Author Topic: Where to camp  (Read 15499 times)

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Offline Westinghouse

Where to camp
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2008, 12:28:52 pm »
I have done a great deal of long distance bicycle touring, and I camp, but not the way litespeed camps.
Almost all my camps are stealth camps. Never stayed in a KOA but their showers are nice. In north Florida on highway 90 there are plenty of treed areas. However, getting out in the western states presents a problem for free camping because most of that part of the country is on the other side of a barbed wire fence.
My camps. go up at or after dark and they disappear the next morning. When a day or two of rest are in order I check into the cheapest motel anyone  can find. Cheap can mean neat, clean, well kept, TV, AC, heat, but quite small. Cheap can also mean dirty, neglected, rotting carpets on the floor, peeling paint, and some really dubious characters hanging around.

Most of the camp sites I have found over these past 10 years in the USA left much to be desired. Often they were cramped, small, uncomfortable places just big enough to get into and lie down. I always stay out of eyesight when I camp. There are too many out there who would do a person wrong. Rarely have I found the ideal
free area in which to lay it down for the night.

But when I cycle I rough it and rack out wherever I can as long as it is safe to do so.

Offline biker_james

Where to camp
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2008, 08:33:47 am »
Wow, it sounds like you need to be a Special ops guy or at least a Green beret to free camp. I can't imagine why I would free camp if it was unpleasant and uncomfortable, but thats just me. I think that most places if it is unfenced and not posted with signs, it is okay to camp there. I think I would still look for a comfortable place. I've asked to camp on someone's lawn when there didn't seem to be any decent places to camp, and no campgrounds, and had a wonderful evening with some new friends. Lets face it, you are way more likely to die from an inattentive motorist on the road than from some crazed rancher shooting you for trespassing.

Offline Westinghouse

Where to camp
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2008, 12:24:11 pm »
Going through Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona I would sometimes cycle late into the night because there were no places to pull over and sleep at all anywhere. Fences were everywhere. There is no way I climb a fence to camp. There just were not many really nice places to free camp. You have to sleep.

Coastal California has plenty of nice places to camp. So do Oregon and Washington. Highway 90 in north Florida has quite a good selection too.

Offline Westinghouse

Where to camp
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2008, 12:50:02 pm »
The northern tier of the ACA route has plenty of forest and open space where you can find great campsites near clean-water streams. It can be very difficult finding an area to free camp in the northeast USA from coastal Virginia to well north of NYC, but there it is possible to find hostels. South Florida offers an interesting variety of stealth camp sites, even down south in the Keys, but be careful in the everglades. They have fifteen foot alligators that travel considerable distances across dry land looking for something to eat.

I cycled till four in the a.m. one time because all the land was fenced off right up to the roadway, and there was no way to get off the road and into the woods. That was in Texas. I had the same problem in Arizona where fences cut me off everywhere from wooded areas.

Stealth camping can present its problems and limitations, but that is the way I do most all of my overnight sleeping, with breaks of from two to four days occasionally in motels. It is a great deal less expensive than all motel (credit card) touring, and less expensive than renting sites at KOAs. The big downside of stealth camping is sometimes not getting a shower for five to seven days at a time. Stealthing it makes you tougher. It gives you a rough edge that you need. It feels good. There is too much softness and that---let's do it the easiest way---attitude. Stealthing it is more in line with that old pioneer spirit that pushed human populations from the eastern seaboard, across the Appalachians, into the midwest, and across to California, Oregon, and Washington.

Offline scott.laughlin

Where to camp
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2008, 11:41:08 am »
Some of the smaller towns provide free camping in their city parks.  Situations vary, so you'll have to ask.

Offline tgpelz

Where to camp
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2008, 10:33:28 pm »
In small towns, when they let you camp in their park, they may also let you use a shower also.  

I usually talk to the policeman.  They will tell me where the park is and unlock the bath/shower.

I just make certain that it is clean when I am done.

They have to lock it because many of the kids like to fill the toilets with paper, etc.

If there is a way to "donate" money for the shower, I gladly pay.  


Offline capejohn

Where to camp
« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2008, 10:22:24 am »
Two of us rode the Erie Canal this summer. Except for one night, the locals directed us to places where people camp on public property.  The short 6 day ride is posted on my journal, and tells how we found our campsites.

Keeping me young as I grow old.
Keeping me young as I grow old.