Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

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Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Davidf61 » Wed 17 Apr, 2013 7:56 pm

Just did a quick site search on here, doesn't appear to be much so I'll ask if any one else does this.

I'm just not keen on the idea of sharing designated campsites with anybody, seems to defeat
the idea a little of "getting away" from it all, so I usually find a quiet little spot somewhere
just off the road or track[100 mtrs or so] and discreetly pitch camp. Not even sure of the legalities
to be honest, but I'm always very careful to cause minimal disturbance [no campfires/rubbish out/no
constructions and so on].

Anybody else share this view out there?
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby photohiker » Wed 17 Apr, 2013 8:58 pm

I've done it, but out of necessity rather than preference.

When you walk your legs off and you end up kilometres away from a designated camp spot I'm always surprised what a nice spot you can find. :)

I was sprung by a local once, and when I asked if I might be courting trouble camping where I was, the response was 'no-one cares, go for it'
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby taswegian » Wed 17 Apr, 2013 9:18 pm

That's my style of camping.
Like some others here I go bush to enjoy the bush and solitude is part of the experience.
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby corvus » Wed 17 Apr, 2013 9:37 pm

Unlike some here I tend towards the gregarious and like to walk with /meet up with other like minded walkers more so now that in retirement I miss contact with my many past clients .
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby wayno » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 8:41 am

i come across people who will do it out of prefernence to avoid payng fees even where camping isnt allowed, like within 500m of nz's great walks...
stupid rule anyway, the rangers arent intersted in scouring the bush to try and find people flouting the camping rules.... and often 50m off the track is more than enough to hide your presence., cant say i'm happy about it on tracks you noramlly have to pay extra for, you're getting something for nothing at teh expense of others. ... outside of the great walks i'd do it if i thought a campsite was too over crowded and noisey...
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Aushiker » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 9:07 am

I do it because I am generally at a point in the day when there is really little choice. I did it a lot on last years' bicycle tour as well there is not much choice once I got north of Northampton until I swung back into the wheatbelt a fair bit later. At one point I would have been no more than 75 to 100 metres off the North-West Coastal Highway. Had a good night's sleep undisturbed but.

Image
I was pretty close to the highway here ... funny thing was I could see the highway pretty easily but I doubt anyone saw me ... speed, chances of looking in the right direction etc.

I did have to put a bit of effort into "hiding" at Burringurrah as I had been warned by a few people that the DEC volunteer was rather zealous in enforcing the no-camping rule in the National Park. As it was, I was okay that night but did frighten a walker in the morning as I walked out of the bush in the middle of nowhere without a vehicle in sight :)

Image

I did feel a touch guilty at times but as I was really camping on private property (stations) but with days between settlements there really was no choice. If I am walking say the Bibbulmun Track or the Cape to Cape Track I do tend to go with the campsites unless I on a planned off-track walk.

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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby FatCanyoner » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 9:12 am

For us off-track walkers I suppose almost all camp sites would fit this. In the Blue Mountains, outside a couple very specific areas, there are no "designated camp sites" or restrictions on where you can camp. Simply find a nice river flat, or high open ridge, or protected sandstone cave, etc and camp there. As a general rule I always bury my fire and rehabilitate the site so you can't tell someone was there. Not constructing stone rings etc is a given. I'd assume this is how most bushwalkers camp.
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby 22F » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 9:34 am

I did "stealth camping" for work for many years, whilst playing soldiers ;)

Still do it now, simply because I don't like people at the best of times, and get out scrub to get away from them - I just don't do it quite to the same standards of carrying all my body wastes out with me.
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Hallu » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 10:09 am

In most books it's just called bush camping. Many parks allow it, but to be honest since I always do car camping it never occurred to me to park somewhere quiet and pitch my tent a couple of meters from the road. But after finding no spot in Stapylton in the Grampians and hearing that bush camping is allowed almost anywhere (except Mt William, the Wonderland area and another place I forgot) I may try it next time (for example it seems you're allow to bush camp at Briggs Bluff).
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby The Perambulator » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 4:50 pm

I have stealth camped in a van/motorhome in a number of locations ( for up to a month at a time) for a few years. The number one rule is to look for signs of, empty cans or bottles of alcohol as well as evidence of anti-social behaviour. The number two rule is, if for any reason you feel uncomfortable, or feel uneasy in the location, hightail it outa there. The other thing is always park so you can drive straight out- no reversing or multi-point turns. This probably applies to bushwalking as well-although carrying your house instead of driving it makes it a bit harder move quickly.
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby nq111 » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 6:29 pm

Well if no one can tell if you ever camped there and no one saw you camp there did you really camp at all? :)
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby LandSailor » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 6:37 pm

Stealth camping is where hammocks really shine. You can camp comfortably in some really non-obvious and hidden places.
Half-way down a steep hill where nobody would ever expect a camp-site.
Add a camo tarp and (apart from feeling like a para-military nutter) your almost completely invisible.

