Solo stealth camping safety

Discussion in 'Americas' started by IRideASlowBike, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Following my front fender

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    Just use common sense for God's sake. It's not that big of a deal, if you are in a fairly urban area like anything in the northeast part of the country, forget about it, you are likely to get arrested. In the midwest or the south, if you are several miles down a road and see no sign of human habitation, try to get a few hundred feet off the road and you are completely fine. Out west, so much area is public land, if you are not in someone's yard you are usually OK. Just follow and obey no trespassing signs, if someone doesn't want you there they usually let you know it.

    Tread lightly, it goes a long way toward helping your cause here. No fires, no music, move on at dawn. If no one knows you were there, it's not a problem, now is it? :evil
    #41
  2. Torquemaster

    Torquemaster Who cares wins!

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    Well i found a hippy camping on my land once! VW camper, two kids and a dog. Excuse was... too expensive in the campground so this spot looked pretty nice. anyway it would only be for two or three days! Whilst talking to her , noticed she had dumped garbage in the trees and her kid was about to take a dump in the bush also. No asking for permission! just use and abuse! Did not have to threaten with a gun! Gave her 5 minutes to get off or my excavator will roll over and place to VW back on the road where it belongs. She said so what! gona force me? When i fired up the machine and started rattling through the bush, things started to happen. When i broke the bush bucket open and thumb poised for a large log, i saw the VW leaving in a cloud of dust. By the way she left more garbage behind. I would not have minded if she had at least asked. Got pissy before i said anything. :huh
    #42
  3. Sasquatch2112

    Sasquatch2112 Old Angry White Guy (OAWG)

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    In Ventura County if they catch you with a loaded firearm on your vehicle, they will toss you and charge you with a felony that they will not plead down. If you are lucky you'll just get probation. Didn't happen to me but did to a friend. Almost lost his job and really screwed up his life.

    I carry a hammer for driving in my tent pegs. I upgraded my tent pegs to 16p nails. Talked to several LEOs and they all came away with the same response. It is a tool until you have to use it, then it is a weapon. Let the other guy make the first advance, then self defense.

    As a young kid the family camped all summer by staying in local parks. The idea of asking for local food and places to stay are +1. There are a lot of county, city parks that you can camp in, or they will point you to a quiet area. It helps to look/smell clean.

    My 2c.
    #43
  4. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

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    I stealth-camp a lot. Just use common sense.


    [​IMG]
    #44
  5. Torquemaster

    Torquemaster Who cares wins!

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    Walmart likes campers! They spend more than the cost of a camping spot and the average spends over $80.00 dollars a night parked under the lights. Great if its not a 24 hour! Last resort spot! Not really for true Adventure riders.
    #45
  6. bgoodsoil

    bgoodsoil Dare to be Stupid

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    I've crossed the US and Canada twice and stealth camped most of the way. I usually sleep down powerlines. I agree with the advice of finding a place to camp while it's still light. If you're caught out after dark, look up for the red blinky light of a radio tower and try to find the base of it. They're usually in secluded areas. It's definitely illegal but I've done it a dozen times or more and haven't had any problems. I've never carried a firearm. I think it'd cause me more trouble than it'd get me out of since concealed carry laws work on a state-by-state basis.
    #46
  7. Truckin_Thumper

    Truckin_Thumper low profile

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    Izzat a phone line tap/jumper running to your tent? :eek1

    #47
  8. Snr Moment

    Snr Moment Unafarkler

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    Posted/private land in Montana is not necessarily signed as such. The most common method is to mark the area with orange paint on fence posts, trees, rocks. Some advanced map work here will be worth it. "Spot" camping is legal in all the BLM and NFS lands unless posted otherwise. Spot = no preset campsite. You can ride 300 ft off a highway, forest service/BLM road to camp in the woods without needing an OHV permit.
    Bears are always a concern and active bear areas often have warning signs posted. Cattle grazing in the forests is common, even at altitude - the grass is sweeter and more nourishing.
    Ride safe and rest well sleeping at the bottom of the food chain.
    #48
  9. shu

    shu ...

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    Not a bad site. It's always easy to second guess other people. I'm thinking I probably would have pulled about 100 feet off the path behind a sage brush and covered my bike.

    I once slept behind a city water tank somewhere in California. I was hitchhiking through at the time. Slept fine, got up, packed up and walked down into town to an IHOP where I parked my backpack on their waiting area couch and had some breakfast. When I picked up my pack to leave I noticed hundreds of tiny little ants crawling all over the couch. I guess they had moved into my pack at the water tank and hitched a ride on my back down to town.:huh

    I didn't know what to do about them, so I just slunk out without a word.

    ...........shu
    #49
  10. PapaYolk

    PapaYolk happy camper

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    There are often, even in the most tourist trap, everything's posted locations, the secret spots. Often these gems can be coxed from loose lips after a few beers at a local bar.

    Example: Key West sub pits. During the Cuban missile crises Hawk Missiles were placed in KW. Sub channels were blasted thru the coral but never used. For the past 40 years those stationed at the Naval Air Station have used the pits, now festooned with mangrove tangles, to snorkel among the tropical fish and roast poached lobster tail on sticks around a fire. I guess that's why they never locked the gate or posted the pits. Looks like the gate's still open on Google.

