Camping on the side of the road.

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

  1. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    What does he carry for zombie alert? :dunno
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    Cemeteries are often good places to spend the night. It's been mentioned in this thread numerous times.

    Jamie
  3. RedShark

    RedShark Long timer

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    "Cemeteries ? - Nah, too popular."

    "How do you figure ?"

    "People are dying to get in there..."
  4. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer Supporter

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    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that part ...... HE IS A ZOMBIE! :lol3
  5. blackvans1234

    blackvans1234 Talking to myself...

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    Run like hell!
  6. Billigan

    Billigan n00b

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    I stealth camp once at lake front water treatment plant parking lot. I didn't sleep too well cause I was not used to it. Next time, I should be more comfortable with it. Regarding camping in a cemetery, I personal would NOT do it! If I must, it would be in an unoccupied section:rofl

    I have heard bikers slept in ER waiting rooms, anyone done it at an airport bus or train stations? As long as you remove your riding gears, one should blend right in!
  7. froger

    froger Been here awhile

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    If you do it right, you can camp out in the open, and no one will care. You only need three things. The first is a flat spot big enough for your bike and tent. The second is security, which is mostly freedom from bears and tweakers. They work nights, and they get around. It's a problem. But they got places to go, and things to do. If theres nothing around to eat or steal, your probably ok. This is where you pay for your free camping. After that, I'd check the area for skeet's, widowmaker trees, party gargage and the like. If it looks good, then all you need is distance from neighbors. Camp in someone's yard, and they'll call the law. If your a quarter mile away, and on someone else's land, they wont give a damn, even if your in plain sight... How far away is far enough? In a coastal rain forest, I've been within a hundred yards of people's house's a few times and no one cared. It's amazing what you can find if your tired or breaking down. Out in the desert I'd want to be farther out. If your prospective site is within partial view of the main road, and plainly visible from a side road, yet not visible from anyone's house, it's worth considering.
    Dirt roads are often productive, as long as they dont have mailbox's. Then it's a rich person's driveway. You'll get kicked out, DAMHIK. Unused rock pits work well. Look along the edge and find a grassy spot.
    I dont like hiding. It makes you look bad, and the local's might know your there anyway. Likewise looking after dark, you need to see what your doing. It's great to have that knowledge, and be able to return to a spot after dark. But trying to find a good spot in the dark is all luck.
  8. tvpierce

    tvpierce Been here awhile

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    You'd think they'd take issue with the tent! :rofl:rofl:rofl
  9. Montague

    Montague UDF Adventurer

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    Not to mention the Beemer owners who would insist on bringing the bike inside too!
  10. PlainClothesHippy

    PlainClothesHippy Riding a dangerously quiet bike.

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    And the campfire.
  11. Billigan

    Billigan n00b

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    I don't think they would mind you setting up a tent, if the sprinklers are on and the nurses are being pesky!:rofl
  12. CharlesLathe

    CharlesLathe Been here awhile

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    This year, I bought a black, lightweight bike cover because people see the bike before they see me. A couple of summers ago, I was sleeping in the trees next to the parking lot of a boat launch area with signs prominently posted saying No Camping. I slept through the night, but woke up not long before dawn when a voice belonging to a man who was almost stepping on me called to his fishing buddy, "Hey, there's a motorcycle over here." I startled him as badly as he startled me when I said, "It's my motorcycle."

    I see a lot of people suggesting that you can ask a cop about a place to camp. Do some of you actually ask cops about places to camp? If so, have any of you actually been given a good tip? And if you've answered yes to both questions, where do they have cops like that?
  13. Tucson Jim

    Tucson Jim Been here awhile

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    Haven't stealth camped in a while but when I did my theory was out of sight, out of mind.

    I would make sure my tent and bike couldn't be seen from the road, houses, business, parking lots, etc. I would use a small stove or build a SMALL fire dug into the ground Dakota style.

    Never had a problem.
  14. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    Yes and yes, Newfoundland.
    No laws against it here. Beaches, headlands over the ocean, gravel pits, meadows. We have a lot of "Crown" land here and it is not owned. Hell, even if it is nobody minds as long as you take your trash with you when you leave.
  15. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    :lol3 After he caught me on radar, was getting late and no camping in sight somewhere in the flats. He even phoned dispatch to check as he didn't think there were any and sure enough there wasn't. And never gave me a ticket, must have been my tired look after 10+ hours on the road.:evil
  16. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    I've asked cops about places to pitch a tent a few times. Remember not to say "camp" because they will probably have in mind a campfire and drinking and other things some people do while "camping." Most of us stealth camping are just looking for a patch of ground to pitch the tent.

    I had a cop in CA find me a spot behind the local firehouse. I had cops in MO tell me I could set up my tent in the local park and that he'd come by now and then to check on me. I've also had a cop in Canada offer to direct me to the nearest campground, and if you've been to Canadian campgrounds you know they're rather expensive and a fireman in Mexico denied my request to sleep out back of the firehouse. A cop in AR shrugged when I asked about a place to sleep. He wasn't interested in helping me in the least.

    None of them hassled me though.

    Jamie
  17. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    I've done a lot of stealth camping/dispersed camping, and never once pitched a tent while doing it.

