Stealth camping at cell tower sites?

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

  1. Disco Stu

    Disco Stu Long timer

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    One that leases land has de facto ownership for the time period of the lease, for purposes such as the authority to kick off trespassers.
    #61
  2. DRanger

    DRanger Rockerville Rider

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    Guess we're spoiled by the NFS in my part of the world. The gates on the gravel roads are mostly all signed, so you know you're entering public land. In the Black Hills National Forest of western SD and parts of WY and MT that I frequently travel and camp, there are signs saying Entering or Leaving on every paved road passing through National Forests. I just got back from a week long trip up to Glacier NP. I camped in sparsely occupied NFS campgrounds that offered everything I needed for $10 a night. I think that's a bargain.

    Curious to know what gov. agency you have in New Mexico that doesn't feel obligated to advise the public. Sounds to me as though somebody isn't very concerned about encouraging public use. BLM?

    I know there are stockgrowers who lease gov. land for grazing who have something of a proprietary attitude, and some will remove signs or try to chase folks off, but they are rare to my knowledge. If lack of signing is an issue, my only suggestion would be to get the NFS, BLM, or other gov. agency maps of the areas you want to visit, so you can know for certain where you have public access.
    #62
  3. Thebes

    Thebes Been here awhile

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    Around me it seems very little of the BLM land is marked. I can't recall ever seeing state land marked except parks etc. The larger forest service roads are often marked and many of them have mileage signs at least some place, but the smaller ones are typically unmarked.

    I think the difference might partly be due to state laws. In New Mexico a land owner must post a No Trespassing sign at each gate or road entering his property if he wishes to keep others out. To be legally valid (ie to successfully prosecute a trespasser ignoring it) the sign should have contact information, though obviously that won't keep a trespasser from being greeted with a firearm handy. Also, its my experience that a large number of private land owners do not care to prohibit people from crossing their lands- some will simply put up no hunting or no firewood gathering signs as applicable. And, interestingly, in some cases they legally can't close a historic road, though many attempt to and there are occasionally legal battles over access, typically by neighbouring land owners.

    As I gather it, your state is completely different. I suppose states vary widely. I wonder if there is a webpage or chart detailing state laws and customs.
    #63
  4. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    In Texas (Which I know is not the same as many States) a fence and or gate is considered notice as referring to trespass. "fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders or to contain livestock" is how the penal code reads and as far as signs, anything that tells you to stay out qualifies. If crops are present no notice is needed, or put another way "the visible presence on the property of a crop grown for human consumption that is under cultivation, in the process of being harvested, or marketable if harvested at the time of entry" itself serves as notice. As a interesting side note there is another way to post for no trespassing in Texas. Purple Paint. If you paint posts and or trees with a vertical stripe of purple paint that stands as notice for no trespassing.

    Also in Texas cell towers are considered a "critical infrastructure facility". If you are arrested for trespassing at one it would not be a ticket or 1 night in jail. It is considered an class A misdemeanor which can entail up to a year in jail. Now you would have to piss someone off and climb/cut a fence most likely but it is an indication that in Texas as in most states the law does hold tower sites as areas with extra legal protection.
    #64
  5. DRanger

    DRanger Rockerville Rider

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    Good information for my next TX trip. I don't trespass knowingly, and cell phone and other comm installations don't appeal to me anyway. You folks have some great state parks in the Hill Country.
    #65
  6. El Buzadero

    El Buzadero Armchair Anarchist

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    I probably should think twice about revealing my most successful "stealth" camping mode. But, what the hell. My strategy can be a benefit to others. I'm a hopeless philanthropist.

    I've done these many times. Probably a few dozen if I was to add them all up. Primarily in areas that are more urban, or when the weather looked dubious, and sometimes just when I was tired and wanted to simply crash with no logistics hassle.

    As mentioned earlier, you have to arrive late (after closing time) and leave early. Many Home Depot and Lowe's stores have those yard sheds that are framed out of 2x4's and sheet siding. The example ones are usually out in the parking lot and have been assembled for demo units. The larger ones are big enough for you to pull a full size bike right into and still have room to sleep right next to it. Once inside, you close it up and you have all the privacy you want until morning.

    Clearly, this kind of flagrant behavior isn't for everyone. But, it has always worked for me without incident of note. Yes, I have been "caught" by early morning employees out watering the nursery items or parking their vehicles. But, the reaction has been a sly grin more than an accusatory glare. Most people are decent and won't begrudge you a night's sleep.

    As always, your mileage may vary......
    #66
  7. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious. Supporter

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    Love it. I'll have to see if I can use that.

    I've been waiting to use a tip a buddy of mine gave me a while ago.

    Trucks at the U-Haul place aren't locked at night.

    Jamie
    #67
  8. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    I think I would save the sheds for a night that was raining hard. Something to give me a bit of an "excuse" for being there otherwise it's to easy to just pull over and crash next to the bike anywhere for me to justify it to myself.
    #68
  9. Anywhereness

    Anywhereness Been here awhile

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    I recently did a trip from down south up to Chicago. One night I stealth camped at a spot that made me consider using it's idealism as a guideline.

    Up off a paved rural two lane road there was an anonymous (no street sign) dirt road marked with a realty sign, claiming X number of acres for sale. There were not any No Trespassing signs at the entrance so I wandered up the dirt road until it's end, presumably someplace deep into all of this acreage for sale. It was a great spot, quite quiet and the last few hundred feet of road were only passable by an off road vehicle of some sort.

