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Bike touring as a very sound sleeper

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Bike touring as a very sound sleeper

Old 06-03-17, 06:27 PM
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scroungetech
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Bike touring as a very sound sleeper

So the one factor that has been holding me back from longer tours is this: I take a prescription med before bed that makes me very difficult to awaken in the middle of the night. When home I can muddle through walking down the hall to the bathroom & crawling back into bed if I get up in the night. But I have my doubts about how well I would be able to pack up a campsite on short notice. As in, while stealth camping. Those of you that stealth camp on tours: I'm interested in your experiences here, and any strategy you are willing to share. Its this issue: the potential for getting rousted out in the middle of the night, that is keeping me from attempting longer tours. Am I blowing this out of proportion?
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Old 06-03-17, 06:32 PM
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With a bike trailer, and a big bag you can just dump stuff in and sort it out later

But sleeping so soundly you may miss everything being stolen while you sleep.

A Motel room will cost more but be safer.
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Old 06-03-17, 06:49 PM
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I've never been rousted in the middle of the night while bicycle touring*. Most of my 1700+ touring miles I've wild-camped at night, and many of those have been stealth. The basic idea is don't camp where people will be bothered by your presence.

*EXCEPT: One night in a for-pay-camp-ground I was awakened at 4-a.m. by a guns-drawn swat-team with glaring-lights ordering me to identify myself, open my tent, keep hands where the could be seen. After a quick look at my ID they moved on, cuffing and dragging away a guy in the next campsite.

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Old 06-03-17, 06:53 PM
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Or Ask permission from them, I have camped in people's yards, before..
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Old 06-03-17, 07:20 PM
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I've been rousted once and asked to leave in many nights of camping/crashing, and that was early on during my very first tour. I must have learned something.

Is the med meant to help you sleep, or does it have a different purpose and the sound sleep is merely a side effect? If the former, you might discover that bicycle touring is sleep aid enough for you. If the med is a sleep aid try doing without while on tour.
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Old 06-03-17, 07:21 PM
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Why do you have to stealth camp? There's plenty of ways to sleep for free with permission granted first: warm showers, couch surfing, asking strangers, asking police, firefighters, people at churches, etc. Lots of ways to skin the cat.
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Old 06-03-17, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by scroungetech View Post
So the one factor that has been holding me back from longer tours is this: I take a prescription med before bed that makes me very difficult to awaken in the middle of the night. When home I can muddle through walking down the hall to the bathroom & crawling back into bed if I get up in the night. But I have my doubts about how well I would be able to pack up a campsite on short notice. As in, while stealth camping. Those of you that stealth camp on tours: I'm interested in your experiences here, and any strategy you are willing to share. Its this issue: the potential for getting rousted out in the middle of the night, that is keeping me from attempting longer tours. Am I blowing this out of proportion?
I've lost count of how many times I've wildcamped but never been asked to move. However, I did get flooded out once and had to scramble out of what as then a river where my campsite had been. Once I decided to leave voluntarily because I didn't feel safe, but I just got the fear, if I'd just have gone to sleep it would 99% likely have been fine. But apart from that, absolutely no problems. Actually, I wish I was a heavier sleeper as small noises and the wind against the tent often wakes me up. There are plenty of websites about wild/stealthcamping but in reality nothing prepares you for it accept by doing it. It's a skill which you get better at and develop confidence in.
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Old 06-03-17, 07:47 PM
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I have done a LOT of bike tours, yet I have never once seen a need to camp in a place other than a designated campground. I can't understand why some need to trespass, such behavior causes some of the public to distrust those of us that follow social norms and rules.
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Old 06-03-17, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by scroungetech View Post
So the one factor that has been holding me back from longer tours is this: I take a prescription med before bed that makes me very difficult to awaken in the middle of the night. When home I can muddle through walking down the hall to the bathroom & crawling back into bed if I get up in the night. But I have my doubts about how well I would be able to pack up a campsite on short notice. As in, while stealth camping. Those of you that stealth camp on tours: I'm interested in your experiences here, and any strategy you are willing to share. Its this issue: the potential for getting rousted out in the middle of the night, that is keeping me from attempting longer tours. Am I blowing this out of proportion?
Why would you have to pack up a campsite on short notice while you're stealth camping?

You pick places where you aren't trespassing and where people won't see you.

Or you go to inexpensive/free designated camping areas.

http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...letourist.html
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Old 06-03-17, 08:34 PM
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A deep sleep would almost always be a blessing. I've never experienced being asked to move and I often free camp.

I never trespass, though. As mentioned, there are many ways to do that.
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Old 06-03-17, 09:19 PM
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https://www.rei.com/c/bivy-sacks?r=c...y-sacks&page=1

Find a stuff sack or pannier that will hold it with your sleeping bag and pad inside, and you'll only need a couple minutes to deal with a basic camp. Also has the advantage of a very low profile, so if you lay the bike over, everything disappears in tall grass, behind a hedge, etc.
Thieves or vandals are more of a concern for me, but they can't mess with what they never see.
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Old 06-03-17, 11:53 PM
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i've stealth camped hundreds of times all over the U.S. short answer is: don't worry about it.

i've only been disturbed to the point that i moved my camp on two occasions, and believe it or not , the culprit, both times!, was a mountain lion. i'm not kidding.
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Old 06-04-17, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Why would you have to pack up a campsite on short notice while you're stealth camping?

You pick places where you aren't trespassing and where people won't see you. ...
To clarify my comment above where I stated that "I can't understand why some need to trespass," I use the term wild camping if it is in a location where camping is allowed and stealth camping for places where you are camping where it is not allowed.

