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Free Camping

Old 01-23-19, 11:41 AM
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Free Camping

Many of you may know about this site already. I had never heard of it until someone linked it on a hunting forum this morning. It may be a good resource for some of our tourers here.

https://freecampsites.net/
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Old 01-23-19, 12:40 PM
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Doesn’t include the free h/b sites on the C&O Canal.
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Old 01-23-19, 12:42 PM
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you need a website? Didn't need one myself , (those years in the Scouts, probably helped)

I put my tent up in a Baltic Coast Resort campground in Poland , in 1991, as it was a Steel mill further inland run worker's holiday campground..

even got soup for lunch in their cafeteria..

Norway makes Nature a shared right.
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Old 01-23-19, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s
Doesn’t include the free h/b sites on the C&O Canal.
It's a sharing platform. Feel free to join and add them.
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Old 01-23-19, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
It's a sharing platform. Feel free to join and add them.
I’d rather keep them a secret.
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Old 01-23-19, 02:15 PM
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Thanks for the link. That’s a really cool site that someone set up. I found one kinda near me that I might make use of come spring.

Originally Posted by alan s
I’d rather keep them a secret.
That’s the spirit!

Last edited by 3speed; 01-23-19 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 01-23-19, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s


I’d rather keep them a secret.
They are a rather "open" secret. I'd say that anything marked on a website to the nearest 10th of a mile is kind of known to everyone.
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Old 01-23-19, 04:37 PM
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Not just camping, but let me mention iOverlander. I used their app, but seems there is also a website (iOverlander | Find your next destination).

There are some 8700+ entries in the US, so you can zoom in and find the type of stuff recorded. I heard about it from others when I was cycling South America and then used to help find campsites, restaurant recommendations, cautions about the route, etc. I even entered one or two new entries for places I found. At least in South America, the classic entry seemed to have been written by someone in a campervan or motorcycle and was from that perspective. However, still useful as a cyclist.

Another item to note when using the app is you have a local copy of the database on your phone. It can show nearby locations in either list or map format, where the map overlays Google maps.

What that means is with network or cell service you can see a full map. Without a network the app is still often useful with a list of nearby places and compass directions particularly when the description gives some clues.

I haven't specifically used the app in the US for touring but definitely recommend in South America.

Last edited by mev; 01-23-19 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 01-23-19, 05:07 PM
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One place on southern Norway they had straightened out a corner, a bit I camped on the old road curve outside of the new one, that was bypassed
(Below that was a Cliff)

brought a few bags with a cord on them to put rocks in, because the tent was not freestanding.. so the fact the surface was hard was no problem..

the bags would have helped on the beach too , fill with sand & bury them .. in the sand where no tent stake would hold..
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Old 01-23-19, 07:28 PM
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Use the free camping spots I frequent on long motorcycle trips; storage sheds in the parking lot of Home Depots or Lowes. I usually get a good meal toward closing time, ride the bike up inside and shut the door. Roll out my bed roll and I'm 60 bucks richer in the morning
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Old 01-23-19, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax
Use the free camping spots I frequent on long motorcycle trips; storage sheds in the parking lot of Home Depots or Lowes. I usually get a good meal toward closing time, ride the bike up inside and shut the door. Roll out my bed roll and I'm 60 bucks richer in the morning
well that can't possibly be legal.
While you are at it, why not suggest someone walk into an unlocked house, find a spare bedroom, and roll out their mat?
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Old 01-23-19, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
well that can't possibly be legal.
Maybe not but pretty ingenious. Is it really hurting anyone as I trust they don't leave a mess or any evidence of theirs stay. Leave no trace camping or do people just not understand that concept??. I like the creativity of some people.
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Old 01-24-19, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Eggman84
Maybe not but pretty ingenious. Is it really hurting anyone as I trust they don't leave a mess or any evidence of theirs stay. Leave no trace camping or do people just not understand that concept??. I like the creativity of some people.
I agree.
Somehow I've camped in the strangest of places for free without an app.
If you wander into any small town bar late at night on your bike (in the Midwest USA) someone will find a place for you to camp.
Guaranteed.
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Old 01-24-19, 02:47 AM
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This might help as well ...