And slightly offtopic but I also like the idea of stealth campervans. These are campervans dressed externally to look like a tradesmans van.
So you can park overnight in shopping center carparks etc. Cheap way to get around Oz ; )
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby 22F » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 7:19 pm

The Perambulator wrote:I have stealth camped in a van/motorhome in a number of locations ( for up to a month at a time) for a few years. The number one rule is to look for signs of, empty cans or bottles of alcohol as well as evidence of anti-social behaviour. The number two rule is, if for any reason you feel uncomfortable, or feel uneasy in the location, hightail it outa there. The other thing is always park so you can drive straight out- no reversing or multi-point turns. This probably applies to bushwalking as well-although carrying your house instead of driving it makes it a bit harder move quickly.



Without sounding all cloak and dagger'ish, similar principles apply when on foot.
First thing: don't be where people are likely to step on you!

It's not hard to have your kit packed so it only takes a minute (or less!) to shove away a sleeping bag, throw your boots on and get a move on. Although when I'm really paranoid, I get into the old work habit of never taking my boots off.
My old habit is to have an easily identifiable landmark, and my compass pre-set on the bearing of my egress route before I go to sleep.

And as you mentioned, NEVER ignore that gut feeling or hair rising on the back of the neck!
I've done it a couple of times whilst solo walking. Just get "that feeling" and decided to move to a new location.
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby wayno » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 7:23 pm

are we talking about aus or syria? :?
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby 22F » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 8:04 pm

Worse: the Western Suburbs of Sydney :D
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby The Perambulator » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 8:05 pm

I'm being serious, these are absolutes. The motorhome scene can prob be divided into grey nomads who only stay in caravan parks and the rest of us who free camp. I have never been harassed or known of any other free camper who has been harassed (except by police - security). It is fairly common to read of someone moving on because the place did not "feel" right. This is consistent with Psychology's definition of intuition .You see something out of the corner of your eye (a minor event), and while not necessarily conscious of the event you decide to act. Generally it is only on reflection that you become aware the minor event which led you to act in the first place.
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Mark F » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 9:59 pm

To me "stealth camping" is camping where your are, in theory, not allowed to camp. On most public lands there is rarely such a prohibition, so it usually comes down to private land. Then it is really a matter of whether the owner is likely to discover your presence.

I often daydream as I walk around town considering whether I could spend a night in quite public places if I needed to. I have identified at least 10 places around home and work where I am sure I could stealth camp and not be discovered. This within a quite urban environment. I also think about were I could build a permanent shelter and not be discovered. There are two within 10 metres of one of Canberra's busiest roads and within 1km of the Canberra's centre that I have tripped over.
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Strider » Thu 18 Apr, 2013 10:05 pm

22F wrote:Worse: the Western Suburbs of Sydney :D

Same thing really :wink:
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby rich » Fri 19 Apr, 2013 9:10 am

Mark F wrote:I often daydream as I walk around town considering whether I could spend a night in quite public places if I needed to.


That's just weird man. I do the same thing when riding the bus to work each day :lol:
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 20 Apr, 2013 1:18 pm

Mark F wrote:I often daydream as I walk around town considering whether I could spend a night in quite public places if I needed to. I have identified at least 10 places around home and work where I am sure I could stealth camp and not be discovered. This within a quite urban environment. I also think about were I could build a permanent shelter and not be discovered. There are two within 10 metres of one of Canberra's busiest roads and within 1km of the Canberra's centre that I have tripped over.


Doesn't EVERY-ONE do this??
I know I do it all the time
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby doogs » Sat 20 Apr, 2013 3:11 pm

Moondog55 wrote:
Mark F wrote:I often daydream as I walk around town considering whether I could spend a night in quite public places if I needed to. I have identified at least 10 places around home and work where I am sure I could stealth camp and not be discovered. This within a quite urban environment. I also think about were I could build a permanent shelter and not be discovered. There are two within 10 metres of one of Canberra's busiest roads and within 1km of the Canberra's centre that I have tripped over.


