Lifestyle

Your Handy Guide to Camping in Forbidden Places

Under the stars and under the radar

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Some years ago, when I lived in Flagstaff, Arizona, I answered a knock on the door of my house to find my buddy Bryan and a fellow I'm almost willing to swear was the backwoods character Gabby Johnson from Blazing Saddles. It seemed they'd been cut off by a wildfire from their unauthorized long-term camp at the head of Sycamore Canyon. Did I have any gear to loan them so they could squat elsewhere in the forest?

The two ended up living in one of my tents for a couple of months.

Several of my friends have been known to throw down a sleeping bag under the radar, often in a place or at a time that violates various regulations. But Bryan, a sometimes computer analyst who would work and live in town only long enough to top off his bank account before disappearing again into the wilderness, took it to a bit of an extreme. Technically, people are allowed to stay in many of the places he camped, but not for long enough to actually use the site as an address, as was his habit. It's hard to say whether he spent more time under a roof or under the sky.

Grand Canyon National Park is a common destination for stealth trips, since backpacking there requires permits that are restrictive as to time and location. Inspiration sometimes moves you at odd moments, especially when you're already camping on the north rim of the canyon on relatively unregulated Forest Service land. Since you generally have to apply for permits months ahead of time, a sudden yen for an overnight trip into the canyon itself is hard to satisfy on the spur of the moment—if you do things by the book.

Which we don't.

The key to getting away with stealth camping, especially when rangers are on the lookout for the likes of you, is keeping a low profile. When possible, my hiking partners and I limit ourselves to daypacks and what we can fit in them. That means little more than water, some cold food, and a very compact sleeping bag. It's actually excellent practice for shedding unnecessary junk and keeping the load light. And we're good at it: We've never gotten caught, and as far as I know none of our friends have either.

My wife and I actually had permits for one hike to Thunder River, for instance, but we ultimately didn't abide by them. Our destination was a spring that gushes from the north rim of the Grand Canyon before flowing all of a half-mile to the Colorado River. Not only is it a stunning site, but the cold water was a welcome relief when Wendy overheated on the trudge across Surprise Valley. (It's really frigging hot: Surprise!)

Our permitted camping area was a long hike from Thunder River, so we'd cached most of our gear before making the rest of the trip with minimal supplies. But by the time Wendy was cooled and recovered, the sun was setting and we had a long way to go to reach the tent. We stumbled along the trail by flashlight until the unmistakable maraca sound of annoyed rattlesnakes echoed through the dark around us. The reptiles had crept out to warm themselves on the heat the rocks had soaked up from the sun, and they didn't fancy serving as stepping stones for tardy hikers. So rather than further anger the venomous neighbors, we lay down right there to join the slumber party. We actually slept pretty well, after the adrenaline surge subsided.

For better-planned and better-equipped outings that include some need for shelter, I stuff a lightweight tarp and bug net in my pack. Forest green in color, the tarp blends into most situations—to the point where I've set it up and then walked right past it wondering where I put the thing. The next morning, the tarp and net pack down smaller than a loaf of bread. That makes the shelter unobtrusive both when set up and when you're doing your best to not look like you're searching for a place to make camp.

These skills aren't just helpful when you're planning to break the rules. They're useful when you don't know what your plans might be, or when you actually want to do things aboveboard but can't find anybody—say, on an Indian reservation—willing and authorized to do the paperwork. And sometimes you're just not entirely sure how friendly the locals might be, and don't care to find out the hard way.

As unnoticed as I might try to be, though, I never could beat my buddy Bryan for staying below the radar. It's hard to outdo a guy for whom a campsite was less a destination than a preferred abode.

"You carry too much crap," he told me once. And then he rolled up on the ground in a blanket and went to sleep.

