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Have you ever camped illegally while on tour?

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Have you ever camped illegally while on tour?

Old 08-02-11, 08:10 PM
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Cyclomania
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Have you ever camped illegally while on tour?

I never have. My brother car camped several times on the Carrizo Plain in California away from the State run camp sites. He found a place where it is hidden from the roadway. I imagine if it were just one night and you packed up near dawn. And chose a place well hidden, probably wouldn't be a problem right? Has anyone ever done this? No fires of course!
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Old 08-02-11, 08:28 PM
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Not on bike tour, but I'm sure I've camped illegally while backpacking in Israel. Of course, if there are laws there about where you can camp, they've basically never been enforced on anybody I've met or anybody they've met, aside from obvious places nobody would sleep anyway, like military zones. I did once camp with a group who insisted on building a campfire even though I told them how dangerous it was in the dry season, but other than that I never built fires, just used a stove.

In general, I'd say as long as nobody ever knows you were there, you're fine. If you're leaving the place exactly as you found it, you're obeying the spirit of the law if not the letter.
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Old 08-02-11, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jude View Post
In general, I'd say as long as nobody ever knows you were there, you're fine. If you're leaving the place exactly as you found it, you're obeying the spirit of the law if not the letter.
Nicely put!
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Old 08-02-11, 09:09 PM
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Legality is a fine line. I have camped in many non traditional places while touring. Farmers fields, public parks, and many a Mexican gas station. I suppose doing so was illegal on all accounts, but in all reality, no one really cared. In most cases when I awoke people where there and said nothing.
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Old 08-03-11, 12:39 AM
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I've camped illegally on tour. No big deal. As others write, I also tried to leave no trace.

I've also cycle toured illegally on tour (Tibet/Xinjiang), and therefore had to camp illegally.
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Old 08-03-11, 01:20 AM
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Interesting post. I have never done it myself, but I will be riding a Motorcycle from Los Angeles to Yellowstone and touring a few bordering states of Wyoming this month. I have been thinking of doing some illegal camping along the way if possible. I've never been to this region before and I guess my main concern would be Bears. OP: sorry to butt in on your post. Anyone else have experience in this region?
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Old 08-03-11, 01:52 AM
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All are welcome here! Even the car campers who want to camp at the Carrizo Plains illegally!

I live in Oregon and know for certain that if you're riding your bike to get somewhere, you're probably near a forest or some rocky deserted desert slope. And those forests and slopes look mighty sweet for a tuber and a sheet, if you get my drift! Raw oatmeal in water for dinner and raw oatmeal in water for breakfast. Early to bed and early to rise. Poor man's tour, yeah baby!

Last edited by Cyclomania; 08-03-11 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 08-03-11, 04:08 AM
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Accidentally when on an overnight tour last year. We were on the Allegheny River Trail and went to a day use picnic site instead of the 'approved' campsite. We blame the folks who run the trail, because the campsite was so overgrown we missed it when we rode by.
 
Old 08-03-11, 05:52 AM
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95% of my bicycle touring camping is done "illegally". In most parts of the world so called campsites do not exist. You just plop down where there's room on the side of the road. In Laos I had to camp on the shoulder once because I couldn't find flat ground off the road in the mountains.
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Old 08-03-11, 06:01 AM
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I must say i'm glad i live in a country where i can go, camp and set up a fire pretty much anywhere i want.

In other countries i've done some stealth camping being gone in the morning before people wake up.

Last edited by psee; 08-03-11 at 06:51 AM.
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Old 08-03-11, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by TealLA View Post
Interesting post. I have never done it myself, but I will be riding a Motorcycle from Los Angeles to Yellowstone and touring a few bordering states of Wyoming this month. I have been thinking of doing some illegal camping along the way if possible. I've never been to this region before and I guess my main concern would be Bears. OP: sorry to butt in on your post. Anyone else have experience in this region?
I worked a summer at yellowstone, my best advice about bears is no food or anything similar in the tent or within 100 yards of you. Cook separate from your campsite, leave food and toiletries (hung well off the ground) at your cook site. Heck a lot of folks leave the shirt they cooked in with the food. Also stop at rangers stations and ask about bear activity. IF you camp within the park in legal sites they have bear boxes to keep food etc safe.
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Old 08-03-11, 09:55 AM
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Much of Oregon is public land, BLM or Forest Service and you can camp anywhere. I've also slept in high school football fields, church yards, county parks, and many other such places. If I know a campground has showers, I'll ride in to use the shower and then headed out to put in some extra miles. On remote roads, I've camped right off the side of the road and seen no cars all night. As others have said, if you set up camp late and leave early, no one is the wiser. Some areas are too busy to try camping anyplace other than a campground, but other places have areas which are quite quiet and out of the way.

