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  1. #1
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    The end of each day on tour

    Just to recap, I'm planning to try for 2,000 miles from San Antonio to New York in June. My first tour.

    As I've been posting I've got the bike, bought the bags and equipment, found tires that work, and am putting in miles every day on the loaded bike. Pretty much everything I can think to do.

    I'd just thought I'd post here what I just did in a discussion on the "Regional: Northeast" forum to gather input from anyone interested.

    Here it is, all feedback re: the practicality of this approach is appreciated.....


    My approach to this tour is going to be about hours in the saddle rather than miles per se. Based up the 50- 100 mile rides I've done so far, what works for me is to divide the ride into two-hour intervals and then take at least a 30 minute break in between. So eight hours of saddle time translates to a ten hour period, which from a hypothetical 8am or thereabouts get me done around 6pm. Which oughta leave me about two hours of daylight to either find a campground, or a quiet spot to crash out, or last resort a motel.

    I have never been particular about where I sleep (I still sleep on a blanket on a tile floor at home), and three years in a remote African village way back when in the Peace Corps pretty much terminally cured me about being particular about what form my daily calories come in. Dry oatmeal in cold water would suit me fine as a low-cost reserve.

    If it were possible I would prefer to just crash out somewhere most nights wherever I happen to get done for the day. OTOH I ain't in favor of trespassing either, which I expect would preclude most stealth camping. A pity one cant merely sleep off road in the grass along the right of way. From what I understand small rural cemeteries often offer good compromises.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Garlic
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    That's a valid approach. It's basically what I've done for years. Two hours in the saddle, then a break. Eight hours max in the saddle every day. Sometimes that means a 12 or 14 hour day, depending on other diversions--hikes, museums, doing things with new friends, tourist things.

    When I planned my last 4500 mile ride, I thought in terms of 400 hours plus or minus in the saddle and that worked out great. It took exactly 50 days of riding.

    Add some raisins and walnuts to those oats and you have a pretty good muesli in my opinion. If you can find powdered milk, all the better. It's what I eat every day before I ride.

    "Stealth camping" has been the subject of lots of threads. I stay away from cemeteries, but there's often a town or county park nearby. State and federal lands are generally good places to camp for free. Very often locals will tell you a good place to camp, and that often turns into an invitation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpshin View Post
    Just to recap, I'm planning to try for 2,000 miles from San Antonio to New York in June. My first tour.

    As I've been posting I've got the bike, bought the bags and equipment, found tires that work, and am putting in miles every day on the loaded bike. Pretty much everything I can think to do.

    I'd just thought I'd post here what I just did in a discussion on the "Regional: Northeast" forum to gather input from anyone interested.

    Here it is, all feedback re: the practicality of this approach is appreciated.....


    My approach to this tour is going to be about hours in the saddle rather than miles per se. Based up the 50- 100 mile rides I've done so far, what works for me is to divide the ride into two-hour intervals and then take at least a 30 minute break in between. So eight hours of saddle time translates to a ten hour period, which from a hypothetical 8am or thereabouts get me done around 6pm. Which oughta leave me about two hours of daylight to either find a campground, or a quiet spot to crash out, or last resort a motel.

    I have never been particular about where I sleep (I still sleep on a blanket on a tile floor at home), and three years in a remote African village way back when in the Peace Corps pretty much terminally cured me about being particular about what form my daily calories come in. Dry oatmeal in cold water would suit me fine as a low-cost reserve.

    If it were possible I would prefer to just crash out somewhere most nights wherever I happen to get done for the day. OTOH I ain't in favor of trespassing either, which I expect would preclude most stealth camping. A pity one cant merely sleep off road in the grass along the right of way. From what I understand small rural cemeteries often offer good compromises.

    Mike
    i'd say you might want to plan arriving at your destinations sooner than 6 pm. you'll need time to scout the area for camping / food, etc., even if you know where you are going to end up. plus, planning your arrivals to 6pm leaves you little wiggle room if you are running behind schedule.

    on my tours, i found that getting going early in the morning was an impossible endeavor; something about sleeping in without the alarm clock...... anyway, arrivals at destinations were generally late afternoon. getting in early only presents an issue of having afternoon time to kill, which is easy to do: find a locla pub, take a nap, whatever....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpshin View Post
    I ain't in favor of trespassing either, which I expect would preclude most stealth camping.
    Not really. In virtually all u.s. States you're not trespassing unless there's a posted no trespassing sign, or you're asked to leave and refuse. A good job of being stealthy, and you won't be asked. I setup camp around nightfall, but not in the dark. Then I'm gone before daybreak.

  5. #5
    Senior Member boomhauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adablduya View Post
    i'd say you might want to plan arriving at your destinations sooner than 6 pm. you'll need time to scout the area for camping / food, etc.,.
    I guess everyone has a different experience.

