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illegal camping by Guests..

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illegal camping by Guests..

Recently, I have had two sets of guests, both of whom were "low budget". ( Fine with me..)

Both mentioned, in passing, that they spent little or nothing for accomodation ( when not at WSL, of course!). if necessary, they would camp illegally ( eg in town parks) . Both had been on the road for months with this attitude.

Now, I believe illegal camping is anti-social, and I found this a confronting experience : to think I was assisting people habitually behaving in an anti-social manner.

I also believe that free camping in Australia is quite different to illegal camping - there is enough free camping that illegal camping is (IMO) not ever necessary. This may be different in other countries, but here in Australia I never need to camp illegally myself, with a lot of tours behind me.

I think I will have to amend my profile to exclude illegal campers :(

(Maybe it's a co-incidence, but I notice illegal campers are less concerned for personal environmental issues than I am ....)

Anyway, I wonder what the forum thinks ..?

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I tend to agree with you

I tend to agree with you overall. However, my question would be how are you going to tell if they are not stealth camping (illegal camping). While I personally try my best not too, occasionally here in the US I have no choice. I would think quite a few people who stealth camped and saw your exclusions would just say they only camp illegally.

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Illegal camping.

I don't understand why you would be offended by stealth camping. Are you speaking of vagabonds? Many times there is no choice but to find a little hidy hole after dark to get some shut-eye. There is zero environmental impact and the smallest of footprints. I've camped in mountains, deserts, and on open prairie after riding for hours without ever seeing a soul. Many campgrounds and RV parks tend to take advantage of cyclists by charging outrageous rates for a tiny patch of grass. $65 was the worst. When that happens I will offer them money for a shower and then find something on my own. Small town cops or firemen will always help. Motels are okay but there is no social value. When after my pre-planning and there are no available hosts in a town, I send a note to the local newspaper and the local tourist bureau. I many times get positive responses. After exhausting all other avenues, stealth camping is just fine. At that time I'm too tired to worry about it.

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I can only speak of

I can only speak of Australian conditions, as i haven't been anywhere else for quite a while. I do know that here, there is NEVER any need for Illegal/stealth/sneaky camping - b/c there are always plenty of places that are NOT illegal. Strangely, even local cyclists don't know that, and it's common to hear this wrong idea from foreigners who travel here, as I did this week from my "guests"

So let's say, you DO "sneak" camp - what are you hiding from ? and what if your "sneak" or "stealth" is unsuccessful, ie you get "found" ...? That all sounds too hard for me. I'd just try a little harder to find somewhere NOT illegal eg ASK a landholder.

My favorite strategy here is to find a small cross road off my main route, cycle down enough to get away from traffic noise ( and any possible harrassment), then camp by the side of that backroad. That's all quite legal. Usually, there will be very little traffic till sun up - maybe, a farm truck or two but not much more. There is always a "road reserve" between the edge of the road and the private boundary. Within that reserve, overnight camping is perfectly legal.

Sometimes, in small towns, ( too small for a commercial campground, which I don't like anyway) I'll overnight at the local sports field, where there will be a cold water tap and toilets. Nothing illegal there, no need for "sneaking" either

But, as I quickly acknowledge, and most of you know, we have a lot more space here in Australia than some other places. What bugs me tho, is how foreign visitors can get this all so wrong in this country. My latest guests ( this week) whined about "..how difficult it was to free camp in Australia...", then proceeded to *boast* that they had paid NOTHING in six weeks of camping so far, and intended to keep that up indefinitely. Apparently, their strategy was simply to IGNORE warning signs in small town parks - when they could have just cycled to the town limits to find the road reserve I describe above. As the toilets in these town parks are usually locked overnight, ( if there are any at all !) you can imagine the "environmental impact" of a group of cyclists by morning. Their attitude disgusted me, particularly when they boasted about it.

It's not just foreigners, tho - even local cyclists can be complete pigs in this regard.

I can't say for sure...but it sure will be interesting when I get to travel abroad to see if my strategy applies in other countries.If it doesn't, I guess I'll have some thinking to do. WSL will help, if I am still a member. If I keep meeting "sneaks" I'll have to reconsider that, after 13 years of membership

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Fine $400

I don't know why you would risk illegally camping in Australia... or in WA anyway. I hosted a guy that got fined $400 for illegally camping. That was just north of Perth, somewhere around Geraldton.