(If you have a group of 3 or more, the hiker/biker sites are usually more money than staying in a regular tent site.)
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Old 08-03-11, 10:01 AM
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Yes,

Hitchhiking Boulder CO to Sun Valley ID.

Hitchhiking Connecticut to Maine and Canada and a Phish Show.

Hitchhiking the NW coast of France. (Slept atop decaying beach dune top Nazi bunkers!)

Cycle Touring Belfast to Galway to Dublin.

All "illegal." Used a $60 Eureka Solitaire tent. Just don't camp where a large bovine might graze on over to you and step on your head. Yes, it would explain a lot, but no, this never happened do me. I did ride alongside a loose bull in Ireland as it charged away from farmhands down the road. They were yelling "keep riding!"
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Old 08-03-11, 10:52 AM
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Yep, when weather or mechanical problems kept me from my scheduled destination. There have been city parks, roadside parks and beside an isolated barn in a field. A cop once asked me what I was doing at a city (small town) park, when I explained the situation he just said he'd keep an eye out for me. Nice guy! Leave No Trace, have no trouble.

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Old 08-03-11, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
Yep, when weather or mechanical problems kept me from my scheduled destination. Leave No Trace, have no trouble.
I don't make a habit of it but there have been times just as described above.
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Old 08-03-11, 11:25 AM
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Wow yeah! I'll sleep just about anywhere, usually just a tarp and sleeping bag. I don't bother putting my tent up unless I'm at an organized campsite... Being "legal" in europe would mean no sleeping in forests, beaches, behind gas stations etc etc... not a chance I'll obey the law!

I'm probably breaking the law by peeing at the side of the road in most places aswell... these are laws to be scoffed at in my humble opinion

Last edited by imi; 08-03-11 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 08-03-11, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
I'm probably breaking the law by peeing at the side of the road in most places aswell... these are laws to be scoffed at in my humble opinion
In Michigan, that is considered and prosecuted as a sex crime! Some nutbag managed to get it treated as public exposure. The result is permanent registration as a sex criminal. Have a nice day,eh!

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Old 08-04-11, 10:42 AM
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oops, I'll remember to hide behind trees in Michigan!
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Old 08-04-11, 11:02 AM
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On the side of the road, but never "illegally"
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Old 08-04-11, 11:29 AM
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I have camped illegally in Norway. You are supposed to be some way off the road and away from houses. That is fine in the back-country but parts of the South have lots of tourist development and there simply isn't anywhere remote, the ground is all bedrock and there are trees everywhere.
I camped, midweek , next to a weekend holiday home by the side of a footpath. Camp late, depart early, leave no trace.
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Old 08-04-11, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclomania View Post
All are welcome here! Even the car campers who want to camp at the Carrizo Plains illegally!

I live in Oregon and know for certain that if you're riding your bike to get somewhere, you're probably near a forest or some rocky deserted desert slope. And those forests and slopes look mighty sweet for a tuber and a sheet, if you get my drift! Raw oatmeal in water for dinner and raw oatmeal in water for breakfast. Early to bed and early to rise. Poor man's tour, yeah baby!
For sure! I live in Southern Oregon and it's beautiful. If you don't mind me asking what part of Oregon are you located?
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Old 08-04-11, 06:11 PM
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In most places in the US, it's not trespassing if you camp on private land, provided:
1. There's no "no trespassing" sign posted
2. The land is unimproved (no buildings, fences, lots, etc)
3. You do no damage to the area (littering, brush clearing, campfire, etc)
4. No one tells you to leave.

If the property owner finds you and tells you to leave, you then must leave. But as long as you do so quickly, you still haven't trespassed or broken any laws. This type of trespassing law is a godsend for roadside campers.

Last edited by alpacalypse; 08-04-11 at 06:13 PM. Reason: Forgot the bit about damaging the campsite
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Old 08-04-11, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Farmer Dave View Post
For sure! I live in Southern Oregon and it's beautiful. If you don't mind me asking what part of Oregon are you located?
Portland Oregon
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Old 08-05-11, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Cyclomania View Post
Portland Oregon
Right on. So I hear there is quite a biking community there, that true?
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Old 08-05-11, 01:40 AM
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Didn't speak the native dialog .. The resident Sheep didn't seem to mind,
.. plenty of grazing remained ..
We didn't interfere with each other, at all

I'm not than kind of Scottish heritage..

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-15-11 at 10:54 AM.
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