NEXT: Montana Libertarian Mark Wicks, Who Got 6 Percent Against the GOP's Gianforte, Believes the L.P. Must Focus More on State and Local Races

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  1. Our permitted camping area was a long hike from Thunder River, so we’d cached most of our gear before making the rest of the trip with minimal supplies. But by the time Wendy was cooled and recovered, the sun was setting and we had a long way to go to reach the tent. We stumbled along the trail by flashlight until the unmistakable maraca sound of annoyed rattlesnakes echoed through the dark around us. The reptiles had crept out to warm themselves on the heat the rocks had soaked up from the sun, and they didn’t fancy serving as stepping stones for tardy hikers. So rather than further anger the venomous neighbors, we lay down right there to join the slumber party. We actually slept pretty well, after the adrenaline surge subsided.

    My God.

    1. Yeah. This seems dumb. People give off heat.

      1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

        This is what I do… http://www.webcash10.com

  2. Unregulated camping. Dear God, man!

    1. Unregulated camping will lead to the demise of civilization as we know it!!! Something must be done NOW!!!

      1. He could write a sequel!

      2. At least he didn’t fly a drone across a Japanese tourist group taking selfies on some protruding South Rim rock.

      3. Demise of civilization? Nah.

        Demise of a given environment, ecosystem, and hiking area? Yep. If you want to climb Mt. Whitney these days you have to get a permit way ahead of time and carry a WAG bag. Why? Because so many people were walking the trail that it was eroding the mountain, and they were leaving their shit everywhere. Literally.

        So sure, civilization may have been dandy as candy without regulations on how many can hike Mt. Whitney and what they have to do, but it was very apparent that Mt. Whitney’s ecosystem, paths, and formations wouldn’t.

        And that’s the part these guys are ignoring. Like every warning you’ve ever seen on an appliance, they aren’t really aimed at the people that are doing things right to start with. They’re there to deter those who would ruin it for the rest of us.

        1. Once again, too many freakin people (on the planet and in any one place).

    2. He’s a monster. What’s he doin’ to mah national parks?

  3. Damn freebooters ripping off us taxpayers ;-).

    1. My good tax money is going to rangers to keep these curmudgeons out of muh national parks and here he is kickin’ sand in muh eyes. Gonna report him to reason.

  4. I just realized there’s a potential pun and/or invite in that title.

    What say a bunch of us showed up at his door someday. You think he’d show us the way?

  5. My gut reaction was to be offended that these free spirits feel free to flout regulations that might be intended to protect fragile environments or heritage sites. For example; the Nazca Lines in Peru have been damaged by decades of New Age/UFO enthusiasts tramping over them, and are now strictly off limits. Then I realized that the problem is the very idea of public lands, beyond a very limited amount needed for roads, military bases, and so on. Want to protect the Nazca lines? Buy the land. Want to protect the Grand Canyon? Work up a consortium and pay for the privilege.

    1. The tips offered in the article would work just as well for surreptitious camping on private land as they do on public. As for your plan to sell the Grand Canyon off to Arabs and Chinese in order to ‘protect’ it, I just don’t think it’s gonna fly. Not until they’ve harvested all the bear gall bladders, owl eyes, stag penises that such wilderness areas have on offer.

      1. mtrueman|5.28.17 @ 11:36AM|#
        “As for your plan to sell the Grand Canyon off to Arabs and Chinese in order to ‘protect’ it, I just don’t think it’s gonna fly.”

        As for your constant stream of bullshit, it doesn’t fly.
        Fuck off.

        1. “As for your constant stream of bullshit, it doesn’t fly.”

          Mixed metaphor. You have no business expecting a constant stream of bullshit to fly. You can do better. Until then, fuck off.

          1. You have no business expecting a constant stream of bullshit to fly.

            Um, when it is from you, yes we do.

      2. The thing is, the notion of National Parks resonates. People like the idea of Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon. But A) the government really doesn’t do a very good job of protecting the sites and B) very few people have any real idea just how MANY ‘National Parks’ there are, or what they cost.

        Maybe we could how a national referendum. Put up a list of ‘National Parks’ ‘National Monuments’ and so forth, and ask everybody to vote ‘love it’ ‘saw it once’ or ‘never heard of it?’. Anything that gets a majority vote of ‘never heard of it?’ gets sold off.