    It's the frontage road north of the Overseas Highway at the air station exit, west then access on the left as you swing north toward the abandoned Hawk site. I camped there with my XL-350 in '77.

    Here's my secret place contribution.

    On the I-84 from Salt Lake to Seattle. At Farewell Bend, OR- where the old Oregon Trail leaves the Snake River, there's a large State Park and gas-n-crap. At the exit take the frontage south then back under the freeway thru the little tunnel. Now your on abandoned old Hwy 30. Ride down a few hundred yards and find the trees. When the water's high the river's impound brings slack-water to the broken pavements edge. You can build a fire right on the yellow center line.
    #50
  11. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    Stealth camping is never being seen by anyone. I scope a spot before dark and then go get/cook something to eat away from my site and then come in at dark and set up and leave as the sun comes up. I can sleep anywhere and have never had a problem except once and that was because the a certain countries military was after me and I didn't know it tell they found me:lol3

    Fires and stealth camping don't go together. I only start a fire if I'm freezing to death and in those areas you are usually in BFE anyway.


    If you get discovered by someone you are not doing it right:deal


    It's the easiest way to save a pile of money on a long trip:clap
    #51
  12. scudrunner

    scudrunner Been here awhile

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    When I'm on a long highway trip to get to a destination, I usually use a rest area to camp. I find a picnic shelter away from all the others and roll my matress pad and sleeping bag out on the table... once in awhile I'll use my bivy. I was questioned by a cop once. He told me "No camping!". I told him I didn't have a car to sleep in and pointed at my bike... "I'm just resting". He didn't have a problem with that.

    I'm not worried about other travelers at rest areas either. Most people are afraid of messing with a biker... ya know we are all crazy:rofl

    A few years ago I did a Trans-Canadian Highway trip... every campgound along my route was packed with RV's... and I hate camping next to RV's anyway. There were plenty of places to camp off gravel roads.

    When I get to my destination I usually have my camping places picked out in advance.

    A few tips for stealth camping.... Pick a place away from the normal and houses. Find a place while it's light. Use a low profile tent (No bright colors), bivy or just sleep under the stars. Cover your bike at night... it keeps the reflective areas from shining if a car passes by. Keep it simple in case you are detected and asked to leave. Avoid using lights at night and shield them when you do... never leave a light on at night and no campfires ever! Leave early before the sun comes up.

    Lastly, I don't advocate a firearm but it's a personal choice... you should have the right to have it and to be able to defend yourself if needed. DON'T TAKE A GUN TO CANADA!
    #52
  13. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer Supporter

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    Really was no where 100' from the path to take the bike. In this shot you can see the locked gate and in all other directions it was either down to the river or up the rock cliffs.

    [​IMG]
    #53
  14. triplenickel

    triplenickel Long timer

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    Come north for your cross country trip. I guarantee you will not get shot over camping somewhere, the worst case scenario is you won't be invited for a coffee. Some of the attitudes here just seem ridiculous they're so foreign to me.
    #54
  15. Truckin_Thumper

    Truckin_Thumper low profile

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    A lot of people here are from bigger cities, if you take into the fact that the news reports of crime on a day to day basis, it will not seem unusual.

    If you try and pitch a tent in Rural America, the land owner *could* pull a shotty on ya. I doubt they would point a 12 gauge at a person with a motorcycle parked beside a tent. Worse case, the farmer's dog will want to lick your face off and beat you with a wagging tail. :D
    #55
  16. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    One thing that comes to mind is if you hide people wonder why. Also if something bad does go down you may not be found for who knows how long. Obviously some treat it as a game or an adventure and more power to them. For me it's just a place to crash. I try to stay out of the way and never go on to posted land but I have no problem with asking at a church or a shop if they mind if I sack out there. I've had people say yes and no but never had anyone threaten me or say anything more than "you got to go" if they found me after I've set up.
    #56
  17. PapaYolk

    PapaYolk happy camper

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    What's camp without a campfire?

    Check the state hunting / fishing regs. They will give a definitive definition of trespass. Here in Idaho, if the land is not cultivated it must be at the least posted every 660 ft. to deny public access. All navigable water is public access to the seasonal high water water line. Navigable is defined as able to float a log down it during high water. Under every bridge is public access.
    #57
  18. Truckin_Thumper

    Truckin_Thumper low profile

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    god I love Idaho!!!

    This is for the very reasons I am moving to Montana.
    For a 41 yr veteran of the East Coast, I have seen the light.
    #58
  19. Nixels

    Nixels Face fears - live life

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    :twitch Uh, Idaho isn't a county in Montana. :rolleyes

    But yer from the Yeast Coast ... and a trucker to boot. :dunno I guess close is good enough for a guy like you. :evil

    :zilla

    :lol3

    :wave Good luck John! :thumb
    #59
  20. technician172

    technician172 Ich reise alleine

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    This is why it's important to know the law; most of this is not in anything that the DNR publishes.

    http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/ChapterEntire.cfm?chap=20&art=2&section=7#02

    Non legalese: There is no "get off my land" warning. Your fate is now in the land owner's hands. Murphy's law says you will be detained in hot pink fuzzy handcuffs.
    #60