laws on sleeping outside?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by dadridesagain, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Plasterman

    Plasterman Adventurer

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    Anyone us a hammock for camping?
    #61
  2. Twilight Error

    Twilight Error Going nowhere slowly

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    I tried one a couple years ago, the three nights I was out weren't very comfortable, so I returned the Hammock to its owner and didn't bother buying one. I have friends who swear by them, I was swearing at it.
    #62
  3. Down South

    Down South Adventurer

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    I've been using an ENO double nest hammock setup for a couple of years now. I much prefer it to a tent. Setup is quick and finding flat ground is no longer a requirement. I've been able to camp in parks when the campground was full but the ranger allowed me to setup in the woods nearby so I could still use the showers. The trick is to sleep diagonaly which makes a relatively flat surface. Check out the hennessey hammock website for some good info.
    #63
  4. Kafn8td

    Kafn8td Been here awhile

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    I've thrown my sleeping bag out on picnic tables at rest stops and have never been hassled. I've ner set the tent up however.
    #64
  5. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    Same experience here. I know a couple guys who love sleeping in a hammock. For me, it kills my back and I wake up looking like a question mark and I need huge doses of Advil to function.
    #65
  6. hairsmith

    hairsmith Been here awhile

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    I have a friend that swears by camping at small community airports.
    He has never had a problem and most have restroom's and even coffee.
    #66
  7. veesquared

    veesquared Been here awhile

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    I have eyeballed those spots numerous times myself . The thing that always holds me back is the signs that say for official vehicles only at each crossover. I may be wrong but it seems that the land between the lanes would also be off limits. Many highways have guard rails on both sides of the road so you are mostly obliged to getting of the highway itself at these points. :lurk
    #67
  8. babarnette

    babarnette Been here awhile

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    Most areas in the south have signs that say "keep off median" on major highways and divided interstates. I don't know how strictly it is enforced though. There are some places on Hwy 49 south where the pines are thick enough that no one would ever notice you were there if you decided to do it.
    #68
  9. nuttynu

    nuttynu Long timer

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    what about crashing at the local 24/7 wal mart store.. hehe
    #69
  10. veesquared

    veesquared Been here awhile

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    Not all Walmarts allow camping Walmart publishes a book showing which do. still a good idea to contact the store manager and ask if it is okay.
    #70
  11. John Fabian

    John Fabian Fabe

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    Good advice on here. As the sun sets I have knocked on farmer's doors and asked to pitch my tent in the field "over there." I promise not to light any fires, just sleep and be gone at dawn. Even if they don't own the land, they always say yes.
    #71
  12. nuttynu

    nuttynu Long timer

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    Yup, that's always a good option too. Be kind and friendly. And always clean up after yourselves.
    #72
  13. Knightwork

    Knightwork Have Coffe Cup--Can Travel

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    Just a note most small towns are ususally pretty cool about bikes that come to the local PD and ask for thoughts on camping -I have stayed in the empty areas behind them and wake up at night to hear and see them coming out to check on me and when I got up in the am most invite you to come in, clean up and have a cup of coffee with them---

    Also if you can get your hands on a railroad track map that shows abandoned lines --usually they are far enough off the main drag to enjoy the quiet--and you don't have to worry about drainage if it rains either
    #73
  14. charlesdarwin

    charlesdarwin Adventurer

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    Small airports ain't as friendly as they used to be post 911. Cemeteries are generally good and quiet.
    #74
  15. divrnr

    divrnr ROAD WARRIOR

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    I tried stealth camping with a hammock but I am a side sleeper and toss too much. Even sideways sleeping the backs of my knees killed me in the morning.

    Now I have a forest green tent and I bought some hunter's camo netting to throw over the bike and go off into the bushes and stealth camp.
    #75
  16. El Buzadero

    El Buzadero Armchair Anarchist

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    As with most online forums, this thread seems to have excessive analysis and speculative theory. How many have actually had an issue when so-called 'stealth camping'? Has anyone ever been accosted by zombies or their ilk at a rest stop? How many cops have actually run you off when you were sleeping for the night?