There used to be loads of free camping around WA, but in the past 5 years they've seemed to stop it. I think too many people were setting illegal fires and not packing out, so I guess they decided just to ban it everywhere. Some of my fave camping spots, you can no longer camp at :( Stupid people ruining it for others :@

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Thanks for the clarification

Seem like you have a very limited set of options of what is "illegal" in your country.
In Germany everything is illegal.... ;)

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Many kinds of traveling cyclists

It's a very interesting thing about touring cyclists... They are on the edge of "normal" in several ways.

What's the difference between a homeless person and a touring cyclist? Maybe a credit card? Many of both types don't have a "home" to go back to. We didn't when we were on the road for 2.5 years. But we did have a credit card.

When young people decide to go on one of the most interesting adventures available by cycle-touring, they are often drawn by how affordable it can be. It can be more affordable than nearly any other type o adventure. It's no surprise that they'd be drawn to stealth camping as well.

And I should note that Nancy and I have definitely camped in places where we had no permission to do so, although that's not our preference. We've slept in state park restrooms during a huge storm, and under bridges. Sometimes it's what you get when bike touring.

On the west coast of the US, "touring cyclists" who are actually homeless people are quite a problem, and have led to closure of the hiker-biker sites at some of the great state parks in California and Oregon. It's the same problem... How do you distinguish between them on the basis of policy?

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Sometimes you can't tell right away.

That reminds me of a time in the mountains of Colorado. I met up with another rider and I stopped to speak with him because he had a similar trailer to my own. I soon realized this guy was not a touring cyclist, but some kind of roaming nutcase. I normally photograph everyone I meet just to remember what was said. This guy freaked out when seeing the camera and asked me if I was sent by the C.I.A. to find him. He said they had been chasing him for years. ...I suddenly had to be somewhere and left him in his paranoia

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Ninja Camping

I was introduced to Ninja Camping by my first cycling guests who had been travelling the word for seven years and living on a shoe string budget. I was totally enthralled with their way of life and have taken onboard Ninja Camping with a passion. To date my Ninja camping includes under a road bridge and a deserted hut in the heart of Switzerland, a vacant town block and cemetery in Chezch Republic, a ferry terminal UK, a farmer's field in Ireland, many forest and river locations throughout Europe, an historic village clothes washing pavilion in France, a barn and bus shelter in Sweden, a picnic shelter in Austria, public toilet block which had hot water on the Orkney Isle, anywhere in Norway is legal, and on the home front in Australia, disabled toilets, under a Pizza shop awnings, plenty of highway rest areas and outback community hall grounds. The bloke in Adeliade who posted the illegal camping item may have a few personal issues to deal with for if you read the guest's comments against his profile there appears to be a few which would cause me to avoid his host placement. Regards from Cycling Sandi (John Sandilands, Tasmania)

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Illegal camping

If the guest was reasonably well mannered, I'd not pass judgement on his touring habits, considering those to be his business, not mine. Of course a cycle tourist who brags about breaking laws would unlikely be someone I'd want to host.

I rarely stealth and when I do, try to keep it legal, though there is a lot of grey area, least in the US. Stealth camping minimizes the chances of turning the grey into red.

One curious example of the line between legal and illegal can be found in Texas. It is illegal to pitch a tent in a roadside rest area. It is not illegal to sleep there, on the ground or a table. Go figure. Another is that it is generally illegal to ride on Texas interstate highways, but people do anyway, usually without consequences.

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Illegal Camping?

Hello,

Can you define illegal camping please? It seems that several respondents are assuming you are talking about 'stealth' camping but stealth camping isn't necessarily illegal if it isn't in a place that has 'no trespassing', 'private property', or 'camping prohibited' signs. I stealth camp frequently but avoid crossing fences or camping places where it is explicitly prohibited unless there is no other option.

I also must ask what repulses you so much about illegal camping? Because it is illegal in the eyes of the bureaucrats that make laws, does that make it morally wrong? What are these campers doing that is so wrong exactly? Laying horizontally on a patch of earth for 8 hours? Is that really hurting anyone?

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Well,I never said all

Well,I never said all "improvised" camping was illegal - others responding have made that assumption

What repulses me is the **** that most illegal campers leave behind. I guess if you "bagged it out" like hikers are supposed to do, that would be a good idea, but I can't see that happening too often on a bike trip.