Doesn't EVERY-ONE do this??
I know I do it all the time

Um..no...does this make me the weird one? I am usually too busy licking the windows on the bus to have odd thoughts like that..
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Happy Pirate » Sun 21 Apr, 2013 9:10 pm

FatCanyoner wrote:For us off-track walkers I suppose almost all camp sites would fit this. In the Blue Mountains, outside a couple very specific areas, there are no "designated camp sites" or restrictions on where you can camp. Simply find a nice river flat, or high open ridge, or protected sandstone cave, etc and camp there. As a general rule I always bury my fire and rehabilitate the site so you can't tell someone was there. Not constructing stone rings etc is a given. I'd assume this is how most bushwalkers camp.


This is the essence of walking and camping surely?! It's a fairly recent phenomena I think, for tracks and camps to have shifted from a convenience to an actual regulatory system where you are expected to walk purely along well defined tracks and stay in designated campsites. I certainly feel a little disappointed if I have to spend too long stuck on overly regulated tracks frequented by mass-hiking groups. The worst I've done for a while is the Great Ocean Walk at the Otways. A beautiful region but I continually bucked the system by walking in the wrong direction ( :shock: ), not pre-booking campsites ( :cry: ) and camping away from designated areas when too busy or the boguns started to infiltrate ( :roll: ).

Many of the best areas are still regularly walked off-track such as Flinders Ranges, Bogong HP region and much of Tassie and this is accepted by NPs without excessive regulation except in high-visitation areas.

On the other hand stealth camping is only worth it when you have a nice place to camp. Sometimes it's better to share a space by a swimming hole or fine view rather than skulk off alone into the forest...

Only sometimes though... :wink:
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Happy Pirate » Sun 21 Apr, 2013 9:21 pm

The Perambulator wrote:The motorhome scene can prob be divided into grey nomads who only stay in caravan parks and the rest of us who free camp. ...

Actually a larger and larger number of Grey Nomads seem to free camp these days but I find it bizarre where some people with lots of free time will stop just to avoid paying a camping fee.
I once saw a guy free camp for 10 days in a driver reviver stopover on the highway outside of Innisfail. As far as I could tell he never left and spent his days just chatting to the stop-overs. Stopping to crash overnight I get but I've seen them mid-afternoon, kicking back in deck-chairs with beers at truck stops, closed highway sub-arterial roads, toasting the view amoung piles of gravel at roadside quarries and today even saw a couple reclining in folding chairs basking in the afternoon sun, gazing onto the glorious view of a full roadside skip. **pwew** :shock:
The thing I don't understand is they were 10km away from Jourama Falls; one of FNQs nicest campsites and swimming holes; well signposted. The only reasons could only be not wanting to pay the $8 camping fee or just a complete and utter incapacity for the slightest whiff of adventure.
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby WarrenH » Sun 21 Apr, 2013 11:48 pm

Stealth camping what is that? ... in Oz we still have traditional laws that go back to the origin of the charter of the Magna Carta, that have not been rescinded ... and that still allow freedom of camping for long distance travelers on Crown Land, no matter what the NO CAMPING signs say.

Read what it says in you passport, if you have one, about "Every assistance is to be given"? ... so carry your passport when you go traveling and then stand your ground and flash the relevant page and if necessary, demand to talk the authority's legal representative/s before you move on.

Stealth camping? ha ha ha, ... what type of joke is that, in Australia?

This isn't just a request of others when we are out of our country, it is totally relevant when we're within our country too.

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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Aushiker » Mon 22 Apr, 2013 7:44 pm

WarrenH wrote:Stealth camping what is that? ... in Oz we still have traditional laws that go back to the origin of the charter of the Magna Carta, that have not been rescinded ... and that still allow freedom of camping for long distance travelers on Crown Land, no matter what the NO CAMPING signs say.


I suspect that Australia Courts may have a different interpretation ... David Clarkhas a rather good paper on the Magna Carta and its influence in modern law.

Read what it says in you passport, if you have one, about "Every assistance is to be given"? ... so carry your passport when you go traveling and then stand your ground and flash the relevant page and if necessary, demand to talk the authority's legal representative/s before you move on.


