Stealth camping at cell tower sites?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by dox, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. DRanger

    DRanger Rockerville Rider

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    Do you make a living off your PA land? Use your land any way you like, but don't expect somebody who puts food on their table and clothes on their kids' backs by working the land to feel as though they need to open their gates to all users. One thing that might be important to note is the difference in the regeneration of land in different climates. My wife's family has a farm in VA, and I am amazed how quickly it regenerates because of the climate and annual rainfall in the East. That is not a luxury shared by farmers and ranchers in much of the more arid West. Drought cripples the ability of land to recover and regenerate. Off road travel leaves scars that will last for years. A cigarette carelessly tossed from a vehicle can create a major grassland or forest fire much more easily in the West than back East. But WTF do I know? I've just lived out here most of my life. I'm just saying that you need to respect a land owner in this part of the country by asking permission before you trespass. I think you'll be very pleased with the outcome if you show them that courtesy.
    #41
  2. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Broke it/Bought it Supporter

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    Most transmitter maintenance for broadcast facilities is scheduled for late at night, btw...
    #42
  3. Truckin_Thumper

    Truckin_Thumper low profile

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    it has been said, but no way in hell would I camp at any type of tower.

    More so because of Homeland Security bullshit. I'd rather face a pissed off farmer.
    #43
  4. Macadam Drifter

    Macadam Drifter Explorer of the Backroads

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    If I'm tired and safety dictates- or some parts of the world do not have any practical places to stay or camp--and, so I have pretty much camped in/on/around on many inappropriate sites..

    If caught--- Polite and humble works best-- with a plausible explanation as to why you did what you did, that hopefully will evoke sympathy.

    Not sure about EMF's from cell towers-but some TV and Radio towers can have some very high EMFs. And not a place I would choose during a thunderstorm…….:huh

    Night Maintenance? Drat! That's a real bummer, Man! "I hope they don't have any helicoils"

    The one thing I have learned is that if the No Trespassing signs are well posted, look in very good condition, and there are multiple signs at regular intervals-those property owners will have little sympathy with trespassers--if caught.

    PS--Regarding pissed off farmers/ranchers---SOFAR they are the only ones who actually ever pointed a loaded gun on me. Being a trespasser and dealing with a PO'ed person pointing a gun/rifle at you--can be quite stressful and accommodation comes quickly. Having grown up on farms and ranches, I know, this is a person I do not want to PO any further.
    #44
  5. DRanger

    DRanger Rockerville Rider

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    Don't know of anybody pointing guns at trespassers, unless they were threatened. I do know of a case where "slob" hunters caught trespassing and leaving gates open tried to bully a landowner. They ended up looking down the barrel of a Model 94. I doubt that would be the case if you were caught "stealth camping" and were non argumentative and non threatening. Nobody is going to go batshit crazy on you unless you provoke the situation.

    It's worth mentioning that some western states have recently enacted new private property laws. For instance, in South Dakota, landowners do not have to post their land to warn trespassers from entering. State law now dictates that unless otherwise posted, fences and gates mean private land, and the public is expected to honor the privacy of the owner. You might see old faded NO TRESPASSING/KEEP OUT signs on fences and gates that have not been removed or replaced in years. Don't let that fool you into thinking the owner doesn't expect you to honor his privacy.

    Out here, we have so much public land (National Forest and BLM) that there really isn't much reason to camp on private land. The gates on public land fencelines are all signed as such, and in most cases the government fencing is well built five strand wire that stands out in much higher quality than the normal old ranch or farm fencing surrounding private property. Some private property is open to the public, and typically will be signed "Public Walk In Area," which is part of a state sponsored program that pays landowners to allow the public to hunt on their land.

    When in doubt, take the time to inquire, or just keep moving until you find a well marked access to public land. In most western states, it is illegal to have an open fire unless you are in a designated campground that has appropriate camp fire facilities. Use a camp stove for cooking when camping outside designated campgrounds. While we have a growing number of cell phone and other communications towers springing up on private property, they are mostly in open areas where you are bound to be more noticable than if you found a wooded spot in which to camp.
    #45
  6. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

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    While your information is good, for South Dakota, please quit trying to include yourself in "Many/Most Western States"...you live in the Mid-West, just speak from that perspective. Some of your information does not hold water for "Many/Most Western States".

    The topic of this thread was about camping at cell phone sites.
    #46
  7. DRanger

    DRanger Rockerville Rider

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    Wow, Flash! Sorry if I tweaked your sensibilities. From what I gathered, the topic is Stealth Camping, that wasn't restricted to simply camping at cell tower sites, but included rural land, cemetaries, church yards, etc. Maybe you should go back and read posts made by others.