        1. Have you thought this through, or are you just mindlessly cheerleading for selling off public property? According to your previous comment, it is the most beloved public parks, like Nascar, that are in most need of protection (being sold to the Chinese and Arabs.)

          1. See above:
            Fuck off.

            1. Why so hostile on this fine Sunday morning? Is it the retardation that bothers you?

              1. Your stupidity is easy to despise.

                1. Easier still: composing and posting your inane responses.

          2. Pinnacles National Monument seems like the kind of place we don’t really need to fund.

        2. the government really doesn’t do a very good job of protecting the sites

          Compared to what? Compared to other natural wonders like Chesapeake Bay or the Mississippi River delta or the Appalachians or the Cuyahoga River or the 30 million bison that used to wander the Plains or the forest that used to stretch from the Atlantic to the Mississippi?

          very few people have any real idea just how MANY ‘National Parks’ there are, or what they cost.

          And everything about this statement is a major part of the problem. Americans do not have the slightest concept of land as usufruct. To Americans it is simply full property (usus, fructus, and abusus) that ‘costs something’ or can ‘make a profit’ if sold and is no different from a hamburger or a piece of machinery. And ‘federal property’ is just something that is far away and irrelevant.

          I certainly think there are plenty of problems with ‘government’ as the intergenerational guarantor against abusus. But I’ll be damned if I can see an alternative – and there is ZERO possibility than any individual or private association can do that (and esp not with debt financing).

          1. New Mexico or Arizona turned their state parks over to a private company. Visitors increased, satisfaction increased, and they made a good profit. As I remember, the attributed it to two things:

            Government sets the budget out of thin air. Park management is actually incentivized to decrease visitors, since they have no way to get more money to handle more visitors. They have no interest in making visitors happier, since they would just come back and spread the word and increase patronage.

            Private businesses seeking a profit will go out of their way to make the place better, which very much means no McDonalds in the wilderness; the entrance parking lot, maybe, but it all depends on what visitors suggest and are happiest with. The more visitors, the more profits, and the more budget to make visitors happy.

            Reason had a writeup on it.

            1. I assume AZ and NM turned management of the parks over to private interests and not ownership.

              1. Probably, but I doubt there’s much practical difference, since long term goals remain the same.

                Just as loggers don’t clear cut forests and sell the bare land. Farmers, ranchers, lots and lots of examples of private owners being good stewards.

                Only statists are so deluded as to think that private property is heinous and property owners want to destroy their property.

                1. I think I’m OK with private management of a publicly owned resource like a park just so we can be assured that the public continues to have access to those areas. If some multi-billionaire bought Zion or Yosemite because he wanted to make it free to the public and then on his death his “environmentalist” (read misanthropic) heir used his or her inheritance to seal that area off from people forever that would be a terrible thing IMHO.

                  1. You are fantasizing abut things which don’t happen.

                    Why would someone take such a valuable property and seal it off?

                    You’ve got to get out of this attitude. It’s the same fear statists use to justify State control. No matter how unlikely something is, we must use State coercion to protect against it. Never mind that said State coercion ends up doing farmore harm on a daily basis than the once-in-a-zillion possibility that they protect against.

                    The people who do such irrational things aren’t rational to acquire such valuable things. It just doesn’t happen.

                    1. i’m not sure how much “coercion” there is to the state having title to a park and then granting an operating license to a private entity for something like $1 a year.

                      Let competing companies present plans based on what they would offer to the public for certain admission fees and have an independent commission award the contract on a recurring basis (every x years).

                      In any event you didn’t address the particulars of what I said-the irrational person didn’t have to do anything to acquire the property other than be someone’s heir. Why does Katrina Van Den Heuvel use her inheritance to try to promote socialism? It isn’t rational, but she clearly has priorities other than protecting value.

                      This is the kind of libertarian purity test that used to get kicked around in the comments here-most of the commentariat aren’t An-Caps and see some limited role for the state. Allowing a private company to run a publicly owned resource would be a huge improvement over what we have now, but the perfect must perpetually be the enemy of the good.

