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Thread: Stealth Camping

  1. #41
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    I've heard people refer to stealth camping to mean hiding your camp for any reason ... Such as seeking solitude, not just illegally camping.

  2. #42

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    I have done no illegal camping.

    I have done a great deal of "stealth" camping, as you say, here.

    Read all the thread for ideas how to legally Leave No Trace have the best campsites, in my opinion.

    I don't want to pitch my backpacking shelter on a wooden platform, or, on gravel, or, on hard pan dirt.

    What park service bureaucrat came up with that for tent campsites? RV campsites, but wooden platforns?

    What is that about? I think the wooden platforms ought to be removed. I mean, where is the backpacking experience in having to sleep, or, expected to sleep on a wooden platform, when the natural ground is so mich more comfortable, in comparison. Backpackers have sleeping padd and aur mattresses, if the natural ground isn't to their liking.

    Others hammock: I, actually, saw a hammocker run out of a campsite with a wooden platform for a tent.

    What is that about? Has the park service lost their way? Did that park service employee actually think anyone would pitch their tent there? Even the car campers put their folding chairs with drink holders on the wooden platform.

    I would think, if you pitched a backpacking tent on a wooden platform, you would not want to do that again.

    Mud? Look around. Find a better campsite.

    In Arizona, you can actually have a permit for primitive camping. The Ranger explained all that, when I asked at thr office. I got maps, brochures. He showed me where the abandoned cabins are, people use. He showed me were hot springs are.

    I showed him my small U.S. Forest Service EcoSafe "river toilet" I have for Leave No Trace. He liked that. It was brand new. I really really wanted to not break any rules, so I had purchased the EcoSafe toilet by mail order before leaving home. I did not bring the seat. That is too much to backpack.

    People backpack a bear canister.

    Why not backpack the small EcoSafe? No big deal.

    In Arizona, "human waste" in the desert is a big fine!

    The other thing: I have maps and more maps. I have Forest Service maps, BLM maps, park maps, topo maps. I evaluate an area. I inquire. I stop at Forest Service, BLM and park offices. I ask questions.

    Now, I have Onx Hunt app. For $34.99 I can have interactive GPS, or not, an entire state, public and private land, streets, dirt roads, topographic map. I can download the regions I need. Hunting or not is mapped out. I can decide to wear "hunter orange" or "acid green" if that is the name of the safety signage color. I can decide not to go there in hunting season.

    This app is a great help, because I do not want to get on private property.

    It also shows the owner. If interested, I could locate the owner to write to request permission.

    I am not a hunter. Maybe the private property ownership information is to request permission to hunt: I have noticed a great deal of private property, in Montana, is designated for hunting. I have heard about permits for hunting turkeys, for example, on private property. Limited to six hunters, for example, that would tend to increase safety for hunters. Too many hunters, in a small area, is not good, for hunter safety. That is my impression only.

    Myself? I do not go backpacking in hunting season.

    It is good to know "when and where" for hunting season, for that reason.

    I think campsite selection is an important skill, for backpacking. Leave No Trace camping is the best, as far as I am concerned, to experience the natural environment.
    Last edited by Connie; 12-09-2014 at 15:09.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bamboo bob View Post
    Stealth camping is camping in spots that do not allow camping. That's why its done with stealth, because you don't want to be seen. Camping in the woods between shelters is not stealth camping. I have stealth camped many, many times. And I won't tell you where because that wouldn't be very stealthy now would it?
    Ray Jardine, who popularized the term "stealth camping" with Beyond Backpacking and the Ray Way, didn't define "stealth" camping as illegal camping. The "stealth" referred to low visual impact when you're there and Leave No Trace when you aren't.. It had nothing to do with hiding from the landowner or the lawman.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  4. #44
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    I've seen large tribes that won't camp in the shelters - they always go to the nearest stream and camp
    together. If you want to avoid the trouble of shelters - mice, snakes, rat waste poisons, ect. it
    will be easy to pal up with others and stealth.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    Carrying dinner water for the last hour of your day can really open up opportunities to find a good spot, too. Just turn up your radar for that last hour and be flexible.
    I go with that strategy. I generally aim for a proper shelter or campsite, but if it gets late in the day and it's clear that Plan B is called for, I start looking for opportunities to fill my Platy bag so that I can just tent in the woods. "Turning up the radar" is exactly how I approach it at that point.

  6. #46

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    I am coming on to this late, but In my opinion, that at least along the AT having a fire does not line up with stealth camping. Having a small fire without leaving a significant impact is possible but the vast majority of folks don't know how or are unwilling to do so. Leaving a pile of blackened rocks and ashes is not stealthing. The only trace left should be some matted down vegetation and possibly some dead woods dispersed elsewhere.

  7. #47

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    Unless restricted you can camp anywhere on the AT. The Companion lists most established campsites noted in the tables and elevation profiles.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    Ray Jardine, who popularized the term "stealth camping" with Beyond Backpacking and the Ray Way, didn't define "stealth" camping as illegal camping. The "stealth" referred to low visual impact when you're there and Leave No Trace when you aren't.. It had nothing to do with hiding from the landowner or the lawman.
    Yup. For some reason it seems many AT hikers believe it's illegal, or use the term interchangeably. I wish they'd call it illegal camping, like some places in the Whites or where camping is restricted, what it is, illegal.