    Just for your information, the Midwest ends at the Missouri River, and western South Dakota is part of the Upper Great Plains that stretch from Canada to Mexico. I have spent years living, working, backpacking, and traveling in the West. As far as I can see, there's no need to camp at cell tower sites, since there's so much public land available out here (in the West as well as the Upper Great Plains). If you have a different Idaho perspective, feel free to share, or knock yourself out and find something else you can get worked up over.:lol3
    #47
  8. Max Buffet

    Max Buffet Been here awhile

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    I agree with DRanger. I live on a little bit of land in ID. I wouldn't want to wake up and find somebody camping on my property without asking. That said, I would welcome someone that asked permission.
    It's about manners, what's the big deal?
    #48
  9. DRanger

    DRanger Rockerville Rider

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    Zacktly! Well said. A little friendly consideration goes a long way with a land owner.
    #49
  10. GO_OUTSIDE!

    GO_OUTSIDE! dirty hippie

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    I would rather be left the hell alone and never find out anybody had been on my land in the first place than to have someone interupt my evening begging for a campsite and conversation. My free time is very limited and I like to choose when to interact socialy with others. Thats why I ride a motorbike in the woods and look for secluded spots to camp instead of riding the bus to a KOA.

    Youre all welcome to camp on my land so long as you dont make a mess, I cant see you from my house, and you dont wake me up to ask permission. Maybe we could create a land sharing community where we let eachother campout on our properties when in the area. We could post it in the GPS forum with notations such as "do not disturb owner" or "conversation welcome before 11pm".
    #50
  11. vagt6

    vagt6 Bit the Bullet

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    That's excellent advice, above.

    Remember: here in old Virginia (and other such places), anyone who wants a gun has got one. Many of these country folks wouldn't hesitate to pull a gun on a "stealth" camper. I've met these types, they're real and they're here.

    Once a gun is pulled, it only takes a little pressure on the trigger finger to change your reality . . .

    IMHO, not worth it. Respect people's property, camp where it's legal. Better for all involved . . .:norton
    #51
  12. DRanger

    DRanger Rockerville Rider

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    I'm like you when it comes to my travel and camping. Lots of free camping available on public land. You have an interesting idea about sharing properties, but I wouldn't post my GPS coordinates for the entire world. If any fellow advrider needs to get information about free and secluded camping in my area, I will gladly share that information. Anybody can send me a PM if interested in that offer.
    #52
  13. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I have my land listed in the BMWMOA Anonymous book as a place you can camp, "with permission", of course. As to the condition of my "no trespassing " signs , I see little connection between that fact and anything meaningful here. I buy em for a reason & it isn't that we are unfriendly! The squirrles eat them & the weather tears them up, etc.. There is a historical thing in Kentucky that if its deep woods then its OK to hunt & dig roots on private land because thats the way its been for years. That has changed with most people like me wanting to control the use of their land. This means no "weed" plots,no cutting down trees so they don't mess with your arrows or bullets, you get the drift. I had some guys one time shot off a high power around dawn very near our bedroom window, then said , "well what did you wants us to do, the deer ran on your place"? I watched them walk away from the house then upon later reaching them far from my house(still on our place), I was exposed to the rifle starting to get pointed at me! & I backed off carefully & called the sheriff-who was a joke & did nothing cause he wants the votes- and then called the game warden. Here , if you keep a letter on file with the game people, stating you will prosecute, then they will act. Ask & you can stay here. As to the fire thing, I'm concerned that a casual camper/traveler would actually know if a fire restriction is in effect in my county or many other places.
    #53
  14. gofast1320

    gofast1320 Been here awhile

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    Cell tower sites? Public Utility sites? In this post 9/11 world I wouldn't even consider it. Too many other options are available.
    Has anyone considered stopping at a fire station, sheriffs office or local store and asking for suggestions about where one might set up their tent to spend the night without raising a ruckus?
    Just stopping where you see a nice little patch of woods out off some gravel or dirt road? There is such a road about 500 yds from my house and it appears there is no one around but if you stop there your light will be noticed, if you build a fire it will surely be noticed and if you are using a device with a lighted screen or a headlamp it will probably be noticed.
    Will the first though in my mind be - Cool! A fellow advrider stealth camping, good on him!
    No, probably not.
    My first thought will more than likely be, hmmm some scrap metal thief or some meth head doing a cook or some meth head that doesn't have the precursors to do a cook and they're looking for something to steal and sell for scrap metal- like my welding leads from the shop, aluminum ladders, My GS, comm system, wiring from the barn, my pressure washer, that motor, manifold or transmission in the barn, battery out of the tractor, ATVs, etc, etc, etc.
    My first call will be to the Sheriff Dept because I'm not going to bed not knowing who has invited themselves to my front yard. Then I'll be headed out my back door with a good light and a shotgun just in case anything runs my way.
    A ready smile and an explanation smoothing it all over? Maybe, maybe not, I see cool smiles and hear ready explanations every day from folks wearing cuffs.
    When the S.O gets there, what if one little thing is wrong, something on your registration or your campfire is not permitted. If you are from out of town/state a misdemeanor cite in lieu of physical arrest may not be applicable and you get to stealth camp in jail, pay a tow fee for your bike and a cash forfeiture bond to get out of jail.
    Just a little food for thought.
    #54
  15. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    This thread has gone off the deep end. I only speak for myself, but I'm pretty confident that my feelings are shared with most people who stealth camp. We're not sneaking onto your property to set up camp in your front yard or behind your shed as has been suggested. :rofl