As I have said here before, [ several times] I often camp informally BUT never illegally. That's pretty easy to do here in Australia, tho I acknowledge it may be different elsewhere.

Anyone who is confused about the issue (in this country, anyway) simply hasn't thought it through. And it matters, b/c illegal camping makes you part of the problem instead of part of the solution - which is how bike travel likes to think of itself.

As to " ...bureaucrats that make laws.." well, how do you feel about their speed limits, or their tax rates...? The vast majority of illegal activities are illegal for a reason. if you disagree with a law, you have options in a democratic society, you can even choose " civil disobedience". But you shouldn't make that choice out of ignorance.

It surprises & saddens me that so many members of WS should exhibit an anti-social attitude.

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My thoughts about camping

Several of my warmshower guests have mentioned non traditional camping when between available warmshower host. I see no problem with it. One couple riding in November in the northern part of the USA, had planned to camp in Indiana State parks, but found them to be closed to all visitors because of hunters culling the excess deer population that were ruining the parks. So their Nov camping was done non traditionally, it did make them extra thankful for the rainfall shower and hot tub soaks i offered.
One guy had spent the night under the porch roof of a small town volunteer fire dept.
there are ways to not spend a fortune because the world is full of people who will lend a hand
I have had 3 guys camp in my backyard with my permission when i was not home to host them in person. Even used the hot tub. The only indication that they had been there was a flattened spot in the grass. My guess is that is how they leave any place they camp.
As guys i am sure they used a tree at some point, part of rural living no harm with that.

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Campers who boast they didn't pay

I had a request from a (European) couple travelling through the US to host them once they arrived in Canada. They were travelling north up the west coast. If I get a hospitality request from someone who has a blog, I try to read at least some of it before responding to them; often their blog or CGOAB journal gives me a sense of who I am inviting into my home.

I was already hosting another couple, but could have accommodated them if I felt they would be a good fit. I read the blog of my would-be-guests, and they described staying at an unattended rural site in the US which clearly requested a small fee be left in a box on an honour basis. They described this in their blog (not in English but a language in which I am at ease) and then said "...but for us it was FREE!!" Not only had they not paid the requested fee, but they had the gall to brag about this online!

I declined their request as I already had previously booked WS guests. I'm sure they found other hosts in this large city, but I had no patience for their attitude.

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Skipping payment at campground

Obviously, it is at the sole discretion of the host who they allow, but I personally wouldn't bar someone just because they failed to pay at a campground. Well, let me clarify that. If their entire journal contained tale after tale of skipping from campground to campground night after night and never paying if they could help it, I might consider them to be deceitful and question their values. If it was just an occasional occurrence then in my opinion that wouldn't warrant denying
them from staying at my home. Again of course this is just my personal opinion.

I've skipped payment at government campgrounds on occasion. An example I can give is, while riding north through B.C. and Yukon, Canada the government campgrounds were typically $12 a night. You were provided with a site, a toilet, and firewood for that price. I thought $12 was reasonable and I always paid. When I got into the NWT they were $28 a night so I wild camped mostly because I thought that was a total rip off. I had stayed a couple of nights in a private campground that had free showers, wifi, and a laundry room for $20 a night then rode 50km's down the road to a government campground that had nothing but a toilet and a picnic bench for $28. I was the only person there. I didn't pay. I didn't feel guilty about it. $28 is robbery. Later on in Alaska I stayed at one or two other government campgrounds and didn't pay. It was after Labor Day by that point so the season was over, the campgrounds were empty, and no one was coming around regularly to collect fees. I didn't see a problem with it.

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Boastful attitude

It wasn't because of not paying. It was because of proudly boasting publicly about not paying.
Not to mention, we already had two WS cyclists staying.

GH

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cycling from Vancouver to Alaska

Hi, i am planning to cycle from Vancouver to Anchorage and back. However not sure if i will dare to do it as very concerned about bears. Is is it going solo tenting in bc even close to good idea ? Using warmshowers for the whole wont work out.
Thank you

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National rules and tips for free/cheap camping?

Perhaps it would be helpful to have a FAQ about whats allowed or acceptable and tips for camping for free or cheap for the different countries?

Also try to educate your quests instead of condemming them?
Your information about camping legally on road edges or at sportsgrounds
in Australia will be hugely helpful to anyone.
As an unwashed European scrub I didn't know it, but I'll certainly keep it in mind.

