Home > Skills, ultralight bicycle touring > Skills: How to Stealth Camp

Skills: How to Stealth Camp

First step, select a safe spot.  If you can find a secluded area near a picnic grounds with a public restroom and water source, all the better.  You can hang out in a non-creepy fashion and as dark approaches slip off into the woods.  Nothing creepy about that, right?

Next, hide the bikes.  You can use my approach, hide the bike behind a large Jurassic looking tree, or use Larry’s approach and fling your bike in the bushes in a carefree manner making it look like part of the natural landscape.

Lastly, make camp far enough into the woods to remain undetected.  Make sure your food and smelly items are hung a safe distance from your makeshift camp.  Also note that you’re not making camp in a deer path or a place where animals bed down for the night.  It’s important to get your bearings before dark and break camp at first light. Be sure to leave no trace.

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  1. arlen
    September 26, 2010 at 9:29 am

    one thing i discovered in stealth camping….
    is your reflectors on anything….
    will light up the night…
    if a passing headlight from a vehicle catches it..ouch!…watch out..i carry an extra rain fly to cover my bicycle with….
    i try to find a site about 30 mintues to an hour before sunset….
    and an hour prior to that i cook my even meal…at another location….
    give yourself time to clean up…get organized for the evening….
    some years ago i found in a sporting goods store a little flash lite…
    made by “Coast Led Lenser” this little flash lite is a red light…with a battery life of 10,000 hrs…it is small…but just the right size and light to read by at night…and it does not advertise that you are there stealth camping…
    i do like your pictures…
    for one year i lived just a stones throw from the west virginia border out side of covington, va. in a little hamlet called crows,va….
    i spent some time bicycling some of the old colonial mountain by ways….
    when you would get up on top and look around in the early morning…it was looking at islands in the fog…
    and like you mentioned not to be setting up your HH4SSS where the animal highway might be…

    • velohobo
      September 26, 2010 at 10:30 am

      Good point, I have a light-weight green poncho to cover up the bike at night, my tent is a drab olive. The next hammock I buy, I may go with a camo pattern.

      • arlen
        September 26, 2010 at 10:48 am

        yeah when i ordered my HH4SSS i made sure i ordered 2 rain flys…the drab dark green color…my hammock came in the color of army brown…
        you can get from HH camo pattern flies…
        another thing i thought about …but forgot to mention…because i have done this for so long….is dark colors…like my frameless packs on my mtb…
        especially if you are stealth camping in the fall….and all of the foliage is down…dark colors do not stand out during day light….
        in the past i had to worry about fresh water source…so my camping locations were dictated by fresh water sources…
        but just this past summer i picked up from rei ….msr new mini water filter pump…it is small…lite weighted…and a god send…for all stealth campers…
        you will cut down the chances of getting sick…

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