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Problems with Camping

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Problems with Camping

Old 04-19-15, 07:20 AM
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hazben1
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Problems with Camping

First, please excuse my ignorance. I have never toured by bike but am considering getting into it. Have you'll ever had problems with people harassing you while camping on tour? What about finding places to camp while touring? Finally what about protection when on tour? I camp at campgrounds and have done some backpacking and never had any problems and never felt the need for protection. But, when it comes to touring by bike I suspect at times when it is time to stop for the day it may be a less than ideal place to stay.
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Old 04-19-15, 07:30 AM
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Churchyards are good! Just ask the Pastor first. Have been offered showers and meals at times. Have even been offered to sleep inside church on a rainy day/night!

In small towns, stop at the local Police Station, Sheriffs Office, and ask for assistance - they frequently let us camp in city parks, swimming pools, etc, and frequently offer showers. Another benefit, they watch over you at night, by cruising by frequently to help them pass the time of an over night shift!
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Old 04-19-15, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by hazben1 View Post
Have you'll ever had problems with people harassing you while camping on tour?
Answer: No.
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Old 04-19-15, 08:22 AM
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Right. The short answer is No.

99.9% of people are too immersed in their own lives to be nosy about what some crazy guy/gal on a bicycle is doing. The 0.1% are your trail angels.

Great campground locator.

Go of it.
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Old 04-19-15, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by hazben1 View Post
Have you'll ever had problems with people harassing you while camping on tour? What about finding places to camp while touring?
No problems.
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Old 04-19-15, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
Right. The short answer is No.

99.9% of people are too immersed in their own lives to be nosy about what some crazy guy/gal on a bicycle is doing. The 0.1% are your trail angels.

Great campground locator.

Go of it.
They're good. But they also don't list some of my favorite campgrounds. And those are free. One of those is in a WMA close to me, and another in a forest owned by the city of Atlanta where dispersed camping is expressly permitted. I found both of those places because I live close by and discovered them a long time ago. But if I toured through my area I might well miss them.

I'd like to know of a one-stop shop for finding campgrounds and in particular would want to see free campsites listed there. I've yet to discover anything so comprehensive.
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Old 04-19-15, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
They're good. But they also don't list some of my favorite campgrounds. And those are free.
On this page, you can email AllStays and recommend camping sites for them to add. They added one I recommended.
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Old 04-19-15, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
No problems.
+1
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Old 04-19-15, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by hazben1 View Post
First, please excuse my ignorance. I have never toured by bike but am considering getting into it. Have you'll ever had problems with people harassing you while camping on tour? What about finding places to camp while touring? Finally what about protection when on tour? I camp at campgrounds and have done some backpacking and never had any problems and never felt the need for protection. But, when it comes to touring by bike I suspect at times when it is time to stop for the day it may be a less than ideal place to stay.
Never been harassed. Had Park Rangers threaten citations for not paying a registration fee, but I just plead ignorance.

Finding places is easy. Are there no tresspassing signs? Am I obvious there? Are there trees? A source of water within half a mile? That's all I look for in a camp site. Could be a patch of woods behind a school. Darkest corner of an out of the way cemetery. Picnic area behind a church. Remote corner of a state / national park.

Protection? Never needed it. I've considered bringing a compact h.a.n.d.g.u.n. but decided against it. I do have a Spyderco Street Bowie on me, which adds some peace of mind. It's mainly for cutting up cantaloup though
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Old 04-19-15, 05:17 PM
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Oh Yah! Our campsite was attacked one night on the California Coast by five marauding raccoons! It was a battle of patience and wits, but I finally prevailed or thought I did. One came back and tried to drag our food pannier out from under the rainfly, which was about a foot from my leg. I finally used a shot of Halt dog repellent on them, and that ended the siege. The only casualty was my wife's M&Ms in her bento bag. Those little buggers knew how to open the zipper. However, we heard yelling and cussing by a college group on a field trip who were camped across the meadow from us. It seems like they found an easier target.

Actually it was kind of funny

We've camped a lot, and have never had a safety issue or even felt threatened. We have had some loud, rude neighbors, but that was the exception.

Last edited by Doug64; 04-19-15 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 04-19-15, 06:18 PM
  #11  
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Actually the larger problem is getting too much help. When pesky townspeople keep offering you food and lodging, and all you want is a little privacy and rest!

Sure, some spots will be less than ideal, but that's what stories are made of. Protection from mosquitoes and mice and the occasional skunk or raccoon is all you'll need.
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Old 04-19-15, 06:42 PM
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No, I never had any problems with folks harassing me on tour.

Protection? If you mean condoms, then maybe, otherwise no.
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Old 04-19-15, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Oh Yah! Our campsite was attacked one night on the California Coast by five marauding raccoons! It was a battle of patience and wits, but I finally prevailed or thought I did. One came back and tried to drag our food pannier out from under the rainfly, which was about a foot from my leg. I finally used a shot of Halt dog repellent on them, and that ended the siege. The only casualty was my wife's M&Ms in her bento bag. Those little buggers knew how to open the zipper. However, we heard yelling and cussing by a college group on a field trip who were camped across the meadow from us. It seems like they found an easier target.