In Denmark you can't just camp anywhere you want.
Thats in Sweden, our neighbour. (And there are still some rules.)
But if you want to avoid our quite expensive "official" campgrounds
there are primitive ones run by locals or the state... bit like the WS concept...
but you might pay a small fee for use of a campground with limited facilities...
Could be someones back yard etc.
For a small country such as Denmark theres quite a few:
http://www.cyclistic.dk/en/
(you can punch them up here on the map under the Acommodation icon)
http://www.teltpladser.dk/engelsk.pdf

Addendum: You might need to get this booklet which for some strange reason
is only available in Danish: http://shop.dcf.dk/Default.aspx?ino=3599
It lists the primitive campsites run by locals that cost a maximum
of 25 DKK or around 4-5 USD per night. Not sure Cyclistic lists them.

Cheers
Mikael

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Also when stealth camping...

...be more sensible than the Germans that snuck into a military training area
and were tragically run over by a tank the next morning and killed. I kid thee not.

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re Nick Lenarz

I camp free all the time and I always leave things better then I found them. Our camping system is not for the bicyclist. It is for the RV er. many camp grounds don't allow tent camping. the prices for one person with a small tent are beyond the reach of a lot of people. I europe I do pay for camping but most of the time not. LONG LIVE Free camping.

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You leave things better than

You leave things better than you found them? What, do you cut the grass or something?

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re nick lenarz

Dear Sir:
I pick up trash, and I rarely camp on grass that needs to be cut. I camp free, in part because many "campgrounds" in america don't allow tent camping, and being one person, with a small pup tent, most campgrounds don't want to bother with me, unless I am willing to pay their "hotel prices". This country has a car culture mentality, once I was told that electric power comes with the price. After all most people can't imagine traveling without an RV. I have seen places that were trashed, by uncaring campers. But when I look at the trash, it seems to me that it is not the cyclist, but people traveling in cars, who can carry it in are the ones that trash these areas. The question should not be illegal vs legal camping. It should be caring vs uncaring campers, and in my opinion the vast majority of cyclists are caring. most people walk in the park and don't cut the grass, if I put my tent up on some nice grass, that's great and I will pick up some trash if I see it and I guarantee that no one will ever know that I was there.

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registered

registered

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Stealth Camping and planning

My two cents

I have been reading this thread with interest. It's been informing. Certainly it is best NOT to camp illegally or trash the land you use. "Stealth" camping is not necessarily illegal. Like others have said. It would be nice to see an onsite list of camping do's and don't for different countries.

But, for me it's not likely I'll be traveling abroad any time soon. And living in the Mid-Atlantic area of the US legal camping can be a real problem. Commercial sites are geared for RV's and vehicles, and can cost $30 per night. There huge gaps in available sites. They are concentrated in tourist and vacation areas.

Trying to plan a trip with sites at reachable intervals has proven to be very difficult. On a recent trip down the Outer Banks it almost shut down the whole trip. The loop I planned to ride was a dead zone on WarmShowers, with the exception of 1 home in Kitty Hawk. Headwinds down the Outer Banks reduced the speeds to under 6 MPH making reaching authorized camp sites impossible. There is NO legal stealth camping on the Outer Banks. It was by the grace of God that I was not forced to break the law.

The trip turned out OK. And by asking permission at Churches I did get places to stay. But not before getting rained on and drenched to the bone for 4 days in a row.

The rules in the US are fairly straight forward. You can't camp on the side of the road, unless in National Forest. But, where there is access and not posted, it is not illegal. Rural Churches around here work well. My favorite free legal camping is on Fish and Game lands with a fishing license.

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Geez, I cannot believe that

Geez, I cannot believe that this thread is still going on.

BicycleFish, wild camping is utterly commonplace among cyclists. You mention that you were troubled by this concept after hearing about it from guests. Goodness, man, do you not read cycle touring forums on the web like CGOAB or Reddit? Just about everyone wild camps from time to time. Consequently, lambasting others for it only makes you ridiculously out of touch.

Such open disapproval is also counterproductive for anyone wanting to support WarmShowers: for so many people, the only way they could afford cycle touring is by not having to pay for accommodation most nights. So had they not been able to avail themselves of wild camping, they would not have been able to enter this scene and eventually become hosts who support this network.