    When I stealth camp, I prefer public lands. That's not always possible. Most times, I'd say that I'm not even sure whether or not I'm on public or private land. I'll be in some rural area and find a flat spot behind some trees along the road, or a little cove in the woods. I have been known to ask permission to set up a tent, but the vast majority of the time I'd have no idea who the landowner is because there aren't any houses nearby or signs anywhere.

    I don't have a fire when I stealth camp. I keep my light usage to a minimum. I've got a one-man (sometimes I carry my two-man), dark-colored tent, and I pick places which keep me out of view.

    I've asked police and firemen about places to set up a tent. Occasionally they're helpful, occasionally not. Generally I've found they just want to point you to the nearest KOA, or they'll tell you where you can find a hotel room. On the other hand, I've had a couple of police officers point at the local park and tell me nobody would bother me there, and one made a phone call and they let me set up my tent behind the local firehouse inside a gated and locked yard. And a fireman in southern Texas called home to his wife and they set me up in their camper at their house. :thumb

    There are a lot of doomsday posters in this thread. Don't worry. If I've ever set up my tent on property you own, you didn't even know I was there.

    And yup, I've camped behind water towers, sub-stations, and even among some oil wells. I don't go where I'm not supposed to be, I find a spot back in the corner by the woods and make my footprint as small as possible.

    I arrive late and leave early. If I happen to encounter someone, I think they can quickly figure out that I'm just a guy on a motorcycle traveling around the country. And that's happened a few times.

    FWIW, I've never had a single bad encounter with a landowner on private property. The only people who have given me any grief at all are law enforcement when I'm on public land, and even they are usually pretty nice. The worst that has ever happened is a park ranger in Missouri wanted to see my drivers license when he found me taking my tent down near a boat ramp. And I had a police officer in Florida advise me to pack up and be out of there in a couple of hours when he came by in the morning; I was on the property of the county landfill (It was actually a very nice spot).

    Jamie
    #55
  16. GO_OUTSIDE!

    GO_OUTSIDE! dirty hippie

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    After getting my degree in criminal justice, and getting "next in line status" for NYPD I started getting to know some of the current officers. I changed my mind when I discovered that spending all day looking for the bad guys makes you look for the bad guy in everyone, and see bad guys everywhere you look.
    Now I'm an electrician, and I can spot a code violation or poor craftmanship at 50 yards. I can also tell the difference between a solo adventure tourist and a dirtbag at 50 yards, usually further than that.
    I know the news has us all freaked out about crime, but criminals are easy to spot, they are the ones commiting crimes, not the guy setting up a tent next to a nice motorcycle.
    #56
  17. GO_OUTSIDE!

    GO_OUTSIDE! dirty hippie

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    I like your idea of private messanging for coordinates.
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  18. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    A cell phone tower has to be on the bottom of the list for stealth campsites.
    There are just too many other much better options to be found.

    If y'all haven't read Budget travel the JamieZ way you should!

    I re-read it on occasion.

    It's a lot of fun to explore the country this way.

    And remember the stealth camper mantra: "arrive late, leave early"

    Cell phone tower sites=yuck!

    State Parks and picnic areas in NF are generally the best places.
    #58
  19. LaOutbackTrail

    LaOutbackTrail Certified Smartass

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    I've camped at two cell sites. One in Louisiana one in Arkansas. The Arkansas site had a great view of the sunrise over the mountains. The Louisiana site was nice and cool and very secluded. Both were very clean and well manicured as mentioned before.

    I wouldn't consider making a cross country trip, planning to camp solely at these sites, but they are certainly an option for stealth motorcycle camping. I definitely would not park my SUV with roof top tent under the tower either.

    Quite honestly, the only concern I had while camping at the two cell towers was being awaken in the middle of the night by teenagers looking for a place to park or drink booze....
    #59
  20. Thebes

    Thebes Been here awhile

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    I find that this is absolutely NOT true, at least not in Northern New Mexico. I have public lands all around me and few have any signs. It might be true if you are going down US285 or other busy roads. If you are on any of the hundreds of dirt roads, they go into ranch land and out with no signs unless a land owner puts up a No Trespassing sign to keep people out... which is not always the case... in which case under NM law the land owner has no cause to complain unless you left a closed gate open or something equally stupid. Frankly few land owners out here care unless they have properly posted their land as No Trespassing, in which case it would be stupid to do go there.
    #60