Author Topic: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!  (Read 3973 times)

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Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2024, 04:43:14 pm »
Usually on most any road or trail you might take that crosses into USFS or BLM land there will be prominent and hard-to-miss signs telling you when you are entering and leaving.

I definitely have seen signs for entering/exiting USFS territory, but I've rarely seen them for BLM.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2024, 05:56:50 pm »
Shmogger, I would say you covered the subject well enough.

Offline Shmogger

Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« Reply #32 on: February 23, 2024, 07:08:52 pm »
Thanks, Westinghouse.  You're giving me good advice by saying essentially, I don't really need more advice about camping.  That boosts my confidence.    :D   8)   :-X

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« Reply #33 on: February 29, 2024, 06:01:12 pm »
When searching for a concealed sleep site, you might want to resist the temptation to follow an unknown, foot-worn path into the woods. Homeless and other people live along these paths in many locations nationwide.

Offline Shmogger

Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« Reply #34 on: February 29, 2024, 07:30:43 pm »
Really good tip. Never would have thought of that!  Like "highway bandits" in the Middle Ages

Offline davidbonn

Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2024, 06:14:18 pm »
If I see a well-worn path starting at a random location along an isolated forest road I'm more likely to think "Marijuana Grow Operation" or "Meth Lab" than "Homeless Encampment".  But still something to exercise caution about.

You also need to be a bit realistic.  Homeless people and drug dealers don't like to walk more than most Americans, so usually their lairs are pretty close to a town or built-up area.  So if you see a trail going off into the woods a dozen or more miles from the nearest habitation, chances are there aren't people living at the end of that trail.  There are exceptions to that so I'd argue caution but not paranoia.

Another thing:  if two streams come together and there is a flat spot nearby there will be a campsite.  Usually a quite decent one that has been used for thousands of years.  Similarly if there is an obvious ford of a large stream or river there will almost always be campsites near either side of the ford.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2024, 06:58:37 pm »
If I see a well-worn path starting at a random location along an isolated forest road I'm more likely to think "Marijuana Grow Operation" or "Meth Lab" than "Homeless Encampment".  But still something to exercise caution about.

You also need to be a bit realistic.  Homeless people and drug dealers don't like to walk more than most Americans, so usually their lairs are pretty close to a town or built-up area.  So if you see a trail going off into the woods a dozen or more miles from the nearest habitation, chances are there aren't people living at the end of that trail.  There are exceptions to that so I'd argue caution but not paranoia.

Another thing:  if two streams come together and there is a flat spot nearby there will be a campsite.  Usually a quite decent one that has been used for thousands of years.  Similarly if there is an obvious ford of a large stream or river there will almost always be campsites near either side of the ford.

Every foot path where homeless people lived was near or in a city or town.  Some were former camps where people had been expelled. In these places you might see run down torn open tents and debris fields of trash.  They look like the people who were forced to move really trashed it up on their way out.  I must say, I did encounter some aggressive nasty characters on foot paths, and they were criminal homeless people, probably mentally ill with criminal records.  Most camps had been abandoned.  In any case, you have to make your choices of where to lay it down for the night. When cycling through or near a town, I generally pass up foot paths into wooded areas.  When I did follow such paths it did not end up a catastrophe at all, but there were confrontations that could have turned out very badly if I had not kept my head about me. I think going west, starting with eastern Texas, free sleep sites are more plentiful and easier to find.

Offline davidbonn

Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« Reply #37 on: March 02, 2024, 09:47:56 am »
We all ride our own rides.  For me, I'm generally not comfortable with any camping situation in an urban area.  Well, maybe if I'm camping in somebody's yard somewhere...

I live in a really small town (population less than 500) and until about 2020 people here didn't really need to lock their doors, or for that matter lock their cars when they went to the post office or grocery store.  I'd ride my bike to the Thriftway for grocery runs and would typically only do a minimum-security lockup of the bike.  Those days are over.

It isn't all or just homeless people.  There a lot of desperate people with really serious drug addictions, and bluntly there are also a lot of people who just like to steal stuff.


Offline Westinghouse

Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2024, 10:27:37 pm »
It isn't all or just homeless people.


Certainly, not only homeless people might cause problems.  There are many people who will take advantage of a vulnerable person.  It happens every day.  The news is full of horror stories.  Sure, quite real and true.  However, within  the context of searching out a stealth site for a night's sleep, it is the homeless that one is likely to encounter.  As for these other bad actors, they can strike any time and place.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2024, 11:03:19 am »
It isn't all or just homeless people.  There a lot of desperate people with really serious drug addictions, and bluntly there are also a lot of people who just like to steal stuff.
Yep.  I live in one of the country's largest cities.  See it all the time.  As you note, it's not just in big cities anymore.  Back in 2011 we stayed in a motel in Butte, MT. Walking around town, we saw PSA signs warning people to not leave their car doors unlocked or valuables in their cars due to drug-related petty crime.  In 2016, I had to shoo an itinerant tweaker out of the Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, MT, which is on the Trans America Route.  An officer from the Sheriff's office came by later that morning asking if anyone had seen him after a resident had reported him snooping around peoples' properties.  A shopping center in Brattleboro, VT had a security guard patrolling the parking lot checking on cars in the middle of the day when I was there in 2022.  Some of the lower-budget motels in towns like that have been turned into residences for the unemployed, many of whom are addicts.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Stealth Camping? Sleep Site!
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2024, 12:05:39 pm »
It isn't all or just homeless people.  There a lot of desperate people with really serious drug addictions, and bluntly there are also a lot of people who just like to steal stuff.
Yep.  I live in one of the country's largest cities.  See it all the time.  As you note, it's not just in big cities anymore.  Back in 2011 we stayed in a motel in Butte, MT. Walking around town, we saw PSA signs warning people to not leave their car doors unlocked or valuables in their cars due to drug-related petty crime.  In 2016, I had to shoo an itinerant tweaker out of the Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, MT, which is on the Trans America Route.  An officer from the Sheriff's office came by later that morning asking if anyone had seen him after a resident had reported him snooping around peoples' properties.  A shopping center in Brattleboro, VT had a security guard patrolling the parking lot checking on cars in the middle of the day when I was there in 2022.  Some of the lower-budget motels in towns like that have been turned into residences for the unemployed, many of whom are addicts.

I was shocked to read that last summer 2023, two Tour Divide Racers had their bikes stolen from the private campground in Helena, MT at 2am in the night. They were sleeping in their tent next to the bikes. As I recall the bikes were not found.