WS Üyesi ceo kullanıcısının resmi
Free/stealth camping while touring

On my 5 cross country tours; an occasional free or stealth campsite is unavoidable. Just leave the site better than when you arrived (pick up trash, no campfires,ect). I use a web site (www.freecampgrounds.com) for listings of free (or very cheap) sites. It tells of city parks, BLM/state forest areas, ect; that allow tent camping. It also tells of Wal Mart parking lots for RV boondocking. Enjoy life on 2 wheels and tailwinds always.

Chris/CEO

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Free camping for cyclists

Any cyclists planning a trip through Queensland, Australia i have some 'secret' info on free campsites, so don't go spreading it around too much ;-)
There is a network of stock routes and reserves that were designed pre-truck transport for cattle men to move their animals to better pastures and market. The reserves are about 10-20kms apart in a lot of places and close to waterholes or creeks. Generally the reserves are available for free camping.
Their locations can be found on a free overlay of google earth called Queensland Globe, which is available from the Queensland Government Department of Environment, Resources and Mining website.
There is a process of downloading Google Earth then copying the Queensland Globe link into the server prompt but it is not overly complex.
The Bicentennial National Trail follows many of them but there are heaps of others to help you explore the real outback west of the east coast.

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What's all the fuss about???

I can't believe this topic has gone so far!
Camping on tour is a necessity.
Manmade rules don't keep me awake!

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I loved reading along until the end

Because it shows me again, that we are all very similar.
Most of you articulated my feels better than I could.

I love you all- despite we might have different definitions of maybe the same things- to some degree. Yet some of us have different triggers!

And when it comes to illegal, just look at my picture and arrest me ;) !

Aloha

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Pay it forward

We host lots and lots of cyclists because we live along a well traveled north/south, West Coast route. As time has gone on, I have decided to bring up the topic of paying hospitality forward when our guests end their tours. Is seems that we get requests from new members who have joined WS only a day before beginning a tour with no plans to ever reciprocate. The beauty of WS is that it works both ways without cost. To all you guests, please don't abuse the system. Please leave a thank you card, send a postcard at the end of your tour, and above all, become a host. Please try to leave early in the morning and not sleep late. You are a guest, not a tenant.

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Stealth camping is pretty

Stealth camping is pretty much the only reason that I don't drive my motorcycle or car to get around the US of A. To update the original poster, camping in city parks in most states that I've been to is perfectly legal. I cycle to get away from the regular life, to get away from schedules and to relax. I can afford a campground in some states ( but not virginia for example at ~40 dollars a night. Well I can, but I refuse to on principle) but that is not the point. I'm not going to go 105 miles when I feel like going 70 or perhaps 35 that day - just so I can conform to someones idea of what is proper. I believe that the OP's stance is Anti-Touring. Touring cyclists are, in the eyes of most normal Americans "weird" "Strange" and "different" - and they smell funny too. Who the heck wants to bow down to that kind of assimilation? If I want to be "normal" I'll just take the SUV. Forget doing something strange and offensive like being willing to break the rules. I sweat, I take the chance of being killed by a car driver - and I camp as I will. I guess Joe average and Jill conformist don't understand the allure of freedom. Poor sods.

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I just loooove "camp-cycling"

Also my two cents on this interesting topic...6 years after the opening thread!!

To be perfectly honest, I did start camping just to save money and extend the length of my travels.The same reason I couchsurfed and volunteered extensively -- heck, now that I think about it, even the choice of a bicycle was probably unconsciously the cheaper means of transportation! IMO, it is the perception of money and how easy/difficult it is to earn it (how cheap/expensive is a product/service like a paid camping ground) that makes up for most of modern human misunderstandings and disagreements, but that's another topic...

Several years, kilometres, countries and adventures later, I must confess I still camp 99% of my nights just for the joy of it (and the silence, and the privacy, and the benefits to my back/neck muscles). I always try to avoid cities on my routes, my favourite spots being the most remote, wild and isolated locations like deserts, caves, beach coves or unused mountain trails.

Sure, I have also "broken the Law" a couple of times (maybe a bit too many), making fire where it wasn't allowed, jumping over a fence just to get away from the road, sleeping in semi-abandoned open buildings, school-yards during holiday season, sports' fields, etc., but when it comes to shelter from the elements (wind & rain & cold mostly) there is one rule above the rest: survival  :-)  And of course, sometimes I've been confronted by property-owners in the morning (or the night!) but communicating without feeling "guilty" and a quick look at my bicycle and at the clean campsite has always turned out fine fine -- like someone else said, ofen ended in an offer of hospitality.