The is what is known as the "safe passage request" ... I am sure Julian Assange would love your view of it to be applied :wink: WikiTravelhas a good explanation about passports as does the Australian Passport Office.

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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby WarrenH » Mon 22 Apr, 2013 10:42 pm

Aushiker, please also address and state your concerns to either Quentin or Lizzy or preferably, to them both ... and let me know how you got on.

You sound like ... someone who has given up their rights to their local councils' NO CAMPING signs. Come back into the fold ... harden-up and stand up for your rights.

By the way, put your shots back on the BNA forum Country and Regional. Posting, then removing you pics from the Country and Regional is not a good look ... if you don't mind me saying?

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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Aushiker » Mon 22 Apr, 2013 11:24 pm

WarrenH wrote:Aushiker, please also address and state your concerns to either Quentin or Lizzy or preferably, to them both ... and let me know how you got on.


Ahh I don't have any concerns ... I just prefer discussions to take place in an informed context. Most interested in any factual (read legal basis) to your support your views on the topic.

You sound like ... someone who has given up their rights to their local councils' NO CAMPING signs. Come back into the fold ... harden-up and stand up for your rights.


Not at all. I am generally well aware of the relevant Council and/or State laws in WA and frankly I cannot see the point in trying to challenge them in Court at great cost .... I haven't bothered to do a case law review of any depth but what I have seen on brief searches is sufficient for me to know not to bother so unless you have case law from a higher court to justify a challenge I will go with the law thanks.

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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby MartyGwynne » Tue 23 Apr, 2013 9:57 pm

Stealth camping is a very good description of it as opposed to the above mentioned camp in the truck stop by a busy highway.
I have camped in some very good spots 'just out of the way' though mainly when I am in the old ute and just jump in the back and sleep away. (I have been told it looks like a serial killers ute :( ) - I probably keep others away from me!!
The best thing is though when I'm on the road and need sleep I usually wake up make a coffee and am off just on sunrise and get the best sights around with no one on the road. I stop around ten ish and have breakfast then back on the road again (long road trips only).
I agree with the "If it doesn't feel right - Get out" and move on.
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Happy Pirate » Tue 23 Apr, 2013 9:59 pm

Mark F wrote:To me "stealth camping" is camping where your are, in theory, not allowed to camp. On most public lands there is rarely such a prohibition, so it usually comes down to private land. Then it is really a matter of whether the owner is likely to discover your presence.

I often daydream as I walk around town considering whether I could spend a night in quite public places if I needed to. I have identified at least 10 places around home and work where I am sure I could stealth camp and not be discovered. This within a quite urban environment. I also think about were I could build a permanent shelter and not be discovered. There are two within 10 metres of one of Canberra's busiest roads and within 1km of the Canberra's centre that I have tripped over.


You're in good company...sort of.
J G Ballard wrote a novel along these lines. More about how you could be in the midst of bustling urban area and yet be completely out of sight. A Robinson Crusoe in the midst of urban chaos. Kind of 'stealth abandonment.'
But he must have been thinking along your lines, taken to the greatest of extremes... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_Island
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Re: Thoughts on "Stealth Camping"

Postby Onestepmore » Tue 23 Apr, 2013 10:33 pm

Moondog55 wrote:
Mark F wrote:I often daydream as I walk around town considering whether I could spend a night in quite public places if I needed to. I have identified at least 10 places around home and work where I am sure I could stealth camp and not be discovered. This within a quite urban environment. I also think about were I could build a permanent shelter and not be discovered. There are two within 10 metres of one of Canberra's busiest roads and within 1km of the Canberra's centre that I have tripped over.


Doesn't EVERY-ONE do this??
I know I do it all the time


Maybe this is a bit disturbing, but in a similar vein. as I drive or walk around I find myself thinking about where I'd hide a dead body.
Friends of mine used to live on a large property down Wombeyan Caves Road (South of Sydney) before Bullio Station got subdivided, and we'd be out on horses and I'd see plenty of remote gullies and holes. They now live next to Belangelo State Forest which was 'backpacker killer' Ivan Milat's killing ground. Maybe this has influenced me a little too much....

Disclaimer - I have no homicidal tendancies!

Back on track, I am often undecided wether a tent looks 'better' in a bright colour like red or orange, or in muted 'earthly colours' like greens and browns. I definitely like the idea of hammocks blending in to their surroundings.
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