Solo stealth camping safety

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

  1. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    This allows property owners to arrest hunters not trespassers. Private citizens in WV are not allowed to arrest for trespassing. Now bare in mind there are different kinds of trespassing with some being more severe but I know of nowhere that if you are on open, unposted, uncultivated land that you can be arrested unless you refuse to leave when asked. The thing that may get you in trouble would be camping where crops or livestock are, ignoring trespassing signs, opening gates or cutting fences, and entering smaller fenced areas with houses. Other than that and using common sense you should be fine legally all naysayers aside.
    #61
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    I've stealth camped for the past ten years probably around 300 times (it's really hard to estimate). In total, I've had encounters with maybe half a dozen people that whole time while in "camp." (I don't really like that word, as I'm just setting up a tent to sleep.)

    I usually don't ask for any sort of permission, but I'm careful to choose my spot, I'm clean and make as small of footprint as I possibly can. A couple times I've encountered someone in charge and have asked to stay, and they've always welcomed me.

    The worst experience was when I camped at a boat ramp, a police officer came by in the morning while I was packing up and asked to see my ID. He informed me that camping wasn't allowed there and I shouldn't do it again.

    I've never had a situation where I was even remotely worried about being in any danger or trouble. I've had a couple people offer a beer or coffee, or even a couple times the chance to do laundry or shower if I needed.

    My view is that stealth camping is safer than staying in a hotel or campground. I've never once heard of anyone getting into any sort of lasting trouble while stealth camping. I've heard lots of stories of people being robbed or assaulted in hotels and campgrounds. Criminals don't hang out in the woods or in the back of a field waiting for for a random traveler to set up a tent. In my personal experience, I've never had a problem of any kind while stealth camping. I've been robbed twice from hotel rooms.

    Stealth camping isn't for everyone, but for me it's kind of like those people who are afraid of flying because they think it's dangerous, even though statistics clearly point that it's not. The benefit and reward of stealth camping far exceeds any perceived dangers, not only that, but by definition, it's cheaper.

    Jamie
    #62
  3. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

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    guys and gals,

    Keep in mind that your 'stealth camping' has been preceeded by probably 100's others whom like farking Neaderthals have been noisy, harmful to the natural beauty, and most often have left the place trashed out. Those that preceeded you were probably not Boy Scouts.

    I own creek property myself and llve down the road from bridge access that is on private land, which may be cut off from 200 years of public use this year due to such bad campers.

    I've camped all over the mid-west & mid-south for over 30 years and I'm all for it whether you camp 'up-front' or 'stealthy'. I also understand the landowner who doesn't give a flying rats ass about your "rights".

    I've only been rousted from a campsite by an angry, rifle toting landowner one time. Two years ago, and only 7 miles from my cabin. I didn't feel the least bit inclined to waste my time debating my rights.

    Anyway, you probably have more reason to worry about local druken teenagers than angry, gun-toting landowers :evil Keep your wits about you, and keep in mind all of us who are following in your trail.
    #63
  4. technician172

    technician172 Ich reise alleine

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    Try reading that again.

    I never said anything about trespassing, although one will probably be charged with it along with the other violations.

    Hunting/fishing (from the bank), starting a fire, or timbering without written consent in one's possession gives land owners, tenants, or agents of the owner the power of a DNR Officer.

    The point is that the law isn't always plainly spelled out in some pamphlet, and it varies (especially boundary marking requirements) from state to state. In WV a property that is less than 5 acres with a dwelling on it does not have to be posted, fenced, or marked in any way whatsoever. On a wooded lot that's plenty of area to hide out in and it pretty much looks like any other part of a National Forest, therefore you are not knowingly trespassing and arguably in the clear legally. Once you start a fire, which being an essential part of the camping experience is a pretty innocent act in and of itself, the rules change placing you at the mercy of the land owner if found in this particular state.