Actually it was kind of funny

We've camped a lot, and have never had a safety issue or even felt threatened. We have had some loud, rude neighbors, but that was the exception.
Oh yes ... raccoons!

We were car camping in Pennsylvania a number of years ago, and were surrounded by a group of them at a place called Raccoon Creek State Park. Maybe the name should have given us a hint.

One made off with a bag of powdered milk, and while Rowan gave chase, the rest of the group closed in on me .....
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Old 04-19-15, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
No, I never had any problems with folks harassing me on tour.

Protection? If you mean condoms, then maybe, otherwise no.
Maybe? This deserves its own thread!
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Old 04-19-15, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Protection? If you mean condoms, then maybe, otherwise no.
my problem is that when I was touring with condoms, I never had the opportunity to use one....alas.
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Old 04-20-15, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
Maybe?
How could I say yes when my wife might be reading
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Old 04-20-15, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Buffalo Buff View Post
I've considered bringing a compact h.a.n.d.g.u.n. but decided against it.
Good choice on leaving it home. They are heavy. They are illegal to carry inside federally owned buildings (post offices, national park buildings, etc.) and unsafe to leave outside on a bike. They may not be welcome if you stay with a host and I'd feel that you should divulge that you were carrying one before staying with a host.

I hope that my response doesn't step over the line on forum rules that make this a taboo topic.
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Old 04-20-15, 05:33 AM
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Answer to OP: no. Fortunately, I mostly tour where Freedom to Roam applies.


Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I hope that my response doesn't step over the line on forum rules that make this a taboo topic.
Putting my Mod hat on for a moment: firearms are not a taboo topic, but the argument tends to get heated (no pun intended) and spiral towards political aspects. We have the festering cesspool that is called Politics & Religion for that kind of discussions.

As a general request (not directed to you, staehpj1), please keep the firearm discussion out of this thread. Thank you.

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Old 04-20-15, 07:14 AM
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How about planning your trip around staying in campgrounds? After all, you have stayed in them before without incident.
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Old 04-20-15, 08:08 AM
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Look for Warmshowers hosts
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Old 04-20-15, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
How about planning your trip around staying in campgrounds? After all, you have stayed in them before without incident.
and the added bonus is that there are showers and toilets in campgrounds, thats always nice at the end of a riding day. Start by doing a bunch of searching for online lists of provincial, state or private campgrounds in the area you are interested in going. I've found that regional tourism info is fairly easy to find. When I rode through Vermont a few summers ago, there was both printed stuff in tourist info places and online stuff of all the campgrounds through Vermont, very handy.
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Old 04-20-15, 08:54 AM
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Harass? No. Instruct me as to not being allowed to camp there, or questioning the wisdom of that site choice, Yes, (sometimes in languages I didn't Understand).


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Old 04-20-15, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
and the added bonus is that there are showers and toilets in campgrounds, thats always nice at the end of a riding day. Start by doing a bunch of searching for online lists of provincial, state or private campgrounds in the area you are interested in going. I've found that regional tourism info is fairly easy to find. When I rode through Vermont a few summers ago, there was both printed stuff in tourist info places and online stuff of all the campgrounds through Vermont, very handy.
Even simple Google Maps searches. I have done two cross-PA tours the last two years using parts of signed PA bike routes and have planned a third for this year. The maps for the routes do not show camping locations, but they do show state park. I could research those parks to see if they had camping. When no state parks where available, I picked distances between towns
that seemed reasonable to cover in a day and then searched for campground using Goggle Maps. "Campgrounds near [insert name of town]" Zooming in and out broadens the search results. I used this method to plan a trip in the Black Hills and NW Nebraska for this summer. It has worked well for me.
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Old 04-20-15, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Good choice on leaving it home. They are heavy. They are illegal to carry inside federally owned buildings (post offices, national park buildings, etc.) and unsafe to leave outside on a bike. They may not be welcome if you stay with a host and I'd feel that you should divulge that you were carrying one before staying with a host.
Agreed on most counts, just wanted to add firearms are legal to carry inside any national park. Now, back to the discussion at hand per mod request.
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Old 04-20-15, 10:59 AM
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Never had any problems, and me and my friend camped illegally almost every night for 3 and a half months. We've set up on the sides of roads, in random woods, in the middle of the town gazebo (right after asking if there was any place in town to camp and the cops said no), town parks, river banks, under bridges.

We slept in an abandoned lot in California one time and found out after dark that there was a community of homeless people who lived there. They asked us if we were staying or just passing through, asked us where we were going, asked "Why Los Angeles? That place sucks. This place is the bomb." Then left us alone the rest of the night.

We kept bear spray with us though (when we got some in Colorado), for bears or I guess anything that WOULD harass us. But again, nothing but curious animals who would come and go and less curious humans for almost 100 days of illegal camping. Oh, a raccoon stole our food one time.
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