Stealth camping can take you anywhere you want, and that’s the beauty of it.
On this particular summer night, I sought to take a hike into the woodland owned by my former high school. Yes, that’s possibly the peak of my education being put to work.
The bag was packed with the hammock, sleeping bag/pad, and a journal/book to muse over.
I chose this particular area for its lowkey appearance and close proximity to my house. Ideally, no car would be involved and fortunately this is only a 15-minute walk away.
Using a hammock for camping at all is still proving tricky compared to a tent, and here’s some difficulties I’ve had so far.
- Location: While being able to pick my own set of trees is nice when stealthing, there is still a challenge in finding ones that are the just right distance and circumference. around.
- Warmth/Circulation: The warmth hasn’t been too necessary until colder nights roll in, then maybe an under quilt will be an investment.
- Numb Feet: This could be my fault for sitting and slouching in the hammock, maybe a bit more slack in the suspension straps will help alleviate this.
Despite arriving to the woods with a couple of hours to spare, I still had to consider a prime spot to hang the hammock up.
A quick loop around the small forest and I found at least two or three potential spots…
The images above were my first pick, as the sparseness of the area looked promising, unfortunately I felt a little too exposed to the housing developments just beyond these trees.
Loud music was being played through speakers and people attending to their backyard work, however they don’t need to see a twenty-something camping somewhere he shouldn’t be.
The next images above were my second spot to try, as I scouted around for viable trees positioned for a hammock. The problem posed with this section is despite some well-paired trees, I felt to be way too close to the trail, and the houses over the hill possibly had a view of me again.
Finally, third time’s a charm and this was the most hidden and stealthy backdrop so far. As a result, the foliage and tree twigs were scattered everywhere too, however these two trees suited my 150 pound person to suspend in the air.
Everything felt right to set up, even forgoing the rainfly tarp and camouflaged netting this time. A white-tailed deer ate some berries at a safe distance away, as we made eye contact and then carried on with our present tasks.
Somehow I managed to bust my lip open while tying a knot with the straps and my hand slipped. Note to self; don’t punch your jaw if you aren’t expecting it!
The marching band was practicing their upcoming show as instruments and loud speakers blared until dark out in the nearest parking lot. Everyone unaware that I am listening to their every note from the shadows of the trees within.
Using the sleeping pad and having the sleeping bag ready meant I crashed pretty hard and pretty quickly. Bedtime was effectively 9:30pm and stayed that way until 2:20 when my limbs became so numb from the awkward curved position. This was surely no tent.
A few more hours later and daylight began to break. Hunkering down meant getting out of there. I reemerged from the treeline as sunrise light blanketed over patches of the open field, and from here I took off home.
Off in the distance, part of the Cross Country runners were having morning practice, which harkened to my days of conditioning with the team when I was in high school.
For an overnight, I went back to school but for a different reason.
To hunker down and live life to the fullest.
Have you ever stealth camped? Got an absurd or funny story to share? Leave a comment down below or send me an email.