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Old 02-10-06, 03:52 PM   #1
stokell
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I've just posted this. on the crazyguyonabike site.

I'm hoping this will be helpful for anyone considering stealth camping as an option during a trip. It is my wish that Bike Forum members will take an opportunity to browse the site and post some input as to how the posting can be improved.

I'm also interested in adding links to other sites but they should be directly related to stealth camping. I thank you for your help.
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Old 02-10-06, 04:29 PM   #2
becnal
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I tour the same way as you. Wanna join me go through Scandinavia this summer? The Hennessy Hammock Biking Viking Tour!!!
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Old 02-10-06, 04:35 PM   #3
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looks like a good start. it's level-headed. that's good. there are a lot of overly-extreme opinions on stealth camping.
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Old 02-10-06, 05:01 PM   #4
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I know Shakespeare said, "A rose by any other name ..." and that Gertrude Stein said, "A rose is a rose is a rose ..." but I've always struggled with the term "stealth camping". I prefer camping in remote, dispersed locales to camping in a circle filled with RVs and paying $20 for the chance to do it. But I don't call it stealth camping for a number of reasons.

First, I seek out public or crown lands where dispersed camping has always been part of the public right. Sadly, in Canada, Australia, and the U.S. - there are increasing limitations on public lands camping.

Second, "stealth" suggests that I may be doing something that I shouldn't. I claim that I am simply exercising my right to the commons. When everything that was once free - from water to oxygen - is now being bottled and sold, I want to put my finger in the dike. It maybe futile and all will collapse around me, but I want to try, at least.

Third, many times I am not secret about where I set up for the evening. In the Great Plains and Prairie provinces there are dirt farm roads that often take a zag on section lines. Then there will be a nice triangle of unplowed grass - maybe a mile or two off the paved road. No traffic at night - maybe one farmer in the morning.

Many it's just semantics, but I like to call it "free camping" - with all the connotations that it includes.
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Old 02-10-06, 05:08 PM   #5
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Nice site, I'll be looking forward to it growing. I think stealth camping is actually safer, you don't have to worry about the two legged creatures or unnatural sounds.

Here is another site, written by the late Ken Kifer which is an excellent resource on stealth camping

http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/touring/camping.htm
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Old 02-10-06, 07:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stokell
I've just posted this. on the crazyguyonabike site.

I'm hoping this will be helpful for anyone considering stealth camping as an option during a trip. It is my wish that Bike Forum members will take an opportunity to browse the site and post some input as to how the posting can be improved.

I'm also interested in adding links to other sites but they should be directly related to stealth camping. I thank you for your help.

I think it is an excellent site, I love reading about stealth camping. It is my favorite kind.
I think that you give some good tips, as well it is very interesting reading.

I hope to see you on the road if you ever travel to the eastern part of ontario

I was wondering about your hammock setup and if you had a pic of it when it is packed? As well as the hammock setup what are the other things involved in your sleeping arrangements that you bring with you on tour? I ask because I would like to see the size of it packed compared to a tent and sleeping bag. Your arrangement looks far superior. Also the sleeping on the ground thing is not a worry it looks far better than a tent and sleeping bag?

Do you use a sleeping bag or is it not needed because you are not lying on the ground?

Most of my camping on tour has been stealth camping, but I have only used a tent. I felt limited in the spots that I could choose with a tent since you need a realativly flat spot in a small clearing. Also packing up the tent can be a PIA and time consuming. Does the hammock just go into a stuff sack?

Sorry for all the questions, but stealth camping is my favorite way to go and I can never get enough of the subject.
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Old 02-10-06, 09:33 PM   #7
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Looks good so far Stokell--good work. I stealth camp most of the time--occaisionally getting a hotel room to clean up/dry out and watch Letterman. Finding a place to sleep is one of the bigger challenges of touring, so specifically addressing the topic is warranted. I do a lot of touring in the desert, where there are no trees, so my shelter is a bivy tent. It stands about 18 inches off the ground, so it is naturally stealth. In your neck of the woods and along the St. Lawrence, I used a few town parks--which was legal. I've slept out in public places in the NE too, when there was no place more private. Unless you're filthy rich and can afford a hotel every night, you gotta camp. The touring purist must camp right? It's part of the game.

