Stealth Camping 101

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

  1. ChrisFZ1

    ChrisFZ1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    Tyrone, PA
    I'm glad I found this thread. I want to take a 5 or 6 day trip, down the BRP and to Deals Gap, Cherohala Parkway et al and camp all the way.
    Erinaceous likes this.
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious.

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,139
    Location:
    Around Denver
    I guess the relevant question is, what did you do when you encountered campers or lovers on property?

    Jamie
  3. AlH

    AlH Long timer

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Oddometer:
    2,259
    Location:
    SC/NC
    As I said I never encountered campers, but usually the "lovers" promptly left when they saw me approaching...if not I left for a few to give them a chance to leave.
    That usually worked.
    On one occasion I did call the authorities when I encountered an unoccupied vehicle at a site early one morning.
    Deputies came, ran the tags and were looking through the unlocked car when the young man that had left it came strolling out of the woods.
    He was sneaking through the forest to his girlfriends home to crawl in her window as her father had forbidden him to see her:lol2
    Unfortunately he was in possession of a stolen handicapped license plate. He was also in an area clearly marked "no trespassing".

    BTW virtually all the access drives at sites I worked at had "no trespassing" signs.
    Copper theft became a big problem at communications sites in later years so law enforcement was often asked to step up patrols in the areas too.

    Really bad problem areas sometimes had hidden video surveillance too.

    Just stuff to keep in mind.:beer
    pceire32 and Macho Man2 like this.
  4. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z I'm serious.

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,139
    Location:
    Around Denver
    That's it exactly. I'm trying to keep it in mind.

    Cell towers and power stations have frequently been a place I've stealth camped. To date I've never encountered anyone at any of those locations, but I surely don't want to get into some trouble with the authorities by doing so.

    I'm guessing that if someone showed up, they'd see my bike and tent, and no signs of damage, drinking, or partying, and at worst they'd simply wake me up and ask me to leave. At least that's what I've depended on so far.

    Jamie
    Macho Man2, Craiyg and Yinzer Moto like this.
  5. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,574
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (The Crooked River)
    Woke up to noise sleeping in the woods about 100ft from the turn around at a Cell tower last year.
    Quickly and quietly broke camp.
    Fired the bike up and rode out of the woods right in between two large Utility trucks there unloading people and gear for tower work.
    The looks on their faces as I rode around the rear truck and down the gravel road away from them was priceless.
    Macho Man2, zonth and AlH like this.
  6. Meriwether

    Meriwether Following big footprints.

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    726
    Location:
    Up the Dandenongs
    Has anyone mentioned 'ask a local'? , especially in populated country areas. Pick a neat and tidy farm house, not a junkyard and not too flash, and ask 'Do you know where I can pitch my tent for the night'. It has worked for me many times, sometimes with benefits like a meal and shower. I sleep better knowing I have permission, plus you get to meet some really friendly people.
    OnOff, Pavel+, boatpuller and 3 others like this.
  7. Yinzer Moto

    Yinzer Moto aka: trailer Rails

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    14,510
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    I have tried that many times with very poor results. Usually people suggest camp grounds. I try and ask again, "you know, like a place where all the kids go to drink beer on a Friday night". Most people don't get the concept.
  8. lam@advf

    lam@advf n00bus operandi

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Oddometer:
    890
    Location:
    38.928310, -76.978503
    Sorry to circle back to this so far past the post but I just found this thread.

    Jamie - Of course he wasn't friendly. He was pushing for some cash and you weren't coming up with the right responses.

