Camping on the side of the road.

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Walub, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. eightup

    eightup Been here awhile

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    This aspect never really got covered. Do any of you guys just roll up to a house, tell your quick story, and ask if you can set up in their yard? If so how are the results?
  2. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    Sometimes I will roll into a town late (too late to spend too much time looking for a campsite) and I always look for an apartment complex. There are usually flat, empty spaces next to the buildings.

    If someone asks what you're doing, tell them you're "testing my camping equipment." They'll assume you live in one of the apartments. As long as you're gone early, no one will bother you and it's doubtful you'll run into the manager.

    It's not ideal (traffic, loud "neighbors") but finding an apartment complex will work in a pinch. And as long as you're not building a bonfire, the cops will leave you alone, too.
  3. FMFDOC

    FMFDOC Long timer

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    +1

    :clap
  4. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    On a bicycle trip through Arizona a number of years back I was having trouble finding a place to stop for the night due to the terrain. I came up on a small farmhouse, and a guy was out working in the yard, so I pulled in.

    I introduced myself and asked if I could set up my tent in their yard. He agreed and even offered that I could stay in a small, clean shed out back. They let me take a shower and his wife made me a big sandwich for dinner.

    That's the only cold call I can remember in my experience and they were enthusiastic hosts.

    In a couple other cases I've stopped to check out a piece of private property only to have the landowner come by, whereby I either ask permission to set up my tent there, or I'll ask if they know anyplace I could set up my tent. In no case have I been refused. In a couple of instances the landowner offered a spare bedroom, or asks if I'd like some dinner or a couple beers.

    I'd have a hard time knocking on someone's door, but if I were to see them outside, or made casual contact in some other way, I wouldn't have too much problem asking to set up my tent.

    Jamie
  5. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    As a climber I've camped on the side of the road a lot. Don't have many pics of it, but I like this one (posted it before). It was at the end of a long day of riding (~10hrs, 563 miles).

    [​IMG]

    Since people are showing informal camping also, we found this spot a bit off off the road:
    [​IMG]

    The sunrise view from there:
    [​IMG]
  6. Mgbgt89

    Mgbgt89 Long timer

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    That might work for you, but i wouldn't want to be in a tent at any apartment complex I've ever been to or lived in. Hell, i wouldn't want to be at them after dark period, let alone with a bike.

    I try to camp out of sight and as far away from populated areas as possible. When planning a days riding i try to shoot for a national forest, they always have plenty of places to camp for free.
  7. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    Dude, where have you lived? :D

    The apartment complex I live in now is filled with retired people and very quiet after 8 p.m. Location, location, location.

    As far as camping goes, I'm pretty much the same: I'd prefer to be out of town and in a nice quiet isolated forest location. Sometimes, though, the end of the day just finds me in a city. It's not ideal, but it works.
  8. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    Here in Newfoundland camping on public ground is not only legal it is accepted and common. I have camped in communities all over and in a few places people have asked why i would camp on the beach? We have a room with a bed if you want.
  9. bigphish

    bigphish Curiously Satisfying

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    I am leaving in June on a 5 or 6 week excursion through the western U.S. Solo. Should I have any concerns with undesirables finding or bothering me camping on Natl. forest lands??
  10. David R

    David R I been called a Nut Job..

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    I stayed here once. Chestertown NY . The folks at the pizza place said just camp anywhere. There were thunder and high wind warnings. I grabbed this. Packed up my stuff and was gone by 5:30 AM.

    [​IMG]

    David
  11. David R

    David R I been called a Nut Job..

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    Wall mart tent, Dillion shooting mat under the el cheapo coleman sleeping bag.

    [​IMG]

    I camp because I am cheap.

    Hotel if the weather is bad, nobody likes to wake up with everything wet.

    I will pay for a state camp site so I can get a shower.
    Private camp grounds are usually more than the state ones.
    All I want is a place for my tent, a fire and shower.

    This was in BATH NY this summer. I wanted to ride route 10 from one end to the other, about 150 miles. NOT along side the road, in a private campground . $28.00 for the night.

    [​IMG]

    David
  12. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    I would not want to camp at most of the apartment complexes over here in Fayetteville, and Fayetteville is a safe town...

    Like you said, "location, location".

    If you don't know your location, it seems like a pretty big risk to sleep out in an apartment complex...
  13. Bushav8r

    Bushav8r Been here awhile

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    Indeed. You find some pretty nice places to camp in your travels.
  14. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Apartment complexes are not good in California either. If they are, they probably also have a security guard that will kick you out as soon as tent touches the ground.

    National Forest Land is good, though. Most hoodlums in the west don't venture into the forest much. If they do, you'll recognize their party spots by the abundant trash they leave behind. Homeless people tend to stick closer to town to access soup kitchens, welfare offices or whatever.

    It would be exceedingly rare to be bothered in the forest. You will be more likely to be invited to join fellow outdoor people for fresh coffee or something. Just don't dress like a 12 point buck. :gun2
  15. duck

    duck Banned

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    They do in Washington - to cook meth - and then leave a bunch of toxic waste around.
  16. Treedguy

    Treedguy Long timer

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  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    That was in 2008. Pot is legal now in Washington. They are probably growing at home now.

    In California, they hire illegals who like to get paid, but don't like to shoot people. They often drop their guns and run when stumbled upon by hikers. I have heard the hippies in Northern California are dangerous, but I have not heard of any actual cases. The only time I've been confronted is when I twice accidentally turned up a driveway. A u-turn satisfied one guy, the other guy gave me a tour of his off-the-grid homestead. He turned out to be a local historian.
  18. Rauven

    Rauven I like the cold...

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    Hmm... some camping on the side of the road experiences. In 2010 with my better half we took a 12,5k km long trip around the coast of western europe. As quite poor students we were gathering money for a whole year to afford that. And because the budget was not to big we spent most of the nights sleeping by the side of the road or pitching the tent on gas stations. It was fun, I learned how to shower in a sink in a gas station toilet ;)

    One night we got a bit lost on a small road in Spain, Sierra Nevada national park. Took a wrong turn somewhere. We decided to pitch a tent by the side of the road. It was pitch dark.

    We woke up to a view like that:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Rest of the nights was mostly spent like that:

    [​IMG]

    BTW. Quite... interesting story about sleeping on this parking lot. Huge truck stop on the spanish coast. We went to sleep next to the bike, around 2am I get woken up by moaning. First thought 'Well.. it's a truck stop. Probably some local working girls earning some cash'. After 15 minutes it continues. I get bit annoyed, get up to grab a smoke, and I see a rather stunning scene.
    5 truck drivers, standing around one laptop, watching porn... ekhem... "enjoying themselves" (to keep it SFW)... I know one gets lonely on a long road, far from home... but seriously ?
  19. astrolump

    astrolump Been here awhile

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    this weekends ride....
    a little stealth beach camping along A1A
    [​IMG]
  20. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    Having little money I camp free exclusively, rain or shine. Riding in the eastern part of the US doesn't interest me so there is no need to be creative in finding stealth camping spots in populated areas. Instead I plan to end each day in a national forest or BLM land where I'm pretty proficient at finding great places to camp. I can usually find a nice spot next to a creek or river that has been used over the years with an access road or jeep trail and a fire ring. When I find a new spot I mark it on my GPS for future reference.

    A few years ago when traveling on a Goldwing I discovered that the low ground clearance prevented me from getting to many of these great camping spots. Got rid of it and now have a bike that can roll over obstacles without getting hung up. Aside from gas and tires, motorcycle touring in the west is enjoyable and cheap.