Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Camping and Lodging

Camping Out

Picking a safe camping spot.
Tent Man - Gary Walkingman HauseUsually I stop around 8 or 9pm to find a place to camp for the night. Bridges are my favorite place, a little extra protection from the rain, wind and cold. It is alot easier to pitch a tent and take it down when it stays dry, also easier to cook my oats. Most bridges have a little ledge under both ends where you can set up, although sometimes you have to set up right on the dry wash. One time in Mexico I got caught in a little flash flood, was kinda expecting it, it had been raining for two days, so I got out fast as soon as I heard it coming. Only got hit by a one foot wall of water, no big deal. Saw a farm house nearby and they let me sleep on the porch and join them for dinner. If it does not look like it is going to rain, then I just go maybe fifty feet off the road into the woods or bushes and set up some where hidden from view. I try to stay off private property, but sometimes I will stay behind a school or church. Usually I get up real early, before anybody see's me anyway. Always pick up after myself, never leave any litter behind.
Sometimes if it is a real cold or rainy day, I will stop before it gets dark if I see a good sheltered spot. It is always easier to find a good spot when it is still light out. But in the winter it gets dark to early to go to sleep. Going through Chicago on one of my bicycle tours I camped in some bushes in the park that runs between the lake and the downtown area. A lot of muscisians gather there in the evening to jam, so I listened to music all night. One night I camped in some bushes on a college campus, no clouds, so I did not pitch my tent. In the middle of the night it started raining, not a cloud in the sky, I finally figured out it was the sprinkler system. Some times people invite me to their home to stay, always nice to have a home cooked meal and a hot shower. When you are walking or biking you can not really plan to far ahead, to many varibles, you just have to start looking when you get tired and are ready to go to sleep. One evening as I was walking between some barren farm fields, the wind picked up to about 25mph. I was having a hard time seeing anything through the dust and derbis. Could not find anyplace to camp, no trees, bridges, no shelter at all. Finally found an old boarded up farm house with an empty shed in the back. I was worried my tent would not stand up to the winds all night, so I went ahead and set up in the shed. My tent was still blowing all over from the wind coming in the open doorway all night. Depending on the weather conditions you have to be flexible on where you camp. I figure it is only for nine hours and usually nobody is going to mind.

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