laws on sleeping outside?

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

  1. Gripsteruser

    Gripsteruser Service Monkey

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    While driving to work this morning I was listening to the scanner and heard a 'stealth camping' on private property incident. Only motorcycle related in that it was stealth camping which is occasionally discussed here.

    Well before any dawn light (0540 or so) the call was from a landowner reporting a young man in a white hoodie and a white car dumping something behind some cement blocks on a neighbor's rural property. Call was made to the county Sheriff.

    They had no units closer than 30 min away.
    So County Dispatch started working the phones to find whether another town or 2 nearby could help out. Nope.
    Then they called State Patrol which had a unit about 3 minutes away.

    Trooper got to the area and needed a little more coaching to find the exact spot but found it without too much trouble.

    Camper turned out to be a young woman who claimed to have permission to camp there. Neighbor advised who owned that property. Trooper called owner - nope. No permission. But owner said unless there was damage or dumpage that he'd not press charges.

    Trooper sent the person on their way.

    Lessons- (1)more people are watching than you might think. Likely because of rural wire and other theft activity (2) don't use any lights - I think the interior light of the car when the door was opened was what was seen (3) you may get a LOT of police response but (4) if you really haven't done anything but sleep it might not be a large issue. (but you're taking your chances with whoever is responding)
  2. XtreemLEE

    XtreemLEE Member #476

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    My father did this he was the ultimate pragmatist, rode from Wisconsin to Glacier national park touring on his CL350...
  3. ta-rider

    ta-rider Returned from Africa

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    Hi Churches and Temples are allways worth a try but many times even they send you away. I dont know about laws but wild camped in more then 80 countrys allready. Just dont destroy anything and dont make a fire. Pitch your tent in the dark and leave early in the morning: http://reisemotorrad.eu
  4. Capri142

    Capri142 Adventurer

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    Churches are the best, esp if the pastor has a house behind the church. Ask if you can put your tent up or sleep next to you bike. I have never had anyone say no and several times have been invited to dinner and great conversation. Farms and ranches are good too. At a few of them I have been invited to sleep out of the weather, in the barn and for dinner and breakfast as well. just always remember to ask.
  5. Buckaroo Banzai

    Buckaroo Banzai Been here awhile

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    I'm thinking about taking a trip and doing some camping so this is all very interesting to me.

    I would think people wouldn't object to sleeping out in the open with a sleeping bag compared to setting up a tent.

    It would look like they are setting up camp more with a tent and I think people would be a little more concerned when that happens.

    Just an observation since I have never tried this yet. But this is very interesting.
  6. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    Problem with sleeping in the open even on clear nights is morning dew which will soak your bag and much of your gear, and many places it rains at night. Easier to just roll up a wet tent fly that stow wet bag, ect ect.

    Anyway I think stealth camping is an acquired art. I love it and is one of the reasons I love traveling around the USA. My best successes have been consistently in National forest, state parks, national park, rest areas off old US highway.
    Wildlife management areas with care. BLM land is also fair game but hard to know where it is unless you have some local info.

    As already mentioned, arrive late, leave early and avoid interstate highway like the plague.

    In south America I've had wonderful times just asking local farmers if I can pitch my tent for the night. (poner mi carpa por la noche)
  7. Buckaroo Banzai

    Buckaroo Banzai Been here awhile

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    Next year I retire and want to go down to Key West and stay as long as I can on the cheap. So, I think I will head your advice.

    I would think area's where it's more commercial would be harder to find spots where in the country you could do as you say "ask a farmer" etc.

    Also, would need somewhere to shower and clean up some. I think if you went to a state park or somewhere you could just go use the public shower. I'm sure no one would be checking there.
  8. TRAVR6

    TRAVR6 Been here awhile

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    There is not much in Key west.
    I would stay north of Key west if you plan on stealth camping.
    Key Largo or above is your best bet
  9. IRideASlowBike

    IRideASlowBike Banned

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    I slept overnight on the Southernmost Beach in Key West. Just rolled down a mat.

    [​IMG]
  10. cpittmx

    cpittmx Adventurer

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    not trying to be funny here, but often when traveling and diet has changed the control over when mother nature calls for a #2 can really be diminished. How do you handle this when camping on the church lawn or anyplace that does not have toilet facilities but is still a public place?
  11. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer

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    Valid question, with a simple answer: do the same thing other people do when dealing with a shared resource - pack it out. It's been well-sorted by rock climbers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdU_bG9Lioc
  12. cpittmx

    cpittmx Adventurer

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    Nice solution....and easy.
  13. gateman

    gateman Long timer

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    Im so glad I live where I live.
  14. GPHusky250

    GPHusky250 Been here awhile

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    Long before I thought about buying a motorcycle and doing some camping, I remember seeing guys camping in various places around my hometown.