    I don't think that anyone on this forum can honestly say that a night of stealth camping causes a quantifiable amount of damage to the land. If you are a land owner though and have dealt with illegal logging, oil/gas companies, hunters, torn up fences, vandalism, or litter your view becomes less and less understanding as the years go by.
    #64
  5. PaddedHat

    PaddedHat Been here awhile

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    The biggest point here is to never place yourself in a position where you rely on the fucksticks at BOA for anything. Last summer, while hanging out in Dawson City, YT. five thousand miles away from home, BOA decide that we needed a good fucking. The details are not important, but it was so mind blowingly incompetent, bizarre, and inexplicable, that one of their own management wondered aloud as to why any of their drones would be so stupid? Instead of manning up, apologize, and correcting the problem, they spent WEEKS lying, refusing to return calls, and generally being shitbags. Never again, a BOA screwing is a self inflicted wound. you have been warned........ Good luck.
    #65
  6. PapaYolk

    PapaYolk happy camper

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    Interestingly, the same water rules apply in OR, or so the Attorney General believes, but in the name of preserving these public easements, the state government has required their listing, with out funds, so any shithead can now have you charged with trespass for fly-fishing the same river across his land you and you dad and grandad have always enjoyed, because it is not listed. Bastard politicians at work on a stupid public. That's why the homeless of Ontario, OR live under the bridge on the Idaho side. This risk is plainly spelled out in a pamphlet from fish and game-- as you will find is the case in most states because ambiguity breeds lawsuits.


    I like to poke around odd places and have been confronted by armed men more than once on public land. That is their right, as mine. The weapons stayed holstered when it became clear I was not the one they were looking for. Freemen have the right to hunt rustlers and thieves and travel armed. No biggie.
    #66
  7. Torquemaster

    Torquemaster Who cares wins!

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    Further to my previous post! I,ve had many bikers and campers on my property and they have stayed the night in peace and quiet next to the creek. They were invited in for coffee, ive repaired a couple of bikes and patched up a fallen rider who didnt make a corner close by. Most have become friends and stop by if they are in the area. They know they have a safe spot to park for the night. So if your in my area just ask for a spot and your welcome! Just be aware lots of bears and cougars in the creek area stopping in for a drink before or after they eat. Hence the large deer population.
    During my travels in Mexico ive spent hours with local families who are most hospitable and always willing to help. This is slowly changing with the influence of the cartels and the lack of employment for the younger workers. Just a matter of time before a tourist gets whacked for being in the wrong place at the right time. Bodies are dumped everywhere so it could be you coming on the scene on a deserted road just as they toss the corpses in the ditch. Pretty hard to outrun an AK47 bullet!
    Better to tour Canada and the US for now!:huh
    #67
  8. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    (a) It is unlawful for any person to shoot, hunt, fish or trap upon the fenced, enclosed or posted lands of another person; or to peel trees or timber, build fires or do any other act in connection with shooting, hunting, fishing or trapping on the lands without written permission in his or her possession from the owner, tenant or agent of the owner


    Don't want to beat this into the ground but the campfire thing is still only with hunting. With trespassing there is no right to arrest for private citizens and there is no trespass if you leave when asked. Why you would edit the definition to leave out that bit I'm not sure but I stand by my statement

    The thing that may get you in trouble would be camping where crops or livestock are, ignoring trespassing signs, opening gates or cutting fences, and entering smaller fenced areas with houses. Other than that and using common sense you should be fine legally all naysayers aside.

    Now fire is a different thing and you can get "arrested" for any fire anywhere during a burn ban so that's a different story but the incessant "worst possible case even though more people have been hit by lightning" type of thing gets old. Don't do it, I don't mind, you don't have to make up reasons not to just don't do it.
    #68
  9. technician172

    technician172 Ich reise alleine

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    You're right, the County Prosecuting Attorney must have been mistaken when he explained it to us. (not being a smartass, but trying to find a middleground in between the lack of a comma and personal experience, I'm going to send out a couple of emails this weekend) We were told that "acts in connection with" meant setting up blinds, tree stands, etc while not actually hunting.
    #69
  10. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    Truth be told it means what ever the prosecutor wants it to mean until there is enough case law to show otherwise. Since this is a relatively new law it would be a bit up in the air but the law about hunting and a guy on a bike going cross country, well ....... good luck with making it stick. Even if the owner "arrested" someone what normally happens is the cop who responds really decides even if technically he isn't supposed to. So if a cop doesn't think it's worth a trespass then you'll get told to make tracks anyway.
    #70
  11. wannamaker