    When I'm out in the hinterlands or small towns I've had more luck getting a free place to camp about an hour before dark (8 pm in June).
    People in rural areas really try to help you out because it's almost dark.
    If you show up at 6 pm they will direct you to a pay-campground at the state park, usually 8 miles down a gravel road because there is plenty of time to get there. However, a local cop will let you camp behind the police station for free, in town, where there are food options. This prevents you from an 8 mile return trip to the state highway from which you came.
    This technique might require a little practice. Just have the appearance of worry on your face when asking where to sleep.
    Somehow, it always works out.

  6. #6
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomhauer View Post
    I guess everyone has a different experience.

    When I'm out in the hinterlands or small towns I've had more luck getting a free place to camp about an hour before dark (8 pm in June).
    People in rural areas really try to help you out because it's almost dark.
    If you show up at 6 pm they will direct you to a pay-campground at the state park, usually 8 miles down a gravel road because there is plenty of time to get there. However, a local cop will let you camp behind the police station for free, in town, where there are food options. This prevents you from an 8 mile return trip to the state highway from which you came.
    This technique might require a little practice. Just have the appearance of worry on your face when asking where to sleep.
    Somehow, it always works out.
    This is exactly my experience as well. Also, on the hot days of summer, I prefer to rest during the heat of the day, perhaps tour a small town museum, use the local library's internet, catch a movie or something in A/C comfort, then start riding again after dinner as the shadows lengthen and ride until nearly dark. Then see what happens. I've had the most fun camping that way, and have met some wonderful people and made new friends.

  7. #7
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
    This is exactly my experience as well. Also, on the hot days of summer, I prefer to rest during the heat of the day, perhaps tour a small town museum, use the local library's internet, catch a movie or something in A/C comfort, then start riding again after dinner as the shadows lengthen and ride until nearly dark. Then see what happens. I've had the most fun camping that way, and have met some wonderful people and made new friends.
    Sometimes I do that as well, but I have fairly often taken a different approach. I sometimes start riding really early (before daylight by a few hours if necessary) and knock out my mileage before it gets too hot. I hang around town for a while first checking out the local library, diner, and what not. Sometimes I get an invite from a host during that time but, I more often make camp at least a few hours before dark usually in a local small town park. I figure that way if I am going to be run off it will happen early enough to find another place while it is still light. I actually have never been run off so maybe the benefit is nil.

  8. #8
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    I stealth camp the majority of days on my tours. Most days when I begin riding I don't know where I'll be sleeping that night. I don't follow any particular absolute regimen, except to get up start riding. However, most days I do something like your plans suggest: ride a couple of hours and take a break and then ride some more. When it gets late in the afternoon I start keeping eye out for a potential stealth site. At first I'm looking for something nice like a lovely patch of woods away from everyone. If I locate a good spot, I stop. As it gets later I do start lowering my "lovely site" standards. No matter what the site, I always try to be hidden and never do more than move a fallen stick. In morning I pack-up and return the site back to the state in which I found it, including moving back any sticks that I moved the night before.
    Last edited by BigAura; 03-29-14 at 05:29 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    Not really. In virtually all u.s. States you're not trespassing unless there's a posted no trespassing sign, or you're asked to leave and refuse.

    Not really. There are other exceptions in many states, such as the presence of a fence or a residence. Someone does not need to put a "No trespassing" on their front lawn or ask you to leave in order to be able prohibit you from setting up camp in their front yard. Some states also have exceptions for cultivated farm land. No need to post or ask someone to leave.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

  10. #10
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    time is relative to latitude where dyou may have a sunset at 8 near the Equator..

    if in the northern countries there will be more twilight time because the angle to the sun is lower ..

    those who stay in the tropics say the sun goes down like turning off a switch

  11. #11
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    time is relative to latitude where you may have a sunset
    Yep, I was above the Arctic Circle in the summer and the sun never set. As far as touring was concerned time didn't matter to me at all, I rode whenever I wanted.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    Not really. In virtually all u.s. States you're not trespassing unless there's a posted no trespassing sign, or you're asked to leave and refuse. A good job of being stealthy, and you won't be asked. I setup camp around nightfall, but not in the dark. Then I'm gone before daybreak.
    Note that regardless of your reading of state law, you should be prepared to be perceived as a trespasser (or worse) if you don't make a reasonable effort to get permission to camp on private property. Odd as it may seem to many urbanites, many of us in the country consider our farms to be akin to our living rooms, and we don't automatically assume the best about someone who simply makes themselves at home without asking.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    Camping in cemeteries is extremely uncool. It is disrespectful and don't expect any locals who have loved ones buried there to be sympathetic to your petty plight of not being able to find anywhere else to sleep. Use your head, there are many other places to stop for the night.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
    Note that regardless of your reading of state law, you should be prepared to be perceived as a trespasser (or worse) if you don't make a reasonable effort to get permission to camp on private property. Odd as it may seem to many urbanites, many of us in the country consider our farms to be akin to our living rooms, and we don't automatically assume the best about someone who simply makes themselves at home without asking.

