Twin Cities urban exploration


In a nutshell, Action Squad explores.  This generally occurs late at night, to aid in avoiding other people, particularly those with badges and funny blue uniforms.  We climb buildings, sneak into factories, crawl through all kinds of tunnels, spelunk old brewery caves, poke around abandoned buildings, and run across the rooftops.

Sometimes we get in full gear, consult maps, make backup plans, and launch major missions into unknown and often dangerous terrain; other times, we'll just happen to see some minor location that begs to be explored and we'll take a casual stroll through the place right then.  Anyplace that is challenging to get to or is off limits to be in is a potential target, particularly underground, abandoned, or historic sites.  We usually employ no fancy equipment, and having a good time is our first priority.  Which brings us to the next hypothetical question ...



The motivations behind Action Squad are complicated and no doubt the result of seeing “Goonies” and the Indiana Jones movies too many times at too impressionable of an age.  Some might call it immature, but fuck ‘em.

The joys of Action Squad include the following:

 -  The sense of adventure inherent in not knowing what lies ahead
 -  The thrill of being where you're not supposed to be
 -  The challenge of figuring out how to get there
 -  Indulging your appreciation for history, architecture, and
    non-standard notions of beauty
 -  Going where boring 'normal' people would never even dream of going
 -  Being in places that have not had human visitors in years
 -  Rare chances to appreciate little-seen architecture
 -  Using your wits to avoid detection/arrest (often narrowly)

     Appreciating urban adventuring requires a well developed sense of wonder, a powerful curiousity, a juiced-up imagination, and a taste for adventure. If the simple bulleted points above are not sufficient to make you understand why Action Squad exists, then perhaps no amount of longwinded and eloquent explanations will do it, either.  When it comes to this type of thing, you've either got it or you don't.

     Of course, according to Freud, interest and dreams of tunnels signify an unhealthy fixation on ... you guessed it, the vagina.  I don't know about the rest of the Squad, but I don't think my love of exploration has its roots in a vagina fixation.  I mean, if some of the tunnels we've been in represented women's crotches, they would be some horribly smelly, crusty, old, and broken-down crotches.  Not the kind of thing you'd want to fixate on, certainly.  Well, I hope not.

            WHO ARE YOU WEIRDOS?

We're a group of people in their early to late 20's, late 20's to early 30's, ranging from conservatively-dressed law students to high school drop outs with mohawks to grad students with mohawks to post-punk weirdos.  What we have in common is the desire to get into places that people just don't normally go.



    Action Squad was officially formed on the U of MN's Minneapolis campus in late 1996.  Initially called "Adventure Squad," the group's original purpose was two-fold: first, as a kick-ass alternative to the boring college social scene, and second, to find a way into the steam tunnels that were rumored to exist far beneath the surface of the campus.

     After stumbling into drain, sewer, and utility tunnels, Action Squad finally succeeded in accessing the tightly-secured steam tunnel system, and quickly mastered them.  Of course, meeting our initial goal did not mean that Action Squad disbanded.

     Instead, the constantly-shifting team of adventurers sought out new places to explore and new techniques to employ.  In the years since, we have gained access to a staggering variety of tunnel systems, swam through drain systems, scaled the exteriors of buildings, waded through waist deep sewage, rappelled down and built ladders up vertical shafts, and snuck into the guts of inhabitated structures.  Thus far, we have avoided apprehension, and no one has died.

     Where we end up should be interesting ... stay tuned.

    Click here to read about the history & purpose of this site ... it's way exciting.