    Maybe it make sense if you're doing it in a town--maybe it will reduce the likelihood of being bothered. I don't know. Haven't ever done it there. Or if it's raining. Sure it makes sense if it's raining.

    But I think a lot of people automatically want to set up house--or at least sleep in a tent. I don't get that.

    It's certainly stealthier if you can set up & pack up camp faster.
  18. froger

    froger Been here awhile

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    Cops have found my camp a few times. Of course I was just a tired rider about to go to bed, it was plain I wasen't going to cause them any problems. One officer said his partner was known to kick people out, but he didn't care. Unless someone is going to complain, you are probably all right.
    If my camp is out of sight, yet there are people around, I'll get visited by people who didn't know I was there. Usually it's folks out for a walk. It happens a lot. One camp in ten, I'd say. Some people act like they've seen it all, to some it's obviously a new idea. Nobody gets mad. If I'm out of the way, but in plain sight, I hardly ever get visitors.
    I have asked locals where to camp once or twice, and they were happy to help. It's probably a good idea, as long as you ask the right local. But over the years Iv'e developed a good eye for finding places, and can usually do ok by myself.
  19. CallMeBoog

    CallMeBoog hi functioning idiom

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    Yessir.

    "Hey there Officer, my name is X and I'm kind of tired and weary from riding all day. I left from (home town) x number of days ago, and have been on the road since (time) this morning, when I left (last place you camped). Is there a place around here, maybe in the woods near the highway, or just out of town that I could throw my tent up and have a rest before setting out for (next place) in the morning?"

    I've used that line a couple times. I once got to set up my tent in the cop's backyard - He didn't mind and even offered to let me use his barbecue. I've got nothing to hide - people pick up on honesty.

    What's the downside if you're just legitimately looking to crash? You're obviously not homeless (a bum), and you're being honest with them. If all they suggest is legitimate campgrounds, Just say you were hoping to find a quiet place where you won't be bothered, and you won't bother anyone if you leave early in the morning. They might ask to see your ID - oblige them - they're probably just adding it to their notes if they get a complaint of someone strange in the woods.

    In my experience if You're upfront, respectful and cooperative with Johnny Law, they'll usually point you in the right direction. If the cop is a dick to you, maybe he just had to pull some guy away from his beat up girlfriend, or any of the other horrible things cops go through day in and day out - Critical Incident stress is real, and sometimes they don't feel to helpful. Thank them for their time, wish them a safe night, and move on.


    Another tactic I've used is when in a rural setting, if you see a big field or large property, go up to the house. use the line above, asking them if there's a place around there you can throw a tent for the night - they might offer to let you do that at their back field. Again - it's been done many times - Sometimes they'll flag you down in the morning as you're leaving and ask if you'd like a coffee and some eggs. Farmers are usually nice people, but they don't take kindly to trespassers.
  20. pedalritter

    pedalritter n00b

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    Hi, I live in Austria, Europe. This thread is an interesting read for me, as to get a clue how this is handled in the US.
    I'm travelling a lot all over the world, except US. Not only by motorbike, but also by bicycle, kajak or just plain walking and normally avoid campgrounds. Nowhere it was a problem if you are polite and friendly to local people. For US standards a lot of areas in central and southern europe are extremely populated. Often it is impossible to find a place where you are not found and every sqare-feet is owned by someone and his family for at least the last 2000 generations :lol3
    Of course you have to use some commonsense: At nightfall I try to be not near big citys, if I don't want to pay for sleeping. Same with places of interest for tourists, tourist beach-areas or desinated areas of nature-conservation. In most areas in europe people differentiate between someone who just sleeps and heads on or someone who wants to spend weeks at a campside. The second category is very unpopular outside of campsides, as they oftentimes pollute the surronding area. Just staying over night is fine for most people. I ask farmers if I happen to meet them, normally I don't.
    In southeast - asia if you get found while camping somewhere the worst thing that can happen is, that someone brings you dinner. Never met so extremely friendly people anywhere in the world.
    In central africa I have been invited to the homes of people repeatedly because they are -rightly so or not- concerned about your safety. A lot of people there fear not so much lions or robbers but black magic roaming around at night :wink: Also, often enough having a tourist in your home is good for your social status in the village.
    In the rural areas of Russia there never was the slightest problem, as no one lives there :roflIn north or central russia you really have to search humans if you want to meet some. It simply is a very big country.
    South america never was a problem, but there I usually was in very remote areas with my kajak... so no one was there to make trouble. In more populated areas I would at least think about the possibility of getting robbed. Depending of the area of course. But with camping, people there are just as fine as nearly everywhere else I have been. In the deserts of northern africa it is absolutely normal to put up a tent to stay overnight. There still are enough people who live in tents all their life.

    All in all center and southern europe is the most difficult area for camping like this I know, but still here it is not really a problem if you just smile and wave at people passing by and make clear that you are not planning to make this spot your second home for the next month.

    With north america I had no idea how people handle this, so this thread was interesting for me. I've been there only for short visits for business-reasons but never for a private trip. To be honest, it's maybe the only area in the world I'm a bit afraid of and till now I refused going there without being payed for it. I'm prepared to admit that it might be not entirely rational, but a country where everyone owns a gun and you can go to jail for buying a dildo makes me uneasy. :linzi But maybe I shoud upgrade my legal costs insurance and just go for the adventure :wink:.

    Best wishes,
    Nick