If you are not trespassing and camping there is allowed, there is no need for stealth. But I understand the reasoning behind staying out of sight if you are legal but wish to stay unobserved. But I still call that wild camping instead of stealth camping. Perhaps I define the terms differently than others.
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Old 06-04-17, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
To clarify my comment above where I stated that "I can't understand why some need to trespass," I use the term wild camping if it is in a location where camping is allowed and stealth camping for places where you are camping where it is not allowed.

If you are not trespassing and camping there is allowed, there is no need for stealth. But I understand the reasoning behind staying out of sight if you are legal but wish to stay unobserved. But I still call that wild camping instead of stealth camping. Perhaps I define the terms differently than others.
I tend to call camping outside designated camping areas bush camping or wild camping. The only stealthy part about it is the idea that we do wish to remain unobserved, perhaps because we like the idyllic setting and don't want to be disturbed by others. Also when we leave we will make every attempt to ensure that the spot doesn't look like someone has been camping there.

In Canada and here in Australia, there are many places where a person could quietly and legally pitch for the night.

That said, I generally prefer designated camping areas.
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Old 06-04-17, 08:31 AM
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Keep a Pee bottle, in your tent, so you don't have to get up.
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Old 06-04-17, 02:33 PM
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I'd like to add that technically you aren't trespassing if there are no signs for it. Keeping a low profile is always prudent. I like @fietsbob 's pee bottle idea. Even if you have no trouble waking up, its a convenient way to stay warm and comfortable.

@scroungetech : Can you try taking half a dose of your meds and see how that works out?
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Old 06-04-17, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Or Ask permission from them, I have camped in people's yards, before..
Originally Posted by niknak View Post
Why do you have to stealth camp? There's plenty of ways to sleep for free with permission granted first: warm showers, couch surfing, asking strangers, asking police, firefighters, people at churches, etc. Lots of ways to skin the cat.
Exactly. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is a lot safer and you don't need to worry about be woken in the middle of the night.
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Old 06-04-17, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by scroungetech View Post
So the one factor that has been holding me back from longer tours is this
You might find it entertaining that my insomnia is one of the main reasons I am worried about doing it again (I don't think I have ever got a good night of sleep while camping.)
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Old 06-04-17, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
i've stealth camped hundreds of times all over the U.S. short answer is: don't worry about it.

i've only been disturbed to the point that i moved my camp on two occasions, and believe it or not , the culprit, both times!, was a mountain lion. i'm not kidding.
I was evicted by a mountain lion also while backpacking in Big Bend National Park. I was getting ready to put a tent up.

To get back to the subject, if it were me, I would talk to my doctor about the medication. If I didn't like the answer, I would find another doc and get a second opinion. I wouldn't want a pill to hold me back.
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Old 06-04-17, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
I'd like to add that technically you aren't trespassing if there are no signs for it. Keeping a low profile is always prudent. I like @fietsbob 's pee bottle idea. Even if you have no trouble waking up, its a convenient way to stay warm and comfortable.

@scroungetech : Can you try taking half a dose of your meds and see how that works out?

It depends. Here is from West Virginia law. Yes it must be posted but

(C) It is not necessary to give notice by posting on any enclosed land or place not exceeding five acres in area on which there is a dwelling house or property that by its nature and use is obviously private in order to obtain the benefits of this article pertaining to trespass on enclosed lands.


You also cannot camp on cultivated land posted or not.


If you don't have permission you are still trespassing in my book. And it is just not worth getting woken in the middle of the night just to avoid spending a few bucks on camping or seeking a place where you have permission to stay.
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Old 06-04-17, 05:51 PM
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Thanks for all the responses everyone. The need for the med is non-negotiable, sleep is a side effect. I'm good at being a people-person/conversationalist, so that is what I'll need to do while touring to get permission to camp as much as possible. All of your replies have been very helpful, and are much appreciated!
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Old 06-04-17, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
You also cannot camp on cultivated land posted or not.
Also the case in TX; the presence of a food crop under cultivation is considered equivalent to posting.

That said, I tend to refer to camping types as follows:
Stealth; hiding somewhere you shouldn't be. To be avoided except in serious emergencies when it's likely o be overlooked anyway. Better to get yelled at for sleeping in a doorway or tunnel than hailed on.
Semi-stealth; hiding in a place it's OK to be because it's a bit too public and you just don't want anybody messing with you or your stuff.
Wild; primitive camping far from anywhere you'd need to worry about stealth.
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Old 06-04-17, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Keep a Pee bottle, in your tent, so you don't have to get up.
There are more advantages to this than just convenience. I got bit by a snake once in the desert when I got out of the tent in the middle of the night to water the cacti.
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Old 06-04-17, 08:29 PM
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Ive been on multiple day tours before but we always camped in a designated location. It might be a football field, it might be some farmers pasture, it was different in every town. I seem to always get a guy pitch his tent next to me that snores. Last trip I was next to a guy that snored like a water buffalo ALL NIGHT! I swear, it was loud even 200 yards away. No sleep.
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Old 06-05-17, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by MikeOK View Post
Ive been on multiple day tours before but we always camped in a designated location. It might be a football field, it might be some farmers pasture, it was different in every town. I seem to always get a guy pitch his tent next to me that snores. Last trip I was next to a guy that snored like a water buffalo ALL NIGHT! I swear, it was loud even 200 yards away. No sleep.
Yep, camping alone has many benefits 8)
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