It's even got to the point where I would choose to travel to a country or region on the basis of its "undeveloped-ness", knowing as I now know that it means far less rules and regulations than back home, that I would be able to still find the less-traveled dirt-roads, the (occassional) un-fenced land, the rivers to freely bathe in, the mountains, the valleys, the trees...and a spot where I can bivouac or pitch my tent for the night depending on the weather/season/altitude.  Still, there are wonderful "super-developed" places such as Japan or some Scandinavian countries where you still don't get fined for setting up camp, and other places like the USA where it is banned despite many people wondering why you would ever prefer to sleep outdoors having the choice of a hotel/motel/warmshowers.

I too believe the reason wild-camping is forbidden in many places is precisely because of the rubbish left by uncaring campers (once again, education is the key here), particularly the waste the comes out of our own bodies. As a rule of thumb, I always try to bury my 100% organic waste or cover it and never carry toilet paper with me -- there's almost always leaves, bushes, bark, wood, water, sand, stones or even rocks!  x-D

Of course it's only been after years of practice that I am able to set-up camp, rest, cook, eat and perform my bodily functions and then --as stated by many here-- leave the place even better than I found it, cleaner and sometimes even with a re-usable rock-made windproof "rocket stove"  ;-)

But I'm not too optimistic about the future of wild-camping...seeing that the countryside is being more and more privately owned and therefore fenced, that water-sources are becoming scarce and very valuable (thus privatized too) and that even remote dirt-roads are being paved in the name of modern times and economic development.

Nothing wrong with that --change will always happen-- just enjoy your camping while it lasts :-)

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camping on the fly

Six tours ago I was wondering how to find places to tent when crossing the country.  The one answer that fit my way of doing things was to seach for a nice locations and then knocking on doors.  I didn't want to feel uncomfortable that I was going to be caught trespassing if I could help it.  And putting myself in their place of having a stranger requesting to tent nearby, I had business cards made up as to who I was, my website, my Facebook page, etc.  Having my bicycle and gear in full view of the front door and adorned in bicycle garb to present a clean appearance, I am very seldom turned down.  And once they go to my website and feel more comfortable with my presence, I am usually invited in for a meal.  I have met some pretty spectacular people this way.

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Low budget to extremes

Low budget to extremes (avoiding all hotels/hostels/campsites) seems weird to me as usually the ones doing it are nt coming from the third world or arent if you want, third world's affluent representatives:/ So i dont get it. I udnerstnad sometimes stealth camping because youa re tired or broke for a few days only, but doing repeatedly with the aim of saving money - then you are also using warmshowers/couchsurfing/ for the same end: to save money, is rather annoying, to say?  I repeat, if its done a few times ina trip to save money on a tight period, until maybe money situation improves, that i understand. If money run out, obviously, time to go home...  Most young travellers have worked 2-3 years in a normal job and on touring they spend that money. I assume that if they prolongue their trip to years to come, they run out of money, then they end up beggars, i dont know.. DId meet many who said they hate the idea of going back to normal life and a job. We all do? But we all must?

 

About the topic, I had to write on my profile that camping on my front porch  is not an option cause after arrival some couchsurfers (im not that much into warmshowers yet) ask if they can just camp there and use my wc. THe veranda doesnt belong to me. I get trouble with people seen camping on it. I say no and then they assume im a bad person : Proving they only care about themselves and avoiding paying ahotel by all means posible and have little regard or respect for the host!!!

Sometimes tourists in Athens ask me where can they camp for free. The law here is strict and against free campers but locals and foreigners still do it. Uusually thought far away from cities, in remote and nature-reserve areas.  I am in a peculiar position of the person asking tels me he has 500 euro budget for  3 months trip in europe (usually travellers from east european countries have such low budgets). I tend to tell them an area ''off the record'' and ask them to tell nobody that I said that, least they put me into trouble ifthey get arrested. But i also remind them to sleep late and be gone by early morning, and most of them follow he rule as they already have done it before (stealth camping).  Greece ha a lot of camping sites, so if someone wants to pay, there is no problem finding a camping site. If someone doesnt want to pay to save money, I kind of dislike that type of traveller..... But if someone doesnt want to pay cause he has very low budget I try to direct them to a place to sleep stealthily and ask them not to stay more than 1 night in one place and remind them, that this normally is illegal so they should not be seen by locals and they should be gone very early morning. The police here is quite harsh on Greek campers by the way, doing free camping on islands, than foreigners. So if you arent Greek, the policeman will propably not put charges or get it to court. It makes bad vibes for the tourism industry even if you are cought illegally camping. But this is not to say they dont arrest tourists too, they do, but they are far more lenient towards non-Greek freecampers than Greek freecampers  