  9. #49
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    This may sound funny but it's not. I usually keep going since many times it's too early to stay at a shelter. Also, you never know who will show up and you hope it isn't a late night party. Also there's more privacy. I also stopped using the area at or near a shelter since my snoring can blow the roof off and people suffer hearing loss for about a half mile radius. As someone already said, once the light starts failing you have to stop somewhere. I can use a hammock or just throw something on the ground. If you're really stealthing you should NOT have to worry about being caught. I dislike the word illegal. Especially if you do get caught in the dark and it's happened to me many times. As far as LNT how do you leave a trace if you are just throwing down a sleeping bag? Some of these people are just too much.

  10. #50

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    [/QUOTE] What park service bureaucrat came up with that for tent campsites? RV campsites, but wooden platforns?

    What is that about? I think the wooden platforms ought to be removed. I mean, where is the backpacking experience in having to sleep, or, expected to sleep on a wooden platform, when the natural ground is so mich more comfortable, in comparison. Backpackers have sleeping padd and aur mattresses, if the natural ground isn't to their liking. [/QUOTE]

    Apparently you've never been to the White Mountains of NH. With out tent platforms, it would take heavy equipment to make sites suitable for tenting!
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  11. #51

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    I have never been there. No hammocks, either?

    We have wood platforms, or, gravel, in campgrounds practically no one ever visits, because the campground is off the beaten track or, simply, down a long dirt road.

    It is horrible.

    I came all that way, or, hiked so far only to find a wooden platform or gravel.

    Of course, I Leave No Trace "stealth camp". Of course, I pack it out. I go out there for the beauty.

    If I can't do that, I just turn around a go home. I tell myself, scenic drive, nice "road trip".
    Last edited by Connie; 12-10-2014 at 18:45.

  12. #52
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    in New Jersey Stealth camping is Illegal camping.
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by kayak karl View Post
    in New Jersey Stealth camping is Illegal camping.
    could you and your kind please go away?

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY HIKER 50 View Post
    could you and your kind please go away?
    you don't know the laws in NJ, do you! and "your kind"????
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by NY HIKER 50 View Post
    This may sound funny but it's not. I usually keep going since many times it's too early to stay at a shelter. Also, you never know who will show up and you hope it isn't a late night party. Also there's more privacy. I also stopped using the area at or near a shelter since my snoring can blow the roof off and people suffer hearing loss for about a half mile radius. As someone already said, once the light starts failing you have to stop somewhere. I can use a hammock or just throw something on the ground. If you're really stealthing you should NOT have to worry about being caught. I dislike the word illegal. Especially if you do get caught in the dark and it's happened to me many times. As far as LNT how do you leave a trace if you are just throwing down a sleeping bag? Some of these people are just too much.
    Your kind gives hikers a bad name, get a clue and move the kind hair outta your eyes.toss-off_smiley.gif

  16. #56
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    As long as there are no posted signs you can stealth camp almost anywhere along the trail. You just need to be aware of any NPS regulations that may prohibit camping in certain areas
    On a side note, there are certain areas where the AT doesn't really give us a suitable place to stealth, unless of course you're hanging and trees are plentiful.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by NY HIKER 50 View Post
    This may sound funny but it's not. I usually keep going since many times it's too early to stay at a shelter. Also, you never know who will show up and you hope it isn't a late night party. Also there's more privacy. I also stopped using the area at or near a shelter since my snoring can blow the roof off and people suffer hearing loss for about a half mile radius. As someone already said, once the light starts failing you have to stop somewhere. I can use a hammock or just throw something on the ground. If you're really stealthing you should NOT have to worry about being caught. I dislike the word illegal. Especially if you do get caught in the dark and it's happened to me many times. As far as LNT how do you leave a trace if you are just throwing down a sleeping bag? Some of these people are just too much.
    Maybe you folks don't read the entire posting. See you at the shelters. Just remember to bring the ear plugs. Or be prepared for the onslaught. I won't pay for your hearing aid. What was this about a bad name?

  18. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by NY HIKER 50 View Post
    Maybe you folks don't read the entire posting. See you at the shelters. Just remember to bring the ear plugs. Or be prepared for the onslaught. I won't pay for your hearing aid. What was this about a bad name?
    It's not my snoring you need to worry about, it's my flatulence, lucky for you I don't sleep in shelters, I steath camp.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by SawnieRobertson View Post
    Oh,my--please accept my apologies. I just advocated and spoke in detail about doing a sometimes illegal act like tenting wherever you need to for whatever reason.

    Yes, but yours was the best post on the thread!

  20. #60

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    To me Stealth Camping will always and irrevocably be camping illegally. And I used to be the king of stealth camping back in the 1980's as I had no car and camped wherever the heck I wanted to camp in all conditions. Such camping allowed me to hitchhike to California from NC and allowed me to camp out in different tree lines every night. I was a hobo with excellent gear and my attitude was the Earth Belonged To Me.

    It was fun sleeping out every night and doing it behind churches or in farm pastures or under parked 18 wheelers (yes, once) or near yoga retreats from Virginia to California (anybody been to Yogaville in Virginia? Or Ananda Village by Nevada City?). I had a few rules for success: Never build a fire, never leave a car parked anywhere, carry a green camo poncho to cover your tent etc. Keep moving and pretend you're a wandering monk and everything will be okay.

    But now that I'm older I want to be Legal and I do not need to sneak around---there are a million legal campsites in the mountains of NC and TN and Georgia and Virginia---all you have to do is have gear and walk to them. No torque.

    Stealth camping IS NOT getting off a trail a bit and setting up camp at a new spot. This is simply camping, not stealth camping. If you find a new spot 10 feet off the trail and camp it is not stealth camping. If you go a mile off the trail and camp at a new spot, it's not stealth camping, it's just bushwacking and finding a camping spot, a legal spot.

    If you ever see a bum camping under a bush near the courthouse, THAT is stealth camping.

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