                    2. Why would someone take such a valuable property and seal it off?

                      Because that is EXACTLY what full (usus, fructus, AND abusus) property rights in land enables one to do. Farmers can drain half the Ogalalla Aquifer over the last 30 years because they CAN. They don’t give a shit about what happens when it drains completely because – in the long run, we are all dead. We can pollute rivers and spew crap into the air and destroy soil – because we CAN. The pricing system has no mechanism to price anything intergenerationally. If we destroy the land, it cannot be replaced – unlike machinery. So that is a theft from future generations – THAT CANNOT BE PRICED.

                      This is not some support for statism. Governments that act at behest of voters are just as likely to create ‘abusus’ (see $20 trillion in public debt) as for-profits acting at behest of shareholders. What is appalling however is the blindness of market advocates who don’t even see the issue and who think everything can be priced under our current legal system without any problem at all.

                    3. Sorry to burst your statist bubble. The world is NOT full of evil scheming people who everyone needs to be protected from by the elite nannies. Grow up, get some meds, do whatever you need to do, but stop pretending the world needs nannies to protect everybody form everybody else.

                    4. The world is NOT full of evil scheming people who everyone needs to be protected from by the elite nannies.

                      Never said that was the case. But the world is absolutely EMPTY of privately created wildernesses and I’m sure there has never been a law anywhere that prohibits people from creating a wilderness on their own in say New Jersey – Exit 54 Wildlife and Scenic View Park.

                      So it is purely dishonest to pretend that this is a product that the market can create from scratch like hamburgers. This is not an argument for statism. It is an acknowledgment that NATURE exists and that it precedes both man and govt. That we can destroy it but we can’t create it. If we CAN create it that ability is entirely hypothetical because we never have done so. All we can do is preserve what was previously created so that future generations are born with the opportunity to see it too – but we sure as hell can’t do that by assigning the legal right to destroy it (that is abusus) to an individual. No matter how noble their proclaimed intentions.

                    5. The world is EMPTY of privately created wildernesses? Is your world also EMPTY of the politically created type? How are you defining wilderness? Any piece of property where nature is left alone to be wild is a wilderness. And some of the best and most successful kinds have indeed had no trespassing signs around them.

                    6. ” that future generations are born with the opportunity to see it too”

                      I don’t think Libertarians will appreciate your attempt to diminish their property rights. Your future generations argument holds no water here, as future generations don’t have the ability to sue in court. ‘No legal standing,’ is, I believe, the technical legal term. I guess an alternative would be to grant rights to the land itself, and I think this was recently done in a South American country, but I doubt Libertarians would be any more likely to support this.

                    7. “Why would someone take such a valuable property and seal it off?”

                      Privacy?

                    8. This is exactly what happened leading up to the French Revolution. Large chunks of arable land cordoned off as game preserves.

                  2. Every single piece of “public”land that is not open to the public for any use at all or forbids the public its traditional access and uses (wilderness,roadless area,”protected”,entry by permit only,entry by govt employees only,etc) is virtually the same as this misanthropic fictitious scenario. Except for being even worse as there is the rhetorical protection that this fig leaf of alleged public ownership gives the arrangement as well as the complete exemption from locally imposed or indeed any property taxes whatsoever being imposed on the owners,managers or rulers of these fiefdoms (I am not sure which term is the most accurate here). Which soon lead us to other problems of the predictable and the easily foreseen sort.

                    1. I agree there are huge problems with the existing situation. I live in the West and see both the problems and the magnificence every day. I truly don’t know what the solution is. But I know what it isn’t. And what it isn’t is pretty much everything that makes it into public discussion – and in particular every ideological brain fart and obsession that we bipedal apes are so fond of.

                      If that means I have to be willing to forego making decisions that will, without question, be permanent/forever – and just leave things as they are for my/your grandchildren to maybe be better at making those – well that’s OK by me. Because ultimately that’s what I get when I go to those areas – a massive dose of humility and a strong sense that it ain’t either yours or mine. It’s WAY beyond that.

      3. Well, that’s certainly true in theory. And Tuccille strikes me as the type of guy who would treat “no trespassing ” signs on private land with the same regard as he treats “no camping” signs on public land.