    "Bribing Local LEOs 101"
    Yinzer Moto likes this.
  9. Boondocker1

    Boondocker1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    427
    Location:
    Central Florida Swamp
    I stealth camp all the time and I don't mind asking the locals either... Here's a perfect example. It was the end of the day, I was tired, I had "eye-balled" a couple of potential spots but thought I'd find a gas station first to get a few things for dinner. I noticed that there were a number of empty trailers in the back lot. I asked the girl behind the counter if I could pitch a tent back there for the night. She hollered at the manager, the manager hollered, "Sure!" and I had a place for the night. Super nice people...

    upload_2017-4-19_11-43-56.png
  10. Boondocker1

    Boondocker1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    427
    Location:
    Central Florida Swamp
    A buddy of mine and I setting up camp off of a dirt road somewhere in the hills off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We left the bikes parked right there... I think a total of maybe 2 cars came by while were there. No issues at all.

    upload_2017-4-19_11-48-23.png
  11. George Hanson

    George Hanson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    Oddometer:
    658
    Location:
    PA
    Been there, done that on two separate trips down the BRP.
    Boondocker1 likes this.
  12. Meriwether

    Meriwether Following big footprints.

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    726
    Location:
    Up the Dandenongs
    As the saying goes 'That's what I'm talking about'. This brings back memories of a few years ago. At a service station/truck stop I asked the lady is it OK to camp round the back. 'Sure' she said 'but watch out for the bears around the dumpster'. So I camped out front, diagonally opposite from the dumpster. You gotta know where you fit in the food chain.
  13. bromax

    bromax Bromax

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    84
    on the farm my dog kept barking at sunset, so off i went with him to see what he wanted me to see.
    Well we found a young, apologetic couple and their motorbike in a tent.
    I asked what they were doing and they asked if they could spend the night at the end of the field.
    I agreed as they offered a sip of some vodka miked with Kalua and liked the dog.
    The next day there was no trace .... nice kids.
  14. bwanacswan

    bwanacswan Team Vicarious

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,469
    Location:
    Riverside, Iowa
    From a farmer's perspective as the last reply most of us don't care. I would rather know someone is on my property in case of bad weather or if they should encounter a problem be it physical or what have you.
    I have stealth camped on occasion and every occasion is unique and totally situational. Use best judgement and be creative.
    Stealth is fun and exciting but not always appropriate or possible.

    I have had mostly bicycle campers show up at my place.
    I respect the privacy of anyone to be as open or private as they choose whether they choose to ask or just set up out of site.

    My guess there are plenty of stealth campers who had know idea that the farmer/rancher knew they had interlopers and decided just to let it go or really didn't give much thought to it.

    If the few people that didn't ask or thought they were hiding had taken the time to knock on my door they missed out.
    I have a lodge not far from the house with beer, satellite, Wi-Fi, and a warm place or cool place to stay.
    They might even get to talk to a fellow rider.
  15. Choby

    Choby Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Rossland BC
    All I know is don't stay in a green field in desert country, they tend to have auto sprinklers that open up at 0500hrs, oh and just because it looks like soft grass doesn't mean you can walk around barefoot there are all sorts of pricklers out there.
    Titlerider and Erinaceous like this.
  16. smuts.g

    smuts.g Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2017
    Oddometer:
    74
    IMG_6818.JPG


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    phreakingeek and TreasureState like this.
  17. Erinaceous

    Erinaceous ...................O#O

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2016
    Oddometer:
    353
    Location:
    04401

    Stealth camping on a golf course....what a concept :D
  18. DamnitLaverty

    DamnitLaverty n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2016
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Seattle
    Jesus! You finally replaced your camera! This makes me wanna reconsider my "I can't make it to Tenerife" thing... my envy is great right now.
  19. Sitheach86

    Sitheach86 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Oddometer:
    3,281
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I've been to home depot and Lowe's and around me they all lock the sheds at night.

    What about camping under bridges on rural highways? Anyone do this or is it a bad idea?
  20. Izzo

    Izzo Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,139
    Location:
    Cleveland Ohio
    This was my spot last night- in a park by a small lake near Nashua Montana. Park closed at 10 but nobody checked. Tonight I'm legit in a small town park in North Dakota

    Attached Files:

    GAS GUY, ohgood, Pavel+ and 5 others like this.