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Old 02-20-2012, 12:37 AM   #16
heetseeker
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Originally Posted by wibornz View Post
When it is cold and rainy, go to a hospital and sleep in the ER. You can get a couple hours and no one will bother you.
Not sure about the hospitals where you're from, but when it's rainy and cold our hospitals are packed full of homeless and others using the ER's as their Dr's office. It's a madhouse!
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:42 PM   #17
tallpaul63
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I am a master of stealth camping, I say with all due humility.

Look at your map and plan to be in a lightly populated area around dusk. Look for the green on the map; forested and woodsy areas, national parks, or farmland. Hilly country is better.

Plan to set up camp with the day's last light, and get well off the road when no one is looking. Try to find a place where there is no reason for anyone to come around. Get practiced at making and breaking your camp quickly. Try to be at least a few hundred yards from any well used road.

Some good tips:

Look for orchards where you can tuck away behind rows of trees for the night. Also river bottoms, side roads in the desert, logging roads, railroad right of ways, roads that serve power lines, fire roads that lead away from built up areas. Farm roads can be good too, but areas with livestock are likely to be fenced in and watched more closely. If you can follow a farm road to an area that's not being farmed, that works. On the coast, beaches are usually a bad choice unless they are really hard to get to. People party on beaches, and the authorities usually patrol them. You want to be where nobody has reason to be.

You may be able to camp behind the church in small towns; ask nicely or just leave a small footprint and be on your way early.

Try to avoid places where teenagers and drunks like to party. Lots of beer cans...look elsewhere.

When you want to visit a city and spend a day or two, try the hostels. Look up AYH and get a membership. Cheap dorm beds usually, and a chance to meet fellow travelers and share stories. If you want to stay a few days at a hostel, ask the manager if you can work for your bed, pulling weeds or cleaning up around the place. Try warm showers lists and couch surfing sites as well.

Plan on two meals a day from the supermarket, maybe one at a restaurant for a bit of local flavor and comfort. I always have a quart of water, peanut butter, bread, and some fruit with me. Can always make a meal, even if its unplanned. I don't do much cooking when stealth camping, but oatmeal and pasta dishes are cheap and quick.

If you must stay in campgrounds, ask the host if they have simpler sites like a hiker/biker site or a group camping area. Explain that you need a tent spot only, just for the night, and are on a budget. No need for hookups etc. Plea poverty and offer them five or ten bucks. They may work with you. Campgrounds that cater mostly to the RV crowd are not promising in this regard.

I have been known to pitch my tent on the "periphery" of a campground, out of sight and out of mind. Unethical? Well, I am no saint. Do a good deed some day and balance it out.

If you do get caught where you're not supposed to be, try to convey that you're on a shoestring budget, having an adventure, and that you mean no harm...and you can be on your way in a jiffy. Smile a lot and be nice.

You may be able to score a shower at a municipal swimming pool, or a campground where you're just passing through. Be discrete- park your bike elsewhere, like in a picnic area, pocket a bar of soap and use a tiny little towel you can tuck away. Or just offer to pay for a shower. You can often pay for a shower at a YMCA, and have a workout to boot.

Good luck and good travels.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:08 PM   #18
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For a quick showers, truck stops are another good option (if the lake/river/creek are not looking good).

When out in the boonies and looking for a place to camp... just ask one of the locals. People are usually happy to help 'stranger' discover their part of the world... Here's one such spot we were shown...

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Old 08-07-2012, 04:48 PM   #19
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I like to travel this way also. I just did a trip in June covered over 2000 miles for about $200. I didn't do a ride report but recorded on my blog. http://barelyhomeless.blogspot.com/?m=1. www.barelyhomeless.blogspot.com
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:28 AM   #20
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I'm kind of different than most as I don't really go for the whole "stealth" camping thing. For one thing if you are out of site then there can't be any witnesses to anything someone does to you. Second, why bother? Worst thing that has ever happened to me crashing out in the open is I've been asked to move and usually long after I've gotten a few hours sleep so I don't consider it a problem You can park in almost any parking lot and just lay out by your bike and be there all night before anyone will say anything. The idea you have to hide conveys to many that you have a reason to hid and can often make people suspicious. Heck I camped out at a closed gas station in plain view of the road for 2 days and saw cops go by all the time and no body cared. As to people messing with you, first I'm a big guy so it just doesn't happen that much second I have a cell phone and once you start calling the cops the tone starts to change. I am also ready to use other means to defend myself but I know it's a controversial topic that we don't need to rehash again.