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Old 02-11-06, 12:00 AM   #8
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I stealthed all 28 days of my tour with a bivy tent. I think if I had to do it again, I would take a larger tent like a 7x7 and the bivy tent which doesn't take up much room. The bivy would only be used in areas where the larger tent couldn't be set up out of sight. I prefer a larger tent because I can actually change clothes inside or be in a position other than laying down. Here are a few of my tips.

a) if you set up and you can see any artifical light after dark coming from anywhere, you're too close.
b) if you hear a dog constantly barking, you're too close
c) if you can hear any human voice, you're too close
d) try to set up higher than the road
e) make sure your bike is laying down or it is positioned so the reflectors can not be seen from the road.
f) cover your seat and cyclometer holder with a walmart bag to keep them dry.
g) no campfires but cooking with a small stove at least 50-100 feet away from your tent is okay. Just don't cook foods that smoke alot.
h) bear bag your food in any area that has bear activity. Probably a good idea to keep your food away from your tent period.
i) I actually felt comfortable if I could hear cars. That meant I could play my radio without headphones and very unlikely anyone was going to hear it. Sound can carry.
j) Be careful about stealth camping in national parks and state parks that restrict camping. A ranger is probably the most likely person to get you in trouble if you get discovered.
k) If you have a cellphone, try to make sure you have coverage just in case.
l) Be aware if it is hunting season in the area. I would in those cases recommend you camp out of sight from the road but make it so a hunter can easily spot your tent. Better a hunter discover your tent rather than shoot at it.

The odds of being discovered if stealth camping properly are almost zero.
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Old 02-11-06, 06:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamawani
I know Shakespeare said, "A rose by any other name ..." and that Gertrude Stein said, "A rose is a rose is a rose ..." but I've always struggled with the term "stealth camping". I prefer camping in remote, dispersed locales to camping in a circle filled with RVs and paying $20 for the chance to do it. But I don't call it stealth camping for a number of reasons.

First, I seek out public or crown lands where dispersed camping has always been part of the public right. Sadly, in Canada, Australia, and the U.S. - there are increasing limitations on public lands camping.

Second, "stealth" suggests that I may be doing something that I shouldn't. I claim that I am simply exercising my right to the commons. When everything that was once free - from water to oxygen - is now being bottled and sold, I want to put my finger in the dike. It maybe futile and all will collapse around me, but I want to try, at least.

Third, many times I am not secret about where I set up for the evening. In the Great Plains and Prairie provinces there are dirt farm roads that often take a zag on section lines. Then there will be a nice triangle of unplowed grass - maybe a mile or two off the paved road. No traffic at night - maybe one farmer in the morning.

Many it's just semantics, but I like to call it "free camping" - with all the connotations that it includes.
I think I'm feeling the same as you on this topic
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Old 02-11-06, 03:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akarius
Do you use a sleeping bag or is it not needed because you are not lying on the ground?
Sorry for all the questions, but stealth camping is my favorite way to go and I can never get enough of the subject.
I camp the same way as Stokell does, and believe me, a sleeping bag is really necessary when in a hammock. They are much colder than tents. Fabulous in hot weather, but in cooler weather, it requires a better sleeping bag and serious pajamas. =)
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Old 02-16-06, 07:45 AM   #11
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Nice one Alan, always enjoyed reading your views. It always makes me think why am i reading this when I should be doing it.
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Old 02-17-06, 01:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akarius
I was wondering about your hammock setup and if you had a pic of it when it is packed? As well as the hammock setup what are the other things involved in your sleeping arrangements that you bring with you on tour? I ask because I would like to see the size of it packed compared to a tent and sleeping bag. Your arrangement looks far superior. Also the sleeping on the ground thing is not a worry it looks far better than a tent and sleeping bag?

