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Thread: Parking

  1. #1
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    Default Parking

    Is it legal to sleep in your car overnight at trail parking areas in Georgia and North Carolina, south of Fontana Dam, if there is not a no camping sign posted?

  2. #2

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    Legal or not please take my advice from experience. Do not park and sleep in your car. I have done it and not only did I sleep terribly, but 1 night (unicoi gap) i had more then 1 close call. I had 2. One was a skitzo hiker screaming and yelling with rage in the parking lot at about 10pm. Finally he started hiking nobo up out of the gap.
    The second was about 2 am, a couple guys pulled up and passenger got out of car, obviously drunk. He walked from car to car, no flashlight. He put he hands and face up to my car, and it wasnt until my dog barked that he became started and got back in his car and left. Sam Colt was staring him back in the face, he never new. I never slept in my car again.
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    Thumbs down No -- and don't do it anyway

    Sleeping in your car is considered "camping." That's why you can't sleep in your car at a picnic area that disallows camping.

    Gambit's warning is spot on. The one night I tried it, I slept terribly, and not just because the back seat of a car is a terrible place to sleep. I was sure I was going to either (1) get attacked by psychos or (2) found out by cops. It didn't help that I accidentally set off the rental cars alarm system -- I spent the next thirty minutes, at about 2am, waiting to see the flashing police lights come into the parking lot.

  4. #4
    Registered User Christoph's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, anywhere near a trail head is somewhat risky. Whether it's sleeping in your car or at the nearest campsite, usually a mile (if that) from the road. Sleeping in your car, you probably won't get the best nights sleep, but in a well lit/traveled area might be an Ok option. I'd almost pick one of the trail head campsites, although you might run into some party types to deal with depending on which day it is. As for the legal question, it's legal in Ga to "camp" in your car (according to the state LEO I just asked). If anything you might have to do a sobriety test if an LEO comes around but other than that, I can't see a reason not to.
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  5. #5

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    An opposing viewpoint.....I do it regularly and have never had a problem. Usually I elect trailhead parking areas, but at times I've used the pullover where no official lot exists. Great night sleep? Not so much at first, but now it's no big deal so I sleep like a baby.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    An opposing viewpoint.....I do it regularly and have never had a problem. Usually I elect trailhead parking areas, but at times I've used the pullover where no official lot exists. Great night sleep? Not so much at first, but now it's no big deal so I sleep like a baby.
    Completely agree. I regularly sleep in my car without issue.

    Hell I drove from Oregon to Massachusetts through Texas and Big Bend National Park last year in a Honda Fit (I'm 6'4") sleeping frequently in my car at trail-heads, campgrounds, Walmart Parking lots, Truck stops, empty big random industrial area parking lots, etc. Truck stops and Walmarts tend to be noisy with lots of light pollution (so you have to block out the windows and maybe wear earplugs). I can't get a good night's sleep in the seats. So, I drop the back seat down, push the passenger seat all the way forward, pile crap in the foot well behind the passenger seat until it's level with the back, drop down my sleeping pad and pillow and go to sleep. Works great for me. Not so much for my wife.

    And, we still haven't answered the OP's primary question . . .
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  7. #7
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    I think folks have given you various opinions on the aspect of sleeping in the car, but if you want a real, legit, up to date answer, call the ranger station in the area that you're planning. Those folks are really nice, and will give you good advice for the next best option if needed.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrabbler View Post
    I think folks have given you various opinions on the aspect of sleeping in the car, but if you want a real, legit, up to date answer, call the ranger station in the area that you're planning. Those folks are really nice, and will give you good advice for the next best option if needed.
    Friggen brilliant!! Pick up a phone and ask the experts. Hmm.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

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