Stealth Camping on Public Land

Discussion in 'Americas' started by dredman, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. RG1984

    RG1984 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    225
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I get all into trying to figure out where I could pull my bike off the side of the road, and am on Google Maps & Earth looking for old logging roads and whatever, and by the time I find a spot that looks pretty awesome, I wind up seeing that its 10 or so miles from a legitimate camping enterprise and the combination of peace of mind / amenities that are offered and the price that's typically on the reasonable side- I usually convince myself that hitting the campsite is the route I'll go.
    But there always is that pull to dip into the woods on my own accord, bunker down for the night and be on my way in the morning.
    Moto Jimmy, sieg and dredman like this.
  2. dredman

    dredman Dirty Moto-Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    Driving around in a Steel-Tent
    I guess our differences are mainly:

    1- You are turning off onto an "old logging road", while that is what I am riding on.
    2- It is 10 miles out your way, while it is ON my way.
    3- You seek " legitimate camping", while I seek an amazing, quiet spot to camp.

    Don't forget the big differences in the experience, for me there are two BIG difference:

    legitimate camping = barking dogs, screaming kids, & hillbilly radio
    stealth camping = wind, birds & squirrels, and an amazing view


    to me it is worth riding an extra 75 miles for the latter
    pceire32 and joe a like this.
  3. RG1984

    RG1984 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    225
    Location:
    Connecticut
    No argument from me. When you're out in the middle of nowhere, I'm not really sure of the harm.
    dredman likes this.
  4. dredman

    dredman Dirty Moto-Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    Driving around in a Steel-Tent
    Sure, that is mostly what I do. Mostly when I camp I would not call it stealth, I would call it camping, or wild camping, or backcountry, or dispersed camping. Been exploring true stealth camping lately - hence this thread - it fascinates me.
  5. Oilleaker

    Oilleaker Ne’er do well tinkerer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2019
    Oddometer:
    302
    Location:
    Bronx NY
    Not trying to hijack this thread but seemed like the right people to ask are here. In the western us, especially blm land where it is legal to camp dispersed, is it necessary to get the bike out of view of the road?
    dredman likes this.
  6. dredman

    dredman Dirty Moto-Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    Driving around in a Steel-Tent

    I am not a lawyer or even educated well on BLM rules, but I am always shocked when I see the LACK of them. Pretty sure most of the rules consist of a 14 day limit on camping, not sure there is much beyond that? Some places have more rules than other like this one maybe?


    Oilleaker likes this.
  7. Oilleaker

    Oilleaker Ne’er do well tinkerer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2019
    Oddometer:
    302
    Location:
    Bronx NY
    That looks wild. How do you go about finding out if youre on blm land vs private or national forest? Is there some sort of posting or distinctive signage or do you have to go by map?
  8. dredman

    dredman Dirty Moto-Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    Driving around in a Steel-Tent
  9. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    11,963
    Location:
    Omicron Persei 8
    https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/camping
    CavReconSGT and Oilleaker like this.
  10. Oilleaker

    Oilleaker Ne’er do well tinkerer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2019
    Oddometer:
    302
    Location:
    Bronx NY
    Just did some browsing of the arizona site. Do you happen to know if the ohv stickers are necessary if youre only planning to push a bike off the side of the road to camp? I doubt anyone would argue an old harley is “designed primarily for use on inimproved roads” but better safe than sorry
  11. Oilhed

    Oilhed MarkF Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2003
    Oddometer:
    15,048
    Location:
    Connecticut
  12. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,220
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    According to my understanding a road going license plate and tag supersedes an OHV tag. You can go on and off road with a plate.
    squidchief and Oilleaker like this.
  13. -E-

    -E- Klaatu barada nikto Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,843
    Location:
    White Room
    ^^^Correct^^^
    Oilleaker likes this.
  14. PNWet

    PNWet Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,205
    Location:
    Puget Sound, WA, USA
    I've mentioned this before in other threads...

    In Washington state, to ride a dual sport on state land, you need either a license plate + Discover Pass or a license plate + ORV registration.

    There may be an exception for "just passing through " but the legal standard of what that means is unclear and appears to be up to the judgment of the enforcement officer. I don't want to have to take a day off and then travel to some distant court just because I might be right. A pass is cheap insurance against this.

    I'm not sure about the registration requirements in Oregon, but to ride off road you need to pass their off road safety class. 18+ is free online, but it takes several hours. 17- requires an in person class. Last I checked it was 2 days and about $150.

    To ride a dual sport on most federal land (where riding is allowed), you need a NW Forest Pass (in the Pacific Northwest). This pass is $35/year, IIRC. I don't know what pass is required for federal land elsewhere.

    If you have any level of VA disability, you can get a golden access pass that'll get you into all federal lands free. Bring proof of VA disability to a Forest Service ranger station and you can get your golden access pass. If you're 62+ you can get a lifetime golden age pass for a fee ($90). I believe both of these passes offer 50% off camping fees at public federal camp grounds.

    Finally, with any VA disability you are eligible for a VHIC card (veterans health ID card). As of Jan 1, 2020, a new law took effect that gives those with a VHIC card base access. I don't know exactly what this means as I haven't tested it, but since it includes MWR, I'd guess access to military campgrounds. More info:
    https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/68...-commissary-military-exchange-and-mwr-access/
  15. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,220
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    There are also some extra pass requirements in California. In the National Forest you are required to have an Adventure Pass if you stop! Of course you are required to have a National Parks pass. BUT your vehicle doesn't need an OHV pass or sticker if it has a license plate. Many other places and states of course have fees and passes for entry in various places. You need some of these passes even if you are walking, on a bus, in a car or riding a bicycle. They are entry fees and nothing to do with on road or off road registration.
    Strong Bad and Oilleaker like this.
  16. PNWet

    PNWet Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,205
    Location:
    Puget Sound, WA, USA
    The Golden passes (access or age) suffice for any required federal pass (Northwest Forest, National Park, BLM, F and W, TVA, etc).

    More info here: https://store.usgs.gov/access-pass
  17. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,220
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    You don't need an off road registration and you don't need any special training if your vehicle has a street plate and you have a drivers license...
    Strong Bad, Oilleaker and PNWet like this.
  18. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,220
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    What is an off highway vehicle permit?
    An Off-Highway Motor Vehicle (OHMV) also commonly referred to as an off-highway vehicle(OHV) is any motor vehicle operated on publicly accessible lands, including registered highway vehicles. ... Vehicles which can be operated both on- and off-highway will be given a street-legal license.
  19. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,220
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    I can't remember where we went but our Golden Age Access passes didn't suffice...we had to pay an entry fee. I was miffed. Could have been a County Park.
  20. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,220
    Location:
    Villa Maria Sanitarium, Claremont, CA. USA
    Still, this is about vehicle use. License plate trumps off road sticker every time in my exhaustive scientific experiment. We've had Golden Age passes since 2012 (age related sufferance)...they were FREE then or maybe it was $10 for life. Now you pay one year for life at age 62....it does get you cut price camping in some places....the unlimited multiple entries to National Parks is fantastic. Does NOT work at State and County parks. It's a FEDERAL pass. All I need now is a Federal fishing license...that would be awesome.....well and a Federal concealed carry permit...then my job here is done and my life complete.
    trumpet and dredman like this.