Stealth camping can be defined as:
"camping overnight on land that is unmarked or signed, unimproved, unfenced and away from habitation without anyone's consent or knowledge using the Leave No Trace principles."
This kind of bicycle touring is not for everyone. I get strange looks in the staff room when people ask me about my vacations. "So, Allan. If I understand you correctly you spent your vacation in Europe, riding your bike during the day on canal paths and quiet local roads and at night you slept in a hammock in the forest and...I don't even want to know about the sanitary arrangements."
I am a lecturer, and as such I spend my days communicating with others. One of the reasons I enjoy stealth camping so much is that it allows me to completely get away from everyone and everything. Stealth camping is a solitary pursuit. Talking, campfires and almost any activity except meditation, reading or sleep in your campsite will draw unwanted attention.
In fact, stealth camping is much more than any definition. It is about being self- reliant, able, green and above all committed. In this post I hope to be able to encourage those touring cyclists to consider camping as an alternative to staying in hotels or B&Bs. Further, I will be posting information related to stealth camping.
This all started on one of my first long distance tours. I had been credit card touring (bike touring and staying at B&Bs) for some time when I found myself biking between Leamington and Port Dover, Ontario. It didn't seem like that far on the map but as the sun went down I realized that I did not have a place to stay for the night. This was early in my touring days, and I had no back up. If I had no place to stay, I had a serious problem. That was the day I learned to always have a backup.
Today I am using a Hennessy hammock. Because of their asymmetrical design, I can lay flat. The entrance way is from the bottom, so there is no instability. Further, it sets up in a couple of minutes and because of the design, compactness and light weight are ideal for bicycle camp
There still appears to be some confusion about various types of bicycle camping. I insist that there are at least 3 sub- groups:
This is popular with backpackers who are in wild areas and simply camp where they find a convenient spot. This is not a campground and no fee is paid. The latter is similar to stealthing, but no hiding is required.
This also is similar to stealthing but there is no attempt to hide and often the camping takes place in public areas like parks or on the side of the road. Sometimes it is with land owners permission. No fee is paid.
As stated earlier in this journal, stealth camping is staying overnight in a location
which is out- of- sight, unmarked, unimproved without any permission. If readers
have concerns about the legal side of stealthing, I draw their attention to my page
on trespass or go to my videos.