Stealth Camping 101

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by Rev, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Duckworth

    Duckworth Taking the high road

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    Don't they have security cameras for the lots?
  2. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    Probably, they might only check them when they know something is happening or has happened. They are not going to watch every vehicle come and go.
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  3. Pavel+

    Pavel+ Adventurer

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    I use this strategy all the time and it is a good tip. I'll add that railroad tracks can easily be followed fifty or sixty feet down, in the same way, much of the time. That comes in handy on a bicycle, but a bit more fraught with danger on a motorcycle.

    I cycled with a brit chap for a few days after he visited me on warm showers and while there are cameras at all walmarts, he used the woods behind some of them to string his hammock up, with great success. He'd go in and ask for the manager, show him his passport and ask permission. It seemed to work really well. I think of it as another take on the "hide out in plain sight" approach. I've had good success in the summer months camping at city parks. If there is any police around I like to ask them, and so far I've always had them be really nice. Several times they've told me that they will send the next shift around and just make sure all is ok. I envy some of these countries that have rights, such as those in Sweden, but I've found Americans to be very generous, friendly and helpful. Watchig televison, one would think the world is a far more ugly and dangerous place, but one of the nice things about "free camping" or "stealth camping" is that you often discover how wonderful the average person is. It's only once in a while that you get stabbed to death. Adds to the excitement, right?! :D
  4. AlH

    AlH Long timer

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    I'd have to disagree about the rarely serviced at night part, especially for cell towers.
    Used to work in that field and 11PM to 5AM was the maintenance window when quite a lot of work was done at cell sites. Reason was the system was less busy then if a site had to come down...or was impaired in some way by ongoing maintenance.

    Will say I never encountered campers but encountering "lovers" was common and often hilarious watching them scramble when they'd been "discovered":lol3
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  5. ChrisFZ1

    ChrisFZ1 Adventurer

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    I'm glad I found this thread. I want to take a 5 or 6 day trip, down the BRP and to Deals Gap, Cherohala Parkway et al and camp all the way.
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  6. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    I guess the relevant question is, what did you do when you encountered campers or lovers on property?

    Jamie
  7. AlH

    AlH Long timer

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    As I said I never encountered campers, but usually the "lovers" promptly left when they saw me approaching...if not I left for a few to give them a chance to leave.
    That usually worked.
    On one occasion I did call the authorities when I encountered an unoccupied vehicle at a site early one morning.
    Deputies came, ran the tags and were looking through the unlocked car when the young man that had left it came strolling out of the woods.
    He was sneaking through the forest to his girlfriends home to crawl in her window as her father had forbidden him to see her:lol2
    Unfortunately he was in possession of a stolen handicapped license plate. He was also in an area clearly marked "no trespassing".

    BTW virtually all the access drives at sites I worked at had "no trespassing" signs.
    Copper theft became a big problem at communications sites in later years so law enforcement was often asked to step up patrols in the areas too.

    Really bad problem areas sometimes had hidden video surveillance too.

    Just stuff to keep in mind.:beer
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  8. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    That's it exactly. I'm trying to keep it in mind.

    Cell towers and power stations have frequently been a place I've stealth camped. To date I've never encountered anyone at any of those locations, but I surely don't want to get into some trouble with the authorities by doing so.

    I'm guessing that if someone showed up, they'd see my bike and tent, and no signs of damage, drinking, or partying, and at worst they'd simply wake me up and ask me to leave. At least that's what I've depended on so far.

    Jamie
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  9. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

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    Woke up to noise sleeping in the woods about 100ft from the turn around at a Cell tower last year.
    Quickly and quietly broke camp.
    Fired the bike up and rode out of the woods right in between two large Utility trucks there unloading people and gear for tower work.
    The looks on their faces as I rode around the rear truck and down the gravel road away from them was priceless.
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  10. Meriwether

    Meriwether Following big footprints.

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    Has anyone mentioned 'ask a local'? , especially in populated country areas. Pick a neat and tidy farm house, not a junkyard and not too flash, and ask 'Do you know where I can pitch my tent for the night'. It has worked for me many times, sometimes with benefits like a meal and shower. I sleep better knowing I have permission, plus you get to meet some really friendly people.
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  11. trailer Rails

    trailer Rails Washes hands before going to the bathroom

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    I have tried that many times with very poor results. Usually people suggest camp grounds. I try and ask again, "you know, like a place where all the kids go to drink beer on a Friday night". Most people don't get the concept.
  12. lam@advf

    lam@advf Adventurer

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    Sorry to circle back to this so far past the post but I just found this thread.

    Jamie - Of course he wasn't friendly. He was pushing for some cash and you weren't coming up with the right responses.

    "Bribing Local LEOs 101"
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  13. Boondocker1

    Boondocker1 Been here awhile

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    I stealth camp all the time and I don't mind asking the locals either... Here's a perfect example. It was the end of the day, I was tired, I had "eye-balled" a couple of potential spots but thought I'd find a gas station first to get a few things for dinner. I noticed that there were a number of empty trailers in the back lot. I asked the girl behind the counter if I could pitch a tent back there for the night. She hollered at the manager, the manager hollered, "Sure!" and I had a place for the night. Super nice people...

    upload_2017-4-19_11-43-56.png
  14. Boondocker1

    Boondocker1 Been here awhile

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    A buddy of mine and I setting up camp off of a dirt road somewhere in the hills off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We left the bikes parked right there... I think a total of maybe 2 cars came by while were there. No issues at all.

    upload_2017-4-19_11-48-23.png
  15. George Hanson

    George Hanson Been here awhile

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    Been there, done that on two separate trips down the BRP.
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  16. Meriwether

    Meriwether Following big footprints.

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    As the saying goes 'That's what I'm talking about'. This brings back memories of a few years ago. At a service station/truck stop I asked the lady is it OK to camp round the back. 'Sure' she said 'but watch out for the bears around the dumpster'. So I camped out front, diagonally opposite from the dumpster. You gotta know where you fit in the food chain.
  17. bromax

    bromax Bromax

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    on the farm my dog kept barking at sunset, so off i went with him to see what he wanted me to see.
    Well we found a young, apologetic couple and their motorbike in a tent.
    I asked what they were doing and they asked if they could spend the night at the end of the field.
    I agreed as they offered a sip of some vodka miked with Kalua and liked the dog.
    The next day there was no trace .... nice kids.
  18. bwanacswan

    bwanacswan Team Vicarious

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    From a farmer's perspective as the last reply most of us don't care. I would rather know someone is on my property in case of bad weather or if they should encounter a problem be it physical or what have you.
    I have stealth camped on occasion and every occasion is unique and totally situational. Use best judgement and be creative.
    Stealth is fun and exciting but not always appropriate or possible.

    I have had mostly bicycle campers show up at my place.
    I respect the privacy of anyone to be as open or private as they choose whether they choose to ask or just set up out of site.

    My guess there are plenty of stealth campers who had know idea that the farmer/rancher knew they had interlopers and decided just to let it go or really didn't give much thought to it.

    If the few people that didn't ask or thought they were hiding had taken the time to knock on my door they missed out.
    I have a lodge not far from the house with beer, satellite, Wi-Fi, and a warm place or cool place to stay.
    They might even get to talk to a fellow rider.
  19. Choby

    Choby Adventurer

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    All I know is don't stay in a green field in desert country, they tend to have auto sprinklers that open up at 0500hrs, oh and just because it looks like soft grass doesn't mean you can walk around barefoot there are all sorts of pricklers out there.
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  20. smuts.g

    smuts.g Adventurer

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