Do you use a sleeping bag or is it not needed because you are not lying on the ground?

Most of my camping on tour has been stealth camping, but I have only used a tent. I felt limited in the spots that I could choose with a tent since you need a realativly flat spot in a small clearing. Also packing up the tent can be a PIA and time consuming. Does the hammock just go into a stuff sack?

Sorry for all the questions, but stealth camping is my favorite way to go and I can never get enough of the subject.
I use a Hennessy hammock and I purchased the snake skins. I'll try to post a picture later. It kind of looks like a big snake. Without the snakeskins you can pack it into a ditty bag about the size of a plastic 2L pop bottle. I weighs a kilo.

Yes, I need a sleeping bag, even if just to keep the mosquitos from biting through. When it's cooler I also have a reflective pad I lay on the reduce heat loss.

The huge advantage of a hammock is that you are not on the ground, so you can be high and dry when others are on rocky or uneven ground. I've never had any trouble finding a suitable tree but I am told you can use the hammock as a decent bivi anyway.

I've added a tips and tricks page to the site. Please feel free to submit something.
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Old 02-17-06, 03:26 PM   #13
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So? Were they still there? Did you call the police to find out if they knew about it?
Stolen car? Missing persons?

:-)
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Old 02-17-06, 03:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by stokell
Yes, I need a sleeping bag, even if just to keep the mosquitos from biting through. When it's cooler I also have a reflective pad I lay on the reduce heat loss.

When you talk of mosquitos "biting through" I hope you mean through the hammock material and not able to gain entry to your hammock when you are sleeping in it?
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Old 02-17-06, 03:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by gpsblake
I stealthed all 28 days of my tour with a bivy tent. I think if I had to do it again, I would take a larger tent like a 7x7 and the bivy tent which doesn't take up much room. The bivy would only be used in areas where the larger tent couldn't be set up out of sight. I prefer a larger tent because I can actually change clothes inside or be in a position other than laying down. Here are a few of my tips.

a) if you set up and you can see any artifical light after dark coming from anywhere, you're too close.
b) if you hear a dog constantly barking, you're too close
c) if you can hear any human voice, you're too close
d) try to set up higher than the road
e) make sure your bike is laying down or it is positioned so the reflectors can not be seen from the road.
f) cover your seat and cyclometer holder with a walmart bag to keep them dry.
g) no campfires but cooking with a small stove at least 50-100 feet away from your tent is okay. Just don't cook foods that smoke alot.
h) bear bag your food in any area that has bear activity. Probably a good idea to keep your food away from your tent period.
i) I actually felt comfortable if I could hear cars. That meant I could play my radio without headphones and very unlikely anyone was going to hear it. Sound can carry.
j) Be careful about stealth camping in national parks and state parks that restrict camping. A ranger is probably the most likely person to get you in trouble if you get discovered.
k) If you have a cellphone, try to make sure you have coverage just in case.
l) Be aware if it is hunting season in the area. I would in those cases recommend you camp out of sight from the road but make it so a hunter can easily spot your tent. Better a hunter discover your tent rather than shoot at it.

The odds of being discovered if stealth camping properly are almost zero.
I would disagree with a), b), c), g) (OTT with regard caution with stoves - 2 metres is plenty even with an MSR Whisperlite!), and k) (some folks tour to get away from things).

Perhaps you folks in the US are different, but from my experiences "stealth" camping (I prefer wild or, in Africa, bush camping) in Europe and Africa I've found that being discovered isn't such a problem. As long as you're friendly and not doing any damage there's no problem. And if you're quiet and there's a bit of cover you can camp VERY close to people without being discovered (if your tent is bright yellow or orange it obviously isn't so easy!).
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