Locations for Stealth Camping
Selecting the perfect stealth camping location should be a fun and interesting experience. Ideally the surrounding location of your hidden camp zone should be monitored on hikes a few times to get an understanding of the frequency of people and especially dog walkers. Is your area used for hunting? Fishing? Poaching? Hikers? Are weekends busier or quieter? Is it public or owned? All these questions should be asked when finding a good location for stealth camping.
I usually find there are five main location features of a camp zone which make it an ideal camp zone for stealth camping
How accessible is your camp location to main roads, local housing estates, car parks, hiking trails and other man made recreation? The chances are you are going to want to be close enough to get away if you need to but out the way enough not to be stumbled upon by people. Also it depends of your ability to carry all your gear on you all the way to the site and that will depend how fit you are and how well your stealth camping gear organised is to reduce weight.
How often do people use the land near to or on routes that you access your camping location? I find deploying some hidden digital spying cameras will often bring up surprising results; I usually set mine up for 5 second video clips with infra red night vision.
Become an expert tracker! Try to work out the hierarchy of trails within a wild area, are they wildlife trails, hiking trails, public footpaths, or areas of less vegetation? By using tracking methods you can identify what is moving through these trails and how often. This is a useful tool when defining a stealth camping location.
Elevation can be a useful tool when locating a fantastic stealth camping location. Areas of high elevation are usually both wooded and rarely visited by many people due to the inaccessibility and exposure to the elements. The high elevations and gradients ensure you can find an ideal nook or cranny on a hillside with usually amazing views of the countryside especially at dawn or dusk. This is one of the great spiritual experiences of stealth camping.
Gradient like elevation can be a useful tool when finding an undisturbed stealth camping location. Steep wooded hillsides are rarely walked by regular hikers and some fantastic little ledges can be found half way up a hill which can literally keep you hidden for weeks. Unfortunately this method of stealth camping is not perfect in terms of the perfect level camp and creative methods have to be used to ensure a comfortable camp. Some of these locations however have the greater danger of falling trees, sprains and breaks slipping down hills especially ankles when carrying heavy bergens so be extremely careful when pursuing a stealth camp of this nature.
The density of the vegetation is another factor which will give you the perfect concealment when choosing a stealth camp. I know huge woodlands of just tall standing timber which are imposable to stealth camp due to the absence of sufficient understory cover. At the same time I know tiny pieces of waste ground in the city where dense blackberry thickets could hide a camper for years so be aware of the importance of vegetation density when selecting a stealth camping location. Evergreen dense vegetation is the best for obvious reasons.