Inexpensive/free places to stay the night


.
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Old 01-24-19, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
Many of you may know about this site already. I had never heard of it until someone linked it on a hunting forum this morning. It may be a good resource for some of our tourers here.

https://freecampsites.net/
Not necessarily an international list but AllStays lists a lot of free campgrounds as well as Forest Service, BLM, private, state, and local parks. They even have a phone app. I've used it extensively and find it to be quite accurate. Some of the places listed didn't even know about the website or app.

As a phone app, it will even route you to the campground.
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Old 01-24-19, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mev
Not just camping, but let me mention iOverlander. I used their app, but seems there is also a website (iOverlander | Find your next destination).
Is there a trick to get this website to work?

I'm clicking and nothing his happening. The site simply doesn't seem to work. I've tried three different browsers.

-Tim-
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Old 01-24-19, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Is there a trick to get this website to work?

I'm clicking and nothing his happening. The site simply doesn't seem to work. I've tried three different browsers.

-Tim-
It's working for me. Maybe try a different browser.
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Old 01-24-19, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH
Is there a trick to get this website to work?
Weird, I normally use the Android app, but when I was originally looking to reply I noticed their website. Here is what I see using Chrome browser:
1. If I go the the box that says "Zoom to Location" and enter something, then nothing seems to happen if I use "go".
2. If I instead go to the "Click to find your next destination" and click not in the donate box, I get a world map. I can now pan by clicking and holding and zoom using the +/- in the upper left. That lets me zoom in and eventually I start to see bubbles with numbers and then individual items. For example, in Austin area I'll see:

Now in the particular case below it highlights how it is coming a bit more from an "overlander" perspective. It lists an RV park, three places people informally parked to spend an overnight, a spot with free showers and one case of public toilets. It also has a pointer to some food carts. Now in most all cases I wouldn't necessarily recommend that cycle tourists use any of these to camp - but similar information outside of town is pretty useful, e.g. it shows McKinney Falls State Park just outside town.

In South America at least I used it as one of the resources with a fair amount of local knowledge. Some of it made more sense in a campervan, but there was enough stuff there also useful as a bicycle tourist - and it seemed to be kept up to date somewhat recently - and was also used by some cycle tourists going through South America.

For example, here is an example of Chalten Chile an otherwise small village of 3500 people in Chile.
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Old 01-24-19, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mev
1. If I go the the box that says "Zoom to Location" and enter something, then nothing seems to happen if I use "go".
2. If I instead go to the "Click to find your next destination" and click not in the donate box, I get a world map.
I really appreciate that you took the time to type that up.

The data behind the front page is great. I've found some really nice places to camp for a trip I'm planning.

Thanks again.


-Tim-
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Old 01-24-19, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Eggman84
Maybe not but pretty ingenious. Is it really hurting anyone as I trust they don't leave a mess or any evidence of theirs stay. Leave no trace camping or do people just not understand that concept??. I like the creativity of some people.
Lol. Love it. I live on my bike and every so often I find a new "unique" place to stay. The problem with the HD sheds is that there's no grass in the parking lot to go wee wee in the middle of the nite. And yes, a few of us do get and support the leave no trace concept. Which is why after 3 yrs, churches and schools and empty homes etc still don't have a clue I've used their sites time and again.
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Old 01-25-19, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by travelinhobo
Lol. Love it. I live on my bike and every so often I find a new "unique" place to stay. The problem with the HD sheds is that there's no grass in the parking lot to go wee wee in the middle of the nite. And yes, a few of us do get and support the leave no trace concept. Which is why after 3 yrs, churches and schools and empty homes etc still don't have a clue I've used their sites time and again.
Two one liter water bottles, one full of drinking water, the other empty for late night bathroom use. Don't go for the biggest shed in cool weather, the smaller ones tend to be wamer

Last edited by nomadmax; 01-25-19 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 01-25-19, 07:05 PM
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Good follow-on info on some other sites.
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Old 01-25-19, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
Good follow-on info on some other sites.

Tks Paul for starting this great thread
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Old 01-25-19, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharpshin
Tks Paul for starting this great thread
You are welcome my friend.
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Old 01-25-19, 09:42 PM
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I've spent inner city nights in the back of UHaul trucks at the rental lots before. It is safer than any park you'd find when in an unfamiliar city after dark. Just roll up the (always) unlocked door and slide in, closing it for a safe dry spot.
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