How to wild camp anywhere for free (and not get busted) gas and bloating

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Now, of course, we’ve slaughtered or contained the man-eating wildlife and have (mostly) got used to living in each other’s company, so it’s safe to chill out. I’ve been hiding my tent just out of sight of roads all over four continents for months on end and have never encountered anything more than an invitation to come and sleep somewhere warmer and/or enjoy a glass or two of the local tipple (oh, and a black bear in Washington – no big deal). It’s worth mentioning that my experience is entirely typical of bicycle travellers.

Actually, you’ll be surprised where you can get away with putting a tent, sleeping rough or blagging a horizontal surface! Sometimes, in ’emergencies’, it’s been fun seeing what’s possible in this regard. I’ve slept in (click for pictures) bus shelters, inner-city parks, building sites, roadside verges, subways, empty garages, petrol stations, fishing boats, tramps’ hovels, hotel gardens, under tables, drainage pipes, storage sheds, abandoned buildings – even about five metres from a busy main road in full view of anyone who cared to stop and take a look!

ive been on the road with the bike for about 6 years now,by the way, love this site, its killed a couple hours blissfully as I take a break. electricity definition chemistry Its not the cycling I find , after all the motion is the same weather it be snow sand or a runway, its that last hour before it. I get more of a buzz now from ticking off countries where ive camped, of nearly 100, 2 have beaten me-the vatican and monaco, a blemish that kind of has me wishing to go back and try again! Ive had a gun shot over my head, hippos, elephants, a sloth bear and lions around it and to cap it off a lion on top of me in it! Hail black wolf tents I say! i find it incredible that whn cycling for a spot at night that people still call out hey white man- or the equivelent, and I know I wont sleep a muscle in most places (bar sudan, iran norway) if I know somebody has seen my tent. Ive spent the last 7 months in europe and with using the hospitality sites and my tent havnt paid for a solitary night! I find around big city airports is a winner, and train lines to be a close second if you can handle the noise.

Hi Tom! Just a funny story I though I’d share. Years ago I was cycling with a friend from Amsterdam to Nice and along the way we stopped in Lausanne to visit a friend who was living there. Well, we stayed out rather late and decided to sleep in real beds for a change. After being refused a room at a couple of hotels, which perhaps was not surprising as we probably looked and smelled a bit dodgy, we decided to fall back on camping. We got back on our bikes and rode downhill toward Lake Geneva. After stumbling about in the dark for a while we got our tent setup on the lakeshore and hit the sack. We woke up to discover that we had pitched our tent beside a boardwalk that runs along the lakefront. Various joggers and dog-walkers looked at us curiously as we spread our wet clothes in the sunshine. z gas tecate We had a spendid view of the mountains across the lake and no-one bothered us at all despite our having camped in an area that was in all likelihood off-limits to the likes of us. Good times… Reply

Perhaps, I can return the favor by helping a little on the bear end… I am a wildlife ecologist/bear specialist (based in northwestern BC), avid long distance sea kayaker, and wanna-be continental cycle tourer. For anyone interested in travelling in bear country, I have posted some web links for bear awareness and safety resources for reference on my blog.

Compared to other hazards in life (like cycling), the risk of being seriously injured or killed by a bear is relatively low. When there are concerns for public safety, it’s usually the bear that pays the price (with it’s life). Having said this, bears need respect and there is a lot a person can do to decrease risks for themselves, others and bears.

On my list of favorites: the Staying Safe in Bear Country Society has some great DVDs. In Staying Safe in Bear Country (REVISED 2008) they provide the knowledge and advice of leading bear experts; focusing on increasing understanding of grizzly bear and black bear behaviour, preventing encounters with bears, and knowing how to respond if you do encounter a bear. It can be ordered from: http://www.distributionaccess.com/new/main.cfm?where=seriesDetails&seriesId=51414

I agree with the freedom associated with wild camping… however I’m just not sure I agree with the principle. Firstly there are a lot of irresponsible ‘free campers’ out there who do not respect the environment they are camping in, and leave more than a footprint. But more importantly to me, I think that if you are a visitor to a country, enjoying what it offers for ‘free’ – the outdoors (no way around this when on a bike – you enjoy it all day every day) then I believe you have a responsibility to give something back to the local economy. You use public toilets, shelters, picnic areas ond other visitor facilities that are all maintained for everyone to enjoy and use for free. We just cycled across Canada this summer and almost exclusively paid to camp, finding where possible municipal lcally-run campsites, some of which were not the prettiest but if people didn’t use them, they would struggle to survive.