    wannamaker Adventurer

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    Well I've camped in the Hiker Biker camps in State parks lots of times. $5.00 and a hot shower, that's a bargan! It's all in a hand shake and a smile... be friendly and see where it gets you!
    #71
  12. wandererjim5

    wandererjim5 CornerGrinner

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    you Yanks have whole lot of Love over there... Thought your Mob Invented Hippies?
    Down here in Aus Mate we just have a beer and check each others Bikes out! :1drink:1drink
    No1. LAW in Aus. Leave the Bloody Gate as yu found it!
    BIG Jim.
    #72
  13. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer Supporter

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    That's a law I can get behind.
    It's right up there with" take only pictures,leave only footprints."
    And not far behind,"If you don't start none, there won't be none."
    #73
  14. judgebill

    judgebill Been here awhile

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    Kampgrounds Of America (KOA) has a network of campgrounds near small towns over the west. Modest price for a spot with electrical hookup, water hookup, toilets and hot showers (for a modest price) and laundry facilities. That should beat the $35/night cheap motels. Or, check in with the local police/sheriff when you're ready to find a place and ask for recommendations. Might save a lot of trouble. Carry a whistle, an air horn if you wish, pepper spray if you wish but stay away from guns. If you happen to be found with one and no carry permit you can get into a world of trouble. Knives are okay and necessary. Enjoy your trip, have fun and focus on having fun, not the dangers. We're all going to die of radiation poisoning anyway. :evil
    #74
  15. norton(kel)

    norton(kel) Long timer Supporter

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    After reading all this, I'am selling all my bikes and staying in the basement with lites out:rofl
    #75
  16. bumper1871

    bumper1871 Been here awhile

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    Don't forget to bring beer. :rofl
    #76
  17. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    :rofl:thumb

    This thread really is somewhat laughable.
    #77
  18. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

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    I use non-traditional campsites quite a bit and use the following guidelines.

    1. Wherever possible camp on federal/state/public lands.
    2. Respect Private Property
    3. Some land owners respond very negatively to trespass
    4. Definition of trespass and the action(s) a land owner can take varies from state to state.
    5. The bad habits of others has jaded landowners
    6. If in doubt their is no harm in asking locals were the good places to camp are. Generally locals understand, (I have been given permission to camp on private property and even permission to cross private lands).
    7. If just picking a spot make sure that you have a very small footprint and make sure you not visible from the road.
    8. Camp using a small tent, camo your gear and bike.
    9. Be smart about building fires-general rule don't.
    10. Eat cold meals.
    11. Pick up after yourself
    12. Leave early
    13. I never stealth camp in urban areas
    14. Respectful conversation goes a long way
    15. On private land--Though alcohol can be a social lubricant-in some people's eyes your possession of it already has defined your character.
    16. The best and most successful stealth camp is the one that no one knows or can tell that you were there.
    17. Try to make camp about 30 to 40 minutes before it gets dark, using a flashlight or the motorcycle headlight could give you away.

    Some of the most aggressive land owners I experienced were in North Dakota-but that said its amazing how many towns let me camp in the town park and how friendly and helpful the locals were. One of the local restaurant owners let me sleep in their backyard.

    Some of the nicest land owners were on Indian Lands.

    Hope this helps
    #78
  19. njd

    njd Long timer

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    Always leave a note. :deal
    #79
  20. jimmesa

    jimmesa Been here awhile

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    From my experiences KOA is more expensive than cheap motels most of the time! I don't know of a more expensive place to pitch a small tent anywhere. In Gallup NM I was told by KOA management that tent camping was a small area covered with landscape gravel! Jim
    #80