Author Topic: Finding a place to sleep  (Read 1331 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline hikerjer

Finding a place to sleep
« on: December 17, 2019, 11:29:10 pm »
While I absolutely enjoy solo self-supported touring, my greatest concern is always finding a place to camp for the night. I've wild camped many times without issue, stayed with warm showers hosts and in public and private campgrounds.  I've never really had a problem and have always found some place to pitch my tent or throw out my sleeping bag. Still, as the afternoon wanes, finding a place to spend the night starts to weigh heavily on my mind and I'm uneasy until I'm settled in some place where I feel safe and comfortable. I don't know why, since like I said, I've always found a place. Anyone else experience these anxieties and if so, how do you deal with them?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Finding a place to sleep
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2019, 01:00:33 am »
Yes, of course.

If possible, I like to know where I’m going to sleep each night when I start out the day. I’m usually willing to pay for a campsite, just for the peace of mind. But it’s not always possible. So sometimes you have to innovate. The more you do it, the better you get at it. But I usually don’t sleep quite as well whenever I’m sleeping somewhere that either isn’t quite legal, or is questionably so. Sometimes, however, you have no other option. I’ve slept in some pretty weird places. Only once have I been rousted in the middle of the night.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Finding a place to sleep
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2019, 05:35:49 am »
John's comments pretty much are what I would have said, except that I have never quite been "rousted" during the night.  None of the times I stayed anywhere questionable have I ever been run off.

On the TA, we did have the cops come and attempt to run us off one night, but we had actually gotten permission and the police had been notified.  Unfortunately the word wasn't passed on at their shift change.  After some discussion and some calls we were allowed to stay.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Finding a place to sleep
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2019, 08:00:10 am »
I plan where to stay each night ahead of time. My trips are my vacations. Don't want to stress about things I don't need to stress about. With that said, I sometimes have anxiety over whether a planned destination, such as a small U.S.F.S. campground, will be at capacity when I arrive. When that seems possible, I try to have a plan B in a jersey pocket. Other times, like when the destination is a city park, I don't worry about it.

Offline BikePacker

Re: Finding a place to sleep
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2019, 08:03:22 am »
If I do not have a designated place in mind (preferably with a reservation),
I  t-r-y  to not let it stir my thinking until 4PM (during daylight savings),
beyond which time I make myself comply with my policy that as soon as I find any location that is adequate
that I am to take it even though it may shorten the mileage for the day.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Finding a place to sleep
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2019, 09:44:32 am »
On the planning ahead "thing".  I do as little of that as I can when it comes to planning where to stay since I don't like to have set distances and prefer to be able to ride how far I feel like on a given day.  Ahead of time or even during that day I may not know if that will be 30 miles or 130 miles.  I often decide to stop when I actually stop and not before.  I may hang out in a town for an hour or two and think maybe I'll stay there change my mind and move on and ride another few hours.

I may plan for a special stop where there is some attraction that I want to stay at or someone I want to visit, but that isn't that frequent.

I do look ahead and see where there are possible stops to avoid logistical problems.  Sometimes, especially in arid barren country there may be pretty limited choices that may require knowing ahead of time that I have to decide between widely spaced stops.  In those cases I may need to actually plan a bit more and plan a couple days ahead to set up for a long gap to avoid an undesirably long or short day.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Finding a place to sleep
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2019, 11:48:53 am »
"Only once have I been rousted in the middle of the night. - Do tell,John.

Only happened to me once. Tried camping in a city park in Jackson WY. About midnight the police showed up and  rousted us. But they were very polite and helpful and directed us to appropriate spot not far away saying,"we'd never think to check there." Nice of them, I thought.

Offline GrnMtns

Re: Finding a place to sleep
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2019, 07:06:41 am »
For me it's been less stressful finding a tent site at the end of the day than trying to meet a schedule with unknown conditions ahead.  And so fun to keep riding beyond where you expected when a tailwind makes it easy.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Finding a place to sleep
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2019, 08:45:19 am »
For me it's been less stressful finding a tent site at the end of the day than trying to meet a schedule with unknown conditions ahead.  And so fun to keep riding beyond where you expected when a tailwind makes it easy.

Everyone is different on that.  I probably didn't say it very well, but I find the rigid schedule imposed by a well planned tour to be an unpleasant thing whether it is a short term plan for a day or two or a long term plan where every stop is planned for the whole tour.  So much nicer to have a flexible schedule.  As you say when there is a tailwind it is so nice to keep riding.  It is also nice to just stop for a short day and go for a hike or something once in a while when you feel like it.

To me a totally flexible schedule and budget is a great thing.  It is one of the joys of touring for me.  Open ended deadlines and budgets don't typically mean I take longer or spend more.  Often they actally mean I go faster and spend less, but knowing that I have the choice is so nice.  I like to knock out miles and am naturally kind of a cheapskate so I really don't need to restrict myself too much especially now that I am retired.

Often people don't have the option of either and are forced into either a rigid deadline or rigid budget.  In that case I get it.  I am a little puzzled that some folks choose to impose these limits on themselves when they don't need to, but that is just how some folks think I guess.

Offline GrnMtns

Re: Finding a place to sleep
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2019, 09:34:03 am »
To speak to the original question, you can ease the anxiety about where to camp by reading about it in cycle touring books.  One I read a long time ago suggested options I wouldn't have thought of like cemeteries, or baseball fields that have equipment sheds or dugouts that a tent can hide behind.

Offline donald.stewart.92

Finding a place to sleep
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2019, 10:29:32 pm »
I like knowing places along my route where I can camp ahead of time. Like staeph I can decide how far I want to go by how I feel or other conditions like the weather. I once boxed myself into going too far one day and regretted it for days. But if I come across a great spot that I didn’t know about I will take advantage of it. 
« Last Edit: December 24, 2019, 10:31:26 pm by donald.stewart.92 »

Offline brhoward

Re: Finding a place to sleep
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2019, 03:00:32 pm »
Churches, if you can contact someone to approve. Volunteer fire stations, again getting approval. These are mostly unmanned and sometimes unlocked, depending on location,  as they might offer inside accommodations as well.