    I've crashed out in a myriad of oddball locations across the country. I work all over the place and regularly ride. Other than the odd animal encounter or surprise sprinkler, I've never had anything more than a mild interaction with anyone bothering me. And that was more curiosity than anything. I think somebody sees a bike and a tent, bedroll, bivysac etc next to it and they naturally assume that the rider is simply trying to get some rest.

    That being said, if it's raining I have been known to pull into the Home Depot or Lowe's and roll my bike into one of the display sheds in the parking lot, lay out a pad and bag and bivy inside for the night. Again, the worst level of interaction was no more than some bemused looks in the early morning hours by arriving employees as I was rolling out my bike, warming it up and getting on my kit.

    Of course, YMMV. There will always be some extreme exception story that someone will be able to relate about a friend of a friend of a guy at work whose brother in law had some horror story about the toothless hillbillies that grabbed someone and zip-tyed their sleeping bag and tossed it off a bridge. It's never happened to me, though.
    #76
  17. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer

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    I'm certainly no RTW traveler but I've stealth-camped quite a bit. And the only thing I've figured out is that I must have a cop/game warden magnet somewhere on me. Because I swear, a solid half of the time, no matter where it is, I get a flashlight in my face at some point in the night. Sometimes twice. I've never been tossed or given a single bit of grief, but for some reason people in uniform love to politely wake we up and ask "hey, how ya doing?"
    #77
  18. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    I had never even considered using the display sheds in a Lowe's/Home Depot parking lot. Dude, that is freaking brilliant!!! :clap
    #78
  19. jknight611

    jknight611 Adventurer

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    I have used Lowe's buildings out in the parking lot, arrive late, leave early and your bike is inside for the evening! I also enjoy hammock camping, a Hennessey hammock is a great way to go. I have stayed along side the interstate system in Mississippi. There is a fence along the interstate and a service trail along the fence, you can get 100 yards from the highway and the noise is less. Hammocks are easy up, comfortable (for me) and with the snake skins can be put up in heavy rain (in your riding gear) without even getting wet!

    Good thread!!

    Jay
    South Coast
    #79
  20. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    In the past 15 years or so, I've stealth camped dozens of times--perhaps into the hundreds. I've had cops run me off exactly once. Or maybe twice, depending on how you count it.

    In a small Iowa town a buddy and I were taking a cross-country trip. We scouted a good place to set up behind a maintenance shed in a small city park. After going into town for dinner and a couple drinks, we walked back to the park where we were approached by a couple of officers who sternly told us we weren't allowed in the park after dark. We tried to sell him on our trip and pointed out that we'd be gone in the morning, but he wouldn't budge. He insisted that we head elsewhere.

    So... we moved to a different part of town where we thought we would be ok. Sometime around sunrise at 5 or 6am, another officer came up, flashlight shining. We both woke up and peered outside. He told us we'd have to pack up and leave immediately, that we were on public property and camping wasn't allowed.

    That's been the only place I've ever been asked to leave.

    I've been approached by officials on two or three other occasions. Once when I set up my tent near a boat ramp in Missouri, a park ranger or game warden came by in the morning as I packed up. He gave me a lecture about how there was a campground nearby and I shouldn't have stayed where I did. He asked for my ID and ran my license. For his part, he was right. I passed the campground, but when I saw what they charged for a simple tent site, I found someplace cheaper. :D

    And once in Florida I slept along the treeline inside a gated entrance to the county landfill after passing by many miles of barbed wire fenced cattle pasture. The landfill was scheduled to open at 7 or 8am, and I figured to be up and gone by then. But before sunrise, I heard trucks coming and going. About that time, a light shone on my tent and I stuck my head out. An officer was staring at me holding his light. He asked me, "Do you know you're on public property?"

    I thought about it for a minute and replied, "Well, I thought it was better than sleeping on private property." I was being completely sincere, but he took me to be a smartass and warned me that I better by gone in a couple of hours. Uh... ok. I will. Sorry.

    I've also been approached by a couple more officials who merely checked on me, wished me well and left me alone and a couple officers who helped me find a place to set up my tent or told me they'd keep an eye on me to make sure I was safe.

    I've never had a negative encounter with a civilian. The few encounters I've had with civilians ended up as exchanging pleasantries, or in a few cases, offers of dinner, a shower, laundry facilities, and/or a beer or two.

    Jamie
    #80