    BB
    Bravo. This has been pointed out to Walter S before and he simply refuses to accept it. Which would make him a poor guest in the first place. I know that for the farm where I work, people just setting up camp on the property, considering its close proximity to the island's ferry, would be told in no uncertain terms to move on. Even during harvest, the workers who ask are told that no camping is permitted on the property. There are liability and other conflict issues that arise for the owners, and we just don't wish to deal with them.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  15. #15
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    Churchyards are good - never been refused!

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  17. #17
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Respect for people(life) and earth(nature) are equally important. As world (cycling) tourists we need to pay tribute to both. Be nice and tread lightly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    This needs to be read very carefully. There are particular exclusions for land under cultivation. That means a farm. Cityslickers undoubtedly see a paddock that is fallow as part of a rotational cultivation as being available for camping, when it is not.

    I've spoken to Scandinavians about these laws, and they are not a carte blanche.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Unfarmable,
    Throwing your tent up on a solid granite shore of a small pond cut from the Glaciers was OK

    dis used switchback after the road was re routed, bag of rocks as a tent stake substitute helps..


    sheep pasture the residents were able to graze around me .

    the British Fish in the stream as royal property translated down to the smallest land holder

    did make some curious discussions

    all else fails Ask ,,, used the lee side of someones house on a really windy day in Ireland ,

    and they even brough out a Hot Pot of Tea.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    Not really. In virtually all u.s. States you're not trespassing unless there's a posted no trespassing sign, or you're asked to leave and refuse. A good job of being stealthy, and you won't be asked. I setup camp around nightfall, but not in the dark. Then I'm gone before daybreak.
    Also worth mentioning is that even if you are not technically trespassing in certain instances, you may be violating other laws. For example, in PA you are expressly prohibited by law from camping on state park land without a valid permit. So, for example, if you are too cheap/selfish/whatever to pay the fee to obtain a camping permit and simply enter park land and set up camp, you are breaking the law even though it's not technically criminal trespassing until you are asked to leave and don't.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

  21. #21
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Just my opinion, but... My take on the stealth thing is that:
    1. It is at least a bit sketchy.
    2. It is better to camp in plain sight where possible.
    3. Other options are usually possible (dispersed camping in national forests or camping in plain sight other places are not stealth camping).
    4. Stealth should be reserved as a fallback plan when there aren't other better options.
    5. Stealth is best used in locations where confrontation, conflict, and even detection are VERY unlikely.

    Personally I use stealth camping VERY sparingly, since I seldom find it to be the best answer for the situation.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Just my opinion, but... My take on the stealth thing is that:
    1. It is at least a bit sketchy.
    2. It is better to camp in plain sight where possible.
    3. Other options are usually possible (dispersed camping in national forests or camping in plain sight other places are not stealth camping).
    4. Stealth should be reserved as a fallback plan when there aren't other better options.
    5. Stealth is best used in locations where confrontation, conflict, and even detection are VERY unlikely.

    Personally I use stealth camping VERY sparingly, since I seldom find it to be the best answer for the situation.
    +1

    And how do relax and enjoy yourself when you sneak into an area and set up camp?

  23. #23
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    I deleted some stuff that was getting political. Let's keep that in the P&R forum, please.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
    I stealth camp the majority of days on my tours. Most days when I begin riding I don't know where I'll be sleeping that night. I don't follow any particular absolute regimen, except to get up start riding. However, most days I do something like your plans suggest: ride a couple of hours and take a break and then ride some more. When it gets late in the afternoon I start keeping eye out for a potential stealth site. At first I'm looking for something nice like a lovely patch of woods away from everyone. If I locate a good spot, I stop. As it gets later I do start lowering my "lovely site" standards. No matter what the site, I always try to be hidden and never do more than move a fallen stick. In morning I pack-up and return the site back to the state in which I found it, including moving back any sticks that I moved the night before.
    +1. Avoid being detected and leave no trace. You won't arouse any personal conflict and you're not hurting anybody. That fits my moral comfort zone, regardless of how people might feel IF they knew I were there. That's a hypothetical problem and I'm not going to worry about that.

    I don't stealth camp just anywhere. It's going to be out in the country and forest land well away from anybody's home or farm land or equipment. If anybody has a problem with that, I wish them luck accepting that I don't care.

  25. #25
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    I don't stealth camp just anywhere. It's going to be out in the country and forest land well away from anybody's home or farm land or equipment. If anybody has a problem with that, I wish them luck accepting that I don't care.
    This isn't the sort attitude that warms a landowner's heart or makes him more likely to open his land to campers.

    You should be aware that your idea of "well away from anyone's home or farm land or equipment" and what the owner's may be two very different ideas.

    It's so easy to simply ask for permission that it seems a shame to risk causing problems for yourself (and the next cyclist who comes down the road) by desiding you know what someone else should or should not care about.

    FWIW, we used to allow hunting on all our farms. We don't do that any more, because a few people took it on themselves to decide what might be OK and not OK on our farm. Now no one hunts, and the land gets posted during hunting season.

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