I will not however lie to try and take advantage of anyone. I might ask for a deal or if I can work off a meal or campsite but I don't pretend to be broke to get people to give me stuff. Far as I'm concerned you might as well be stopping and sit by the road with a sign asking for money when you do that.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by bones_708 View Post
I will not however lie to try and take advantage of anyone. I might ask for a deal or if I can work off a meal or campsite but I don't pretend to be broke to get people to give me stuff. Far as I'm concerned you might as well be stopping and sit by the road with a sign asking for money when you do that.


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Old 08-10-2012, 12:39 AM   #22
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when i did my cross country moped trip, i found that a lot of the time being some place at the right time and instance provided me with more money and resources than i had planned. the short of it was that i wanted to take a trip with very little money to my name and see what happened.

now, i never ASKED for anything, but was often was given more than i needed. it started (and continued most of the trip) when i would stop for gas and to get feeling back in my balls. being on a moped with south carolina tags, i parked tags out most of the time because the bike could be moved easily. this was enough for people to spark up a conversation as to just wtf i was doing. something about this made people want to talk to me.



invariably i would tell my tale of the search i was on, and that i had very little money to do a ton of stuff (this was the point of the trip, not a ploy) and that i chose a moped for its low fuel costs. a lot of the time, someone would offer to pay for me to fuel up (at the time, averaging $3.75 in gas per fill up) and would often offer a meal. i would graciously decline, but i cant tell you how many times i was handed a $20 bill. in the end, i left my house with $100 in my pocket to get as far as i could, and ended up going to california and back home with $300 in hand.

as for sleep, when it came down to REALLY bad weather, i would look for small mom & pop hotels and ask for a room explaining my situation. i usually was given a room, and even at big chain hotels i could make arrangements.

but when i camped, id just pull over some place near the main road and setup. be gone early with no trace. my best campsite was in an orange grove in florida.

as a disclaimer, i made it a point never to ask for anything outrageous and wouldnt misrepresented myself in the process. i would eat at gas stations and value menus for quick stops, and grocery stores for other things.

main thing is, be polite and if you have a story to tell, dont be afraid to share!
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:39 AM   #23
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Interesting topic as I've been wanting to do some cheap adventures on my DR650.

As to the topic of 'oops I forgot my wallet so I'll look you in the eye and and lie in the hope that you'll give me something for free', that may fly in some parts of the country, but here in the South, we pretty much call that 'stealing' and don't take kindly to it. And offering to do some sort of work after the fact, knowing full well that a business owner is not going to let a non employee around the counter, just adds to the deciet and insult.

Servers work hard for the little bit of money they make (much of it in the form of tips) and businesses today are getting by on pretty thin margins. We're a pretty generous lot here and will go out of our way to help people in need, but don't take advantage of us.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:47 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by AST236 View Post
Interesting topic as I've been wanting to do some cheap adventures on my DR650.

As to the topic of 'oops I forgot my wallet so I'll look you in the eye and and lie in the hope that you'll give me something for free', that may fly in some parts of the country, but here in the South, we pretty much call that 'stealing' and don't take kindly to it. And offering to do some sort of work after the fact, knowing full well that a business owner is not going to let a non employee around the counter, just adds to the deciet and insult.

Servers work hard for the little bit of money they make (much of it in the form of tips) and businesses today are getting by on pretty thin margins. We're a pretty generous lot here and will go out of our way to help people in need, but don't take advantage of us.
While I agree on the whole even waitstaff and clerks may throw you a few dollars if you are willing to haul out some smelly trash or hose out the grease trap. I think for me the key is I ask after I pay for what I need not try and give the imprssion that I somehow can't pay.

And I really don't see anything impressive about vacationing on handouts. Call it whatever you like it's trying to get something for nothing when you really don't even need it.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:36 PM   #25
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While I agree on the whole even waitstaff and clerks may throw you a few dollars if you are willing to haul out some smelly trash or hose out the grease trap. I think for me the key is I ask after I pay for what I need not try and give the imprssion that I somehow can't pay.