When asking around for somewhere to camp late in the day, we were welcomed into peoples homes/told to camp on their land several times. On leaving, we would give a small amount of money and as that was almost always refused, we insisted that the money was taken and given to a local charity. That way we got to meet great local people, usually stay in their home (and be fed) yet still feel we had contributed in some way to the local area.

Yes, if you are on a tight budget, the cost per night adds up and I guess for some people that would mean a shorter trip. But for us, it was in our budget and I felt a whole lot better about the whole thing. Just my perspective I guess – won’t resonate with everyone. Great site overall btw – wish I’d found it before I went cycle touring! Reply

After my study I went for a bike tour from Holland to France and Italy. I was camping wild for the first time. After a few days I developed a “nose” for the right spots. Mostly deserted places with no signs of human activity (rubbish, tire tracks or trails). I did this for about 10 year. hp electricity bill payment online Later I did it with a motorbike but that was quite difficult. I have slept in, on or near about half of the places you have slept. I can add: at the end of a runway of Le Bourget, Paris. No alarm clock needed. At the edge of a military proving ground in the south of France where they started nightly manoevres with tanks and heavy guns. Against a slope of a highway under the bushes with the cars racing a few meters from my head. In a clay pit that was hard in the evening but soft a foot deep after a night of rain. gas key staking tool In a chapel on a cemetery in the north of Spain after three days of solid rain. Between two lakes in Belgium where during the night dozens of frogs jumped from one lake to the other over my face.

During the summer my young son and I rode most of the Eurovelo 15 route from Switzerland towards the Hook of Holland. Leaving our bicycles and camping stuff around was always a great worry to us. Sure enough, I had my bicycle stolen in Worms (Germany) whilst we were visiting the local swimming pool. Luckily, we were staying in the Youth Hostel and had left all our other things there (I bought another bicycle the next day). However, visiting local places of interest was always rather stressful as we had no way of locking the equipment being carried on our bicycles. Sometimes, we took it in turn to visit a place – one visiting whilst the other would keep watch over our things. This did take the fun out of having a shared experience but better that than leaving our things on view ready to be stolen. I don’t have an answer to this problem (I wish I did). It’s just so sad that people can’t be trusted to keep their hands off other peoples’ property these days. Of course, sight-seeing is all part of the bicycle touring experience and it’s so sad that this is becoming more and more difficult. My answer for next time I go touring is to have a support vehicle to carry all our things and take us to places a little off the cycle route so we can enjoy the tour even more. electricity jeopardy Of course, that’s not an acceptable option for most people – but I can’t think of anything else! Please let me know if you come up with anything better. Reply

Most Youth Hostels have a fairly secure store for people to keep their bicycles in whilst they are staying in the YH. If you’re staying in a place for some time, you may be better off renting a small apartment somewhere as this will give you extra security and may be cheaper than hostels or camping sites. If you like a place and want to stay for longer, you could always find work as an English language teacher (get qualified before you leave home with a Cert. TESOL or CELTA – it only takes 4 to 5 weeks full time – don’t bother with the online courses). You won’t get rich but it will give you enough money to live on and time to see the place where you’re staying (try joining http://www.tefl.com/ (FREE) and looking at available jobs almost anywhere in the world). Teaching English is a super way of seeing the world – and you get paid for it – and you can cycle in the various places you visit. I hope this helps – although it doesn’t really add to the security issues I’ve already written about. Reply

Along this cycle path there are many wonderful places to explore. Castles, palaces, cathedrals, gardens and a whole lot more. Sadly, because of the high levels of crime, exploring these places is now almost impossible when you have your bicycle with you. Touring bicycles, by their very nature, are designed to carry all your camping gear and other belongings. Even though you may lock your bicycle, you can’t lock all the stuff you have piled on your bicycle rack(s) and in your panniers. Of course, some of your most valuable possessions can be taken with you when you remove your handlebar bag and carry it with you. However, what about all your camping equipment and clothes? I also carried on my bicycle rack a full size laptop computer, an external HDD and numerous other electrical bits and pieces. eur j gastroenterology hepatology impact factor You might say I shouldn’t have carried all that stuff, but without it this blog wouldn’t have been written until well after the event.

The only alternative is to leave your stuff safe somewhere whilst you are exploring – and this isn’t always possible, let alone practicable. Having a support vehicle would have been an ideal solution (and yes, I do know that vehicles get broken into from time to time but the risk is fairly low compared to leaving your things on a bicycle rack in the open).