Stealth Camping 101

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

  1. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,842
    Location:
    Around Denver
    My actual quote (and I remember this clearly) was, "I thought it was better than sleeping on private property."

    The cop said something back to me like, "You just sleep wherever you want?" And around then I got all the way out of the tent and tried to explain to him that I was on a bicycle, couldn't find a place to stop the night before in this very rural area, and I didn't think I'd be bothering anyone if I set up a tent here. He wasn't impressed, though as I said, all he did was ask me to pack up and leave before the landfill opened.

    When confronted by police or anyone else, I take on a very conciliatory demeanor. I apologize. I generally say something like, "I couldn't find anyplace better and didn't want to bother anybody." And usually add something about it being late and I was tired.

    I'm not confrontational.

    Jamie
  2. Addapost

    Addapost Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Oddometer:
    585
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    More power to you man. Never in a million years for me.
    Yinzer Moto likes this.
  3. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Sloppy 300 rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    40,317
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    That is fair.

    That was one of the most memorable camp spots I have ever had. It was raining all day that day, we searched and could not find a hotel close by. We really did not want to set camp up in the rain. I spotted the house in the woods as we rode past. We circled back and pulled off at the side of the road. The road had fairly constant traffic. When there was a clear spot in traffic, I rode my bike up behind the house. I checked it out and it looked good. We have Sena headsets and I told my buddies to come up. We pushed the bikes into the kitchen. Someone cleaned all the trash out of the house. It just had leaves that need to be swept off the floors before we laid sleeping bags out. The kitchen was somewhat in tact and we cooked our dinner on the countertop.
    knight, pceire32, Jamie Z and 3 others like this.
  4. petertakov

    petertakov Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    960
    Why would you sleep in a smelly "house" like the one on your video that may fall on your head at any moment. You'd be much safer in the open, IMO.
    George Hanson likes this.
  5. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Sloppy 300 rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    40,317
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    See the reply above.
    pceire32 likes this.
  6. PilbaraGoat

    PilbaraGoat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    Tom Price, WA/Bendigo VIC
    Maybe we need a stealth camping 102 thread.
    There is a lot in this thread which is completely irrelevant

    I do not choose to stealth camp on private property as a general rule
    It doesn’t seem right, I have slept in a hay shed once though

    however I love to stealth camp on public land, I don’t like paying to camp on public land.
    In australia we probably have a lot more space, a lot less junkies in out of the way places and most definitely a different philosophy regarding weapons....for some reason we just don’t think they are needed. All of this adds up to lots great stealth camping locations. We also don’t have dangerous animals to eat us.

    small, low roofed, camoflagued tent
    Black bike, no shiney bits - I have a cover which I have never used as well
    As others have mentioned, accessing camp site must not be heard, seen or suspected
    Bike must be hidden from all directions
    If I am on a roadside I choose the inside of sweeping bends - headlights must never point in your direction
    Tent should be positioned out of view as well - even if it is camoflagued

    no fire
    No rubbish
    All ablutions must be buried
    No branches should be broken
    No noise
    No visible lights
    Never enter camp with lights on
    Livestock are curious and can sometimes smell you...best to avoid if possible.

    I was driving an hour (building a weir) to work for 6 months in 2016 through the winter
    I lost my licence for a month and most roads were flooded at the same time.
    I found a spot 5kms from work on a remote country road, set up and stealth camped for a month without missing a day. Luckily the job site had a toilet block.

    I would love it if this thread became about sharing ideas for stealth set ups
  7. THogland

    THogland Back in Alaska!

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    160
    Location:
    Wasilla-ish, Alaska
    Hahahahaha... That's great.

    In Oz *everything* is trying to bite, sting, poison, strangle, pummel etc. you whenever you try to relax. You don't need guns and knives, you need flamethrowers and explosives.
  8. PilbaraGoat

    PilbaraGoat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    Tom Price, WA/Bendigo VIC
    With the exception of crocodiles a zipped up tent keeps the rest at bay.
  9. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,380
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    If you get caught stealth camping, you’re not doing it right.
    WRW9751 likes this.
  10. Glenn247

    Glenn247 Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,823
    Location:
    Lynchburg, VA
    Stealth is not invisible...even stealth aircraft can be seen on radar and shot-down...

    I've posted elsewhere on this issue...some are more stealth than others is what you should say
  11. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto Sloppy 300 rider Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    40,317
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    Yeah, if you stealth camp enough, eventually someone will stumble by. Being in a spot where no one cares much about your presence is important.
  12. KingOfIthacans

    KingOfIthacans n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2018
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Richmond
    For me I always choose churches, simply because a pastor is probably the least likely to come out and shoot you for trespassing if I can't find somewhere off the road.
    AdvMoto18 and Glenn247 like this.
  13. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,397
    Location:
    Coastal SC Low Country / Land of Shrimp & Grits
    And most likely to grant you permission to sleep in your tent out back if you simply ask.
  14. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,380
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    I’ve yet to be caught, but there’s always a first time. I’m often careless with my choices and the things I do while stealth camping.
  15. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,380
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    That should be a thread: Places you can safely camp for free. Not stealth camping, of course, but usually free and safe.
  16. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,397
    Location:
    Coastal SC Low Country / Land of Shrimp & Grits
    I stealth camp all the time in my truck with Four Wheel Pop Up camper. I just don't pop the camper. I've camped in court house parking lots, police station parking lots, and similar places. Never been discovered.

    Stealth camping off the moto requires a bit more work and observation before setting up.
    Dan Diego and Eatmore Mudd like this.
  17. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,842
    Location:
    Around Denver
    I frequently sleep behind churches, and I always check to see if anyone is there in order to ask permission. I've never found anyone there.

    The only exception--and this wasn't for stealth camping--I was looking for a place to keep my bike for a couple of days while I hiked the Buffalo River trail in Arkansas. I found a church and knocked. Amazingly someone answered (it was kind of a house/church combo; I think the guy lived there) and I asked if I could leave my bike out back for a couple days. He said I could, then thanked me for asking permission because he said he finds vehicles left there all the time and almost nobody asks permission.

    Jamie
    Eatmore Mudd and AdvMoto18 like this.
  18. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,397
    Location:
    Coastal SC Low Country / Land of Shrimp & Grits
    I usually look around for church information if no one is present. 99% time, the pastor's telephone number will be listed somewhere on the exterior so local folks can get in touch with him. A call has always gained me permission. Plus, if the police show up, its always been a nonissue when I state "Reverend _____ gave me verbal permission".
    MacG, Snapper33, rrpaigs22 and 2 others like this.
  19. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    10,842
    Location:
    Around Denver
    Excellent. I have to admit, I've never thought of that.

    A time or two I've left a note the next morning with my contact information, but I've never heard from anyone.
    Shodan2 and AdvMoto18 like this.
  20. AdvMoto18

    AdvMoto18 NORDO Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,397
    Location:
    Coastal SC Low Country / Land of Shrimp & Grits
    Tonight might not be a good night to camp at a church unless you want awakened by the Easter sunrise service!