And I really don't see anything impressive about vacationing on handouts. Call it whatever you like it's trying to get something for nothing when you really don't even need it.

I agree. I"m not even opposed to working for my supper as long as it's done honestly. How about telling the owner/manager 'I'm on a motorcycle adventure and really on a tight budget. Do you have any work I could do in exchange for a meal?' If the guy says 'yes' and you both uphold your part of the deal, no harm done. Everybody wins. If he says 'no', either thank him and move on or sit down and order something cheap. Again, no harm done.

That is not the same as the earlier poster though, who blatently lies to get what he wants.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:53 PM   #26
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Farms

I've done the "ask a farmer" thing, up front and honest. Telling them I just want a place for a tent. No fires, no damage, gone in the morning. Rarely turned down. Occasionally been invited to stay in the barn or house. Often given a meal in exchange for a road story.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:01 PM   #27
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Budget travel tips.

I heard. Through a friend of a friend of a friend. That. If a person has a valid ID. A person can go into a local Sheriffs Office and ask if they have a stranded traveler fund set up by the local Salvation Army. I heard that if they do, a person is given a food bank voucher and a voucher for a local motel. Now. I also heard that if a person is actually trying to get somewhere. They have a destination in mind. They can ask a church for assistance. I recommend volunteering to do some chores in exchange for help. Some church people will go to the gas station and put some gas in your tank. They will also be glad to share food from their food bank. May I suggest that you keep a record of who helps you, in hopes you can pay them back someday, when you find yourself in better financial shape. Or- "Pay it forward." Now. I also know a person can sleep over and stay "free" in Walmart Parking Lots. I happen to know a person who traveled all around the entire United States this way, by car. With no money at all - and no plan. K. So I never did this.

P.S. Ok. I did. But I'm not proud of it. But it was one very interesting chapter in my life. By all means have fun. Nothing Adventured nothing gained.
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fractalsource screwed with this post 08-10-2012 at 10:11 PM Reason: added a ps.
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:11 AM   #28
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That is not the same as the earlier poster though, who blatently lies to get what he wants.
Couldn't agree more, not a big fan of the "I look sad and poor so give me money" way of scamming across the country either.
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Old 08-11-2012, 03:18 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by fractalsource View Post
I heard. Through a friend of a friend of a friend. That. If a person has a valid ID. A person can go into a local Sheriffs Office and ask if they have a stranded traveler fund set up by the local Salvation Army. I heard that if they do, a person is given a food bank voucher and a voucher for a local motel. Now. I also heard that if a person is actually trying to get somewhere. They have a destination in mind. They can ask a church for assistance. I recommend volunteering to do some chores in exchange for help. Some church people will go to the gas station and put some gas in your tank. They will also be glad to share food from their food bank. May I suggest that you keep a record of who helps you, in hopes you can pay them back someday, when you find yourself in better financial shape. Or- "Pay it forward." Now. I also know a person can sleep over and stay "free" in Walmart Parking Lots. I happen to know a person who traveled all around the entire United States this way, by car. With no money at all - and no plan. K. So I never did this.

P.S. Ok. I did. But I'm not proud of it. But it was one very interesting chapter in my life. By all means have fun. Nothing Adventured nothing gained.
Many police depts do have something like this or can tell you of where to go to get assistance. While using this as a way of traveling is just another type of con, as far as I'm concerned, if you end up running out of money and get stuck somewhere then it's a reasonable option. For the cops it gets people out of town who may otherwise become a problem. While I've never needed it I had friends in my youth who did and as broke as I was even a small mishap could of left me needing help. For the record I'm not against people asking for help when needed, but I think planning a tip based on doing so or doing so to save money is a lowlife move.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:08 PM   #30
tallpaul63
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Okay....

Let's make a distinction between traveling cheap and traveling on someone elses dime.

We can probably agree on being frugal, resourceful, and perhaps a bit rough in style...but not beggars or thieves.

If you have the backbone to travel this way, you also have the backbone to work for your supper.

Right?
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