        But there’s also what I call the “wilderness effect”, which happens when the .gov marks off a big chunk of public land and declares it a national park or monument or wilderness area. If the intent is to “protect” the land from development or excessive visitation, then it usually fails dramatically.

        You’ll see the same thing happen in the new Bear’s Ears NM (assuming Trump and Congress let it stay). One of the stated purposes of the monument is to “protect” “fragile” Indian dwellings and artifacts from human impact; what will happen is that visitation in the area will jump dramatically.

        Every outdoorsy hipster between LA and Long Island will flood into the area, looking for a “wilderness experience”, and will end up doing more damage than if it was left as an obscure “unprotected” blob of public land on the map.

        1. The impact of most traffic to national parks and monuments is minimal outside of a thin zone surrounding all the roads. These areas are being more and more geared towards being drive through experiences, simply because that is how the large majority of the public uses them. Go to any national park and get on a trail. About two miles away from the road, the foot traffic dwindles to almost nothing.

      4. There aren’t enough owl penises (penii?) and stag bladders in theses places to justify spending billions or trillions for the rights to chase them down. Hell there aren’t even enough of them around to pay your annual property tax bill. Which will come due every year and is set by the local state and county governments. If you lock up all the resources, antagonize and lock out all the locals, create no jobs or industries on your valuable land or from its resources, and start some idiotic burn and rape business plan – What do you imagine your property tax rate will be set at?

      5. What’s wrong with arabs or Chinese owning parks in the US?

    2. If they had relied on private business to protect the Nazca lines they would have been gone a long time ago. Nothing wrong with limited national parks, and limited government.

      1. Another closet statist who doesn’t understand the role of profits. Any private entity which owned that land would go out of their way to maximize visitation and preservation, otherwise it would be just ordinary land.

        Yellowstone and Yosemite are wonderful examples. Any private company owning those areas would do their damnedest to keep them that way, because they aren’t worth much else. Maybe some pasture use, but they’d gain so little that it wouldn’t make up for the loss from driving away backpackers. They might put in a few vacation homes or lodges, but they’d do their best to keep them hidden and unobtrusive; most of the appeal for homes there is the surroundings, and they’d be a terrible subdevelopment, being so far away, so hard to get too, and ruined by the sight of so much civilization. Roads? Kinda doubt it; they’d ruin everything else for a net loss.

        1. “because they aren’t worth much else”

          You think that only because you are not a business man or property developer. Think Nazca can’t be improved? Think again. A few shrubs, some landscaping, maybe even a pond…

          1. Strange how long they lasted without government protection.

            1. They’ve probably enjoyed some form of government protection – tribal, religious, national – since the aliens came to put them there. I doubt they’ve ever been turned over to a private real estate developer, as you would have it.

            2. I never understood why anarcho-capitalists claim that there would be no such thing as public property without monopolized law enforcement and adjudication.

        2. Any private entity which owned that land would go out of their way to maximize visitation and preservation, otherwise it would be just ordinary land.

          Any private entity which owned that land would turn it into condos or strip mine it the second those usages created more short-term profits than ‘visitation’ or ‘preservation’. That property right is called abusus – and is the reason that you have the right to drive a taxi or operate machinery/tools until they break.

          Any private company owning those areas (Yellowstone and Yosemite) would do their damnedest to keep them that way, because they aren’t worth much else.

          Yellowstone is only ‘worthless’ because the entire area is depopulated and the federal govt avoids creating infrastructure. But build infrastructure – and drillbabydrill the geothermal – and hey presto the land will be very valuable because people will move to Wyoming.

          Federal land in Wyoming is the same size as Bangladesh/Tunisia/Greece – population near that land is less than Gibraltar. Privatize it and it would be the biggest real estate crony scam in history. No private entity could resist the short-term profits from that property ownership right of ‘abusus’. Hell the federal govt couldn’t even judge how much ‘abusus’ would occur with a new owner since it imposes its own intergenerational abusus ($20 trillion in public debt).

