas to avoid and to get an idea of the cultural standards. 

  • Purchase a souvenir.

  • Shop with local vendors to benefit that city’s tourist economy. 

What to consider before buying products for urban exploration  

Multiple trips 

When exploring urban areas, look to purchase products that you will be able to use in any setting multiple times. For example, though a camera can be a hefty expense, it can be used during multiple city explorations to capture memories. Items such as first-aid kits and pepper spray are also necessary when traveling to a city in case of an emergency. You can use these items over and over no matter where you go. 

When looking to travel to and explore a city, consider the specific cultural and societal standards of that city. If you plan to travel outside of the country, research that country’s culture before purchasing products so as to not offend locals and to increase your chances of blending in. Products that are neutral and multipurpose will likely suffice regardless of the area that you are exploring. 

Size 

Before purchasing items to explore urban areas, make sure that they are compact enough to fit inside of a small bag. Whether you are walking or using public transportation, it is important to travel lightly, so pick items that are small and lightweight. If you pack small, versatile items, they will likely be able to be organized in one bag in a convenient location throughout your trip. 

Durability

No matter what product you purchase to explore a city, it should be durable. If the product is durable, it will last you through various explorations, saving you money in the long run. If an item is durable, it is likely to bring ease to your exploration and provide convenience. Consider purchasing durable, multipurpose items when traveling to practice sustainability and bring ease to your travels. A durable bag to carry your items may provide more security and safety when handled in crowded areas. 

How much you can expect to spend on urban exploration  

It’s nearly impossible to estimate how much a day of urban exploration might cost. In addition to the items you’ll carry along during your trek, you’ll have to factor in the cost of food, transportation, and admission to attractions, all of which can vary greatly depending on which city you’re exploring.

Urban exploration FAQ

What is the difference between urban and suburban areas? 

A. Urban areas are densely populated and thus tend to harbor more traffic. Suburbs are more residential and are less populated than cities. 

What should I avoid in urban areas? 

A. When traveling to cities, make sure to do research beforehand on the city’s various neighborhoods. If you are worried about staying in and exploring safe parts of the city, be sure to do research on what areas to avoid. 

What are the best products for urban exploration to buy?

Adidas Men’s Terrex Skychaser Lt Walking Shoe

Adidas Men’s Terrex Skychaser Lt Walking Shoe 

These shoes provide optimal walking comfort when exploring a new place and traveling as a tourist. They feature cushions and abrasion resistance and are very lightweight. They feature a minimal design with optimal support for long journeys on foot.

Sold by Amazon

Hydrapak Flux Collapsible Backpacking Water Bottle

Hydrapak Flux Collapsible Backpacking Water Bottle 

This water bottle folds down to the size of a deck of cards for on-the-go storage. It features a flexible handle for comfortable carrying and was designed with a drink-through, spill-proof cap for easy drinking without leaks. It is not lined with BPA or PVC and is dishwasher safe.

Sold by Amazon

Sabre Pepper Spray Keychain

Sabre Pepper Spray Keychain 

This item features a maximum strength formula and is the No. 1 brand trusted by the police. It features a 1-foot shooting range and provides 25 bursts in a powerful stream delivery.

Sold by Amazon

Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag

Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag

This canvas backpack offers vintage styling and multifunctional convenience thanks to its many pockets. The buckles on the top flap open and close easily and keep everything secure. The zipper pocket on the top flap is durable and adjustable for easy access. The strap is adjustable and comfortable across your back and chest for use on the go.

Sold by Amazon

Travando Men’s Slim Wallet with Money Clip

Travando Men’s Slim Wallet with Money Clip 

This wallet features 11 card pockets and a clip to keep cash organized. It is ideal for keeping track of business cards as well as debit and credit cards.

Sold by Amazon

Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 Digital Camera 

This compact digital camera features built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing and transferring of images. It offers multiple video modes and delivers stunning image quality thanks to its 20.2-megapixel resolution and a 12X optical zoom.

Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Logan DeLoye writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.