WS Üyesi irianaslowtrip kullanıcısının resmi
Low budget to extremes

Low budget to extremes (avoiding all hotels/hostels/campsites) seems weird to me as usually the ones doing it are nt coming from the third world or arent if you want, third world's affluent representatives:/ So i dont get it. I udnerstnad sometimes stealth camping because youa re tired or broke for a few days only, but doing repeatedly with the aim of saving money - then you are also using warmshowers/couchsurfing/ for the same end: to save money, is rather annoying, to say?  I repeat, if its done a few times ina trip to save money on a tight period, until maybe money situation improves, that i understand. If money run out, obviously, time to go home...  Most young travellers have worked 2-3 years in a normal job and on touring they spend that money. I assume that if they prolongue their trip to years to come, they run out of money, then they end up beggars, i dont know.. DId meet many who said they hate the idea of going back to normal life and a job. We all do? But we all must?

 

About the topic, I had to write on my profile that camping on my front porch  is not an option cause after arrival some couchsurfers (im not that much into warmshowers yet) ask if they can just camp there and use my wc. THe veranda doesnt belong to me. I get trouble with people seen camping on it. I say no and then they assume im a bad person : Proving they only care about themselves and avoiding paying ahotel by all means posible and have little regard or respect for the host!!!

Sometimes tourists in Athens ask me where can they camp for free. The law here is strict and against free campers but locals and foreigners still do it. Uusually thought far away from cities, in remote and nature-reserve areas.  I am in a peculiar position of the person asking tels me he has 500 euro budget for  3 months trip in europe (usually travellers from east european countries have such low budgets). I tend to tell them an area ''off the record'' and ask them to tell nobody that I said that, least they put me into trouble ifthey get arrested. But i also remind them to sleep late and be gone by early morning, and most of them follow he rule as they already have done it before (stealth camping).  Greece ha a lot of camping sites, so if someone wants to pay, there is no problem finding a camping site. If someone doesnt want to pay to save money, I kind of dislike that type of traveller..... But if someone doesnt want to pay cause he has very low budget I try to direct them to a place to sleep stealthily and ask them not to stay more than 1 night in one place and remind them, that this normally is illegal so they should not be seen by locals and they should be gone very early morning. The police here is quite harsh on Greek campers by the way, doing free camping on islands, than foreigners. So if you arent Greek, the policeman will propably not put charges or get it to court. It makes bad vibes for the tourism industry even if you are cought illegally camping. But this is not to say they dont arrest tourists too, they do, but they are far more lenient towards non-Greek freecampers than Greek freecampers  

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
what's the big deal?

Perhaps being Australian, where you can (or could when I was growing up) camp most places you want for free, I don't understand how sleeping somewhere for the night could even be made illegal!
I do understand in urban areas that it should be discouraged, mostly due to waste and rubbish, but also public amenity, but if someone does it so they're not noticed, who cares?  The idea that we should pay to sleep seems absurd if we have everything we need.  In Australia European backpackers do have a bit of a reputation of leaving a mess when car-camping, which has led to stricter enforcement of anti-camping laws in some urban areas.

Many years ago I hitch-hiked extensively around Europe and almost never paid for accommodation - it's easy to slip out of town and sleep behind a tree with no-one to notice you.  It's not much harder to do on a bike, though if you use a tent you are more conspicuous.  I would never sleep in cities, partly out of consideration of the citizens but mostly because of the potential for danger - it always felt much safer alone in a field underneath the stars (or rain!) then in an urban area.

The only thing I object to is people camping on Aboriginal land without permits as there are many sacred sites and it's extremely disturbing for Aboriginal people to know strangers have been sleeping, or even visiting, these places, many of which have no outward sign of their significance.  Those people are the only ones I would not want to host, because I find them ignorant and disrespectful - as for breaking silly laws about sleeping without paying, if you do no harm, I can't see the problem.