    Now, I was thinking if it was a weekday where the realtor might be open, I could have called them up (the phone number is obviously on the sign) and asked who owns the land. A bank? Excellent. :evil Some guy who now lives in a faraway state? OK too. :deal Recently foreclosed? Well, getting iffy but probably still OK. :dunno Reposessed by the gov't from a redneck meth head who's out on bail? No thanks. :eek1

    There's probably other useful/interesting questions to ask which a normal buyer would, which gives you an idea of what this land is about. Most likely nobody is using it but for an investment property, and if they didn't want you in there, the presence of the No Trespassing sign at the entrance should be the determinate. I'd assume the more rural and the larger the acreage the better the site.
    #69
  10. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    My rules are simple. No fenced land, no shut gates, no crops or livestock, no residence, no signs. Never had issues with finding somewhere to stop yet.
    #70
  11. Disco Stu

    Disco Stu Long timer

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    most of the doors have the tension set to roll up. the only way to keep it down is to close the latch from the outside.
    #71
  12. Mgbgt89

    Mgbgt89 Long timer

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    Brilliant! I've actually stopped and looked at one of the bigger sheds after hours, walked right on in. It was the Cadillac of garden sheds, had a front porch, a loft, and was bigger than my current garage. Never thought about spending the night in one....
    #72
  13. RiddenHard

    RiddenHard old not dead

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    thanks for the tip el buzadero, i may never stay at a holiday inn again, there are just as many home depot and lowes sites.
    #73
  14. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    Maybe it's just me but I've camped out at a lot of closed gas stations. Rural areas always have old stations that have shut down. I just pull up and crash out. Normally I just tarp it and while I've been asked to leave by police (rarely) I've never had anyone get upset or seem even vaguely concerned about it.
    #74
  15. tobster9

    tobster9 Sky larker

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    dont worry about the law or feds whatever, very unlikely that a cell tower would be a part of a routine patrol unless its a party spot, only way you would have a problem is if someone saw you and reported you or saw smoke from a fire etc. And the chances are they would tell you to move on rather than arrest you (too much paperwork).

    My primary fear when stealth camping is teenagers! those little (*^** have been known to kick a man to death in his tent, set fire to your tent, pee on your tent, wake you up and smack you around the head with a bat etc all for kicks of course.

    If stealth camping, it has to be done super carefuly IMHO, if you see butts and cans then your not the first man there!
    #75
  16. bones_708

    bones_708 Been here awhile

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    While punk kids aren't really a big worry to me that does bring up a point. I do like to get out of main view and not set up right at the roadside but it seems to me that being too hidden may also have drawbacks. If you are in view then if you have potential witnesses and bystanders who may help or call for help if you do become involved in some situation. If you are totally hidden the you must rely on that. I like to be discreet but I also want to be able to say that I wasn't trying to "hide".
    #76
  17. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    There is lots of free camping on public land. In the western states.

    East of the Mississippi there is not so much open public land. Houses and people are far closer together.

    There is some public land in the east where camping is permitted -- no real stealth required. Some state game lands in PA are one example. Other states are more difficult AFAICT. The Corps of Engineers now charges for camping in the northeast.

    My only point is that what works out west may not work so well in the east.
    #77
  18. vespacar

    vespacar Adventurer

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    Ditto for me, it's just that they open to early for me!!!

    Cheers,
    Tross

    #78
  19. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    Riding back from the TAT, I camped very successfully in a cemetery, just at the very back. It was in a very very small town so no worries about being bothered by teenagers. Also another time which was very late 12:30 I was able to toss my sleeping pad out between the bike and building around back. There were houses about two lots to the left and right, luckily the way things were situated viability from the houses to me was minimal. Not an ideal spot but at 12:30 I was ready to shut down.

    If your out in the country then cemeteries and some churches would be good spots. Main thing is get in kind of late and leave early.

    Abandoned gas stations are pretty decent choices, saw a lot of truckers using them for parking. I wouldn't stop at a station with truckers, most truckers are just hard working men and wouldn't even mess with you, but in my mind there might be a 1% which might screw w/ ya. So I avoid places where others might be.

    Definitely harder to find spots East of the Miss, as more property is fenced in.

    Also if you find a spot in the wilderness check out the area. While scoping out a potential camp spot that really looked good, I spotted a dead carcass, uh....lets find another spot.
    #79
  20. AteamNM

    AteamNM Wonna Be ADVrider Supporter

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    This thread needs pictaaars.:deal

    You just have to use common sense, be situationally aware, feel for a vibe. I did a fly and ride from VA to NM. I stealth camped a lot and some state parks. Once in a cut hay field in a rural area, in a bend of the tree line out of view, it was Halloween night 2012. A rain night in Summerset KY I camped at the edge of town in an abandoned car wash, third bay out of 4 and out of sight and out of rain. One night off a twisty mountain road on the border of VA & WVA at 5000 feet. Nearly impossible to see me.

    If there was a cell tower site out in a remote area and there was cover nearby, trees or just out of site maybe a 1/4 mile from the road, yes I would camp nearby. For me it's all about not being able to NOT be seen. Stealth. If the tower is stealth, remote and out of the way, I would consider it.
    A few pics from stealth camping.

    [​IMG]

    Tennessee
    [​IMG]
    Same Spot
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    State Park - Muscle Shoals AL, primitive camping, no charge and no people. Closed for the season and never saw a soul.
    [​IMG]
    #80