Recently, two questions on urban exploration / urban geocaching were asked:

Are such questions on-topic on The Great Outdoors?

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    I have already commented here why I think that especially those two questions are not really good questions for this site at all – independent of the question, whether we should include urbex or not. Apr 17, 2014 at 16:17
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    One thing that needs to be borne in mind around these question is Urban exploring is highly illegal in many countries (My country included). Anyone caught in an abandoned building in the UK is likely to spend the night in a cell. So should we be encouraging potentially illegal behaviour?
    – user2766
    Apr 22, 2014 at 9:14
  • I recently posted a question about urbex in outdoors.stackexchange and was quite popular, then it was migrated to law.stackexchange and pretty much died... So, I guess it's still a grey area.
    – Cthulhu
    Feb 12, 2016 at 14:17

2 Answers 2


There are many arguments for including Urbex in the scope of The Great Outdoors:

  • Urbex is active form of spending free time outside your house
  • it includes intensive physical activity
  • many urbex constructions, like abandoned railways, are in the nature
  • getting to abandoned objects often requires crossing hard bush terrain
  • the equipment and abilities needed are very similar to those used by climbing, speleology, backpacking, survival
  • the large cross-over with geocaching, parkour and survival
  • similar target audience: people involved in urbex are highly likely to invoke in many other outdoor disciplines

While I would class Urban Exploration as on topic, and have upvoted your answer here, neither of those questions is on topic, as Benedikt commented.

Mentioning an on-topic subject in a question does not automatically make that question on-topic.

So this meta question's headline - "Is Urban Exploration on-topic" - could be answered with a definite Yes from me, but the two questions you linked to would be a definite No

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    While I tend to agree with your argument, I believe that these two questions suffers from the fact that these new tags are unpopular and without (yet?) many followers. If this was a main topic, would people be more receptive / lenient? I believe so, as those questions may not appear relevant from the outside, but may be quite on-topic and fruitful for the interested parties.
    – ppl
    Apr 20, 2014 at 5:37
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    I don't think that is the problem, ppl. I am definitely an interested party in urban exploration, but those questions are not about urban exploration at all.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Apr 20, 2014 at 7:49
  • The second question clearly deals with the safety of urbex which I disagree with your statement that it is "not about urban exploration at all".
    – ppl
    Apr 20, 2014 at 15:51
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    Okay, I'd have to completely disagree with you on this. Would having 'how would i deal with asbestos as an artist working in old buildings?' make it an art question? No.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Apr 20, 2014 at 16:51
  • Let me make a point by referencing an undisputable source (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_exploration); "Asbestos is a long term health risk for urban explorers, along with breathing in contaminants from dried bird feces, which can cause a condition known as pigeon lung, a form of hypersensitivity pneumonitis.". I believe it is more relevant than one might think. The boat question does not quite fit the mold in this case, imho.
    – ppl
    Apr 20, 2014 at 16:54
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    This discussion reminds me a little of stackoverflows boat-programming question... However, I think, the questions are perfectly on topic. Otherwhise any question about hypothermia should be asked in a medical forum, this question should be asked in a home improvement forum and so on...You run into these problems doing this activities, so they should be allowed to ask. They do no harm. Apr 26, 2014 at 11:06

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