    I was able to see them for a couple of reasons...one..they tended to park their bikes in positions where my car's headlights reflected off their license plate. I guess it would be easy for cops to see as well. Solution...park your bike in a manner where the license plate is facing away from roads or carry a little piece of cardboard to place over it at night.

    Side reflectors on bikes...same thing. You need to cover these up as well.

    Head light reflectors work both ways...get it covered.

    Next...I've seen reflective jackets draped over the seat. Same as license plates, reflective clothing is saying....hey, I"m over here. Take your gear inside or at least turn it inside out before draping it over your bike.

    Another dead giveaway is the color of your tent...if you use one. Ever see the Army dress their men up in orange uniforms...or dayglow green...or blue...or yellow. NOPE. If you want to blend in, get a dark green tent. Nothing says "camper" better than an orange and yellow tent in a field of green.

    ____

    Me...I love to talk to people and don't have any problem striking up a conversation with a total stranger. Initially they'll have their shields up but once they figure out you're not a nit wit...they warm up pretty fast...most curious about your ride...ya see...there's a lot of "romance" for the lack of a better term being out on the open road with a bike and they want to know where you've been and what you saw.

    Once you feel the time is right...just ask if they know a good place to hunker down for the night. Often you'll be camping out in their yard, or staying is a spare room in their house. From stranger to friends in a hour.

    Police...stop in to their station as ask. You'll find that if you aren't smoking crack, doing drive bys or beating your girlfriend...they are more than willing to help you out. Another good place to ask is the local Fire Station. I stopped in at one and found out three of the five guys on shift rode adventure bikes. They hooked me up.

    Anyway, I'm no expert on motorcycle camping...most here have vast amounts of knowledge...but I do know that if I'm driving down a road that I've driven down for years...and my headlights reflect off something in a field or in the woods that's never been there before...I get curious...as do the cops.
  15. RunninRanger

    RunninRanger Been here awhile

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    I have lived most of my life in the Soutwest. Now in the mid-west. On so many nights while riding here or there I have chosen to camp off the highway on the cheap. Just because I didn't want the hassle and expense or simple because I wasn't were a hotel was. On many occasion I have found a road leading off the highway. Usually a dirt road. Here in the Southwest and as in the mid-west we have open-range. I have tossed a tent in these areas w/o issue a many a time.
    I have slept in National Forests in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado this way. Found myself surrounded by Elk on occasion!
    I avoid rest areas because....well most use them to pee on! So no thanks. Many times have I set up camp against the fence along the highway. I find one that is secluded as possible with a revene, hill or bridge and I can 1.) hide behind and 2.) keep the road noise to a minumum. I find two-lane side roads to practice this though.
    In the Southwest there are many Indian lands. Though they own the land and they have the right to fine you, I have never been awoken and asked to leave when I had my bike beside my tent.
    Ride safe.
  16. Astolfo

    Astolfo Wicked Slow

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    yeah.... until it happens what happened to me! they locked mine up and called the cops for trespassing! Not only I had to wait for a couple of hours, but I got a ticket and had to appear on court.

    I promise I was not rude, made a mess or anything besides rolling my bike in and sleeping soundly.....
  17. ktrout01

    ktrout01 Been here awhile

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    Check with the local VFW or Legion post. Most have pavilions behind the clubhouse and are real decent people. You may also be asked in for a couple beers at the bar before heading out to sleep in the pavilion for the night.
  18. Wannabee

    Wannabee Survivor of Reality

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    Never thought of the VFW /Legion Post route ...being a Gulf War veteran may help me out

    sent from my Illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator
  19. stevefl

    stevefl Adventurer

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    I've slept at many rest areas over the years and with only one issue and that was here in Florida my home state; it was at the 2nd south bound rest area on I-10. In Texas night watch lady at the West bound welcome station of I-40 let me put my bike under one of the picnic pavilions because it was raining; she told me that as long as I didn't put up a tent it was ok. She woke me just before her shift ended. BTW I only use the interstates when time is short and the distance isn't. Most interstates i've been on have plenty of "secret places" - Some how stealth camping and motorcycle touring go hand in hand :^)... just remember "Stealth" is an action that requires thought.

    I try to plan out my day to be in a national forrest or other public property in the early evening. I've found that light from a small backpacking is stove easily concealed using a modified Dakota fire hole; for camp light I sparingly use a small (2xAA's) flashlight with a red lends. :hide
  20. GPHusky250

    GPHusky250 Been here awhile

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    I've been asked over the years to join the local VFW...although what qualified me for the invitation (Navy Expeditionary Medal) had nothing to do with being in a war. I never signed up because I don't drink...which seems to be the draw of many of my friends who are real Veteran's of Foreign Wars. But hey, if flashing a VFW membership allows me to sleep behind a VFW...that may be a good reason to join up. :)