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So what do you all do?You pick the most out-of-sight place you can find and hope for the best. It's incredibly unlikely that you would get arrested, even if discovered. You might be at more risk from a bull.
I just tried this method for my location (where I live), Juneau, Alaska, and it identified all the campgrounds I am aware of in this area.There are a number of advantages of using the camping identified on the ACA maps. The two I find most valuable are: (1) they list places to camp that aren't campgrounds, and thus would never be identified by Google, and are mostly free, and (2) they don't list campgrounds that do not allow tents, and that's a lot of campgrounds that you don't have to waste time going to and getting turned away from.
I don't patch tubes and I use new Continental 26x1.75-2.5 42mm Presta Valve Tube only $6.99 from http://www.bikeman.com/I patch tubes and it costs me 10 cents. And I've never in my life spent as much as $6.99 for a new tube.
The sheer volume of that form of pad would be discouraging to me. How are you going to carry it?One of the MANY disadvantages. I suspect he became progressively less comfortable as the trip went on... though he'd probably argue he could simply visit the local Mailbox Etc to replenish!We had a friend who cycle-camped using 2 or 3 layers of bubble wrap for a pad. How we laughed. It was uncomfortable and cheap. He reckoned he could have made a 5ft thick mattress of bubble wrap for the cost of our Neo-Air.Didn't the "popping" every time he turned over keep all the others awake?
stay alert while ridingThis is clearly your best protection.