          1. The first of many assumptions that this line of reasoning relies on is this. A private individual or group will somehow acquire, for next to nothing and with no inputs of labor or risk on their part, a valuable piece of property that can easily and immediately be “flipped” at great profit. What this is describing is not the way things are ordinarily valued or priced in any free market that has ever existed. This is how cronies are rewarded under heavily regulated markets or economic fascism. One does not buy for 1M a property worth 1M with 10M worth of timber thrown in for free, which can immediately and effortlessly be harvested and sold at a profit. This seems to be how statists think things work in the real world. In reality a property worth 1M bare with 10M of timber on it is valued somewhere in the neighborhood of 11M. Therefore this type of “abusus” doesn’t seem to be so common as you would imply since paying 11M for something that gives us a pre-tax profit of say 7M and leaves us with a property now actually valued at say .5M by the market is not the kind of a trade that creates much in the way of wealth for those attempting it.

            1. “What this is describing is not the way things are ordinarily valued or priced in any free market that has ever existed.”
              But it is describing how transfers of land from government to private owners has happened over the last two hundred years in America. It’s also describing what the “give state land back to the states” folks want to happen.

              1. Again what you are describing is not “transfers of land from government to individuals” but legal title to land that presumably from their own first occupation and use and the admixture of their own labor and time these individuals already owned in every other sense but lacked legal title to. For why this might be important for breaking free of the Neo-Feudalist ruts that every 3rd world hellhole is stuck in read “The Mystery of Capital” by Hernando De Soto. Also there is nothing more idiotic than confusing concepts like “Full Statehood” and “Equal Footing” with some non sequitur like “give state land back to the states”. Whatever in the fuck that is supposed to mean.

          2. Any private entity which owned that land would turn it into condos or strip mine it the second those usages created more short-term profits than ‘visitation’ or ‘preservation’.

            There are many kinds of “private entities” in addition to for-profit businesses: trusts, non-profits, individual ownership, easements, etc. Those other kinds of private entities often do an excellent job at conservation, and they tend to be longer lasting and more stable than any political arrangement.

            In fact, while the national parks in the US went directly from native Americans to the US government, that’s not been the rule elsewhere.

            Also, see Dilligaf’s point below.

      2. If they had relied on private business to protect the Nazca lines they would have been gone a long time ago. Nothing wrong with limited national parks, and limited government.

        I have no idea what a “private business” would do. But history shows that a private conservation organization would be a far better protector of those treasures than any government.

    3. Um. We did that. We voted to collect taxes and preserve certain locations.

  6. OT
    The world is a better place today:
    “Jacque Fresco, futurist who envisioned cashless society, dies”
    […]
    “Jacque Fresco, a self-taught and passionate industrial designer who envisioned an alternative society where money would be eliminated and resources distributed equitably by computers, died May 18 in Sebring, Fla. He was 101.
    […]
    “I would like to see an end to war, poverty and unnecessary human suffering,” he said in an interview on his website. “But I can’t see it in a monetary-based system where the richest nations control most of the world’s resources….”
    http://www.sfgate.com/nation/a…..177599.php

    Apparently not too well “self-taught”. He seems to have missed that horrible 75-year experiment on the population of Russia.

    1. Having worked 45 years in the computer field, he was absolutely nuts!!
      On the other hand, if I was the one programming the ‘equitable’ distribution into the computer, it would really rock – – –

    2. “He seems to have missed that horrible 75-year experiment on the population of Russia.”

      You seem to have missed that thing they call the rooble. For a 4 year cashless experiment try Democratic Kampuchea.

      1. Word salads from trueman; nothing new there.

        1. Sorry about that. Democratic Kampuchea = Pol Pot, brother number one in the only experiment in a cashless society I’m familiar with.

          1. mtrueman|5.28.17 @ 12:53PM|#
            “Sorry about that. Democratic Kampuchea = Pol Pot, brother number one in the only experiment in a cashless society I’m familiar with.”

            More inanity. Why is no one surprised?

            1. I have a small collection of banknotes printed in China for DK but never put into circulation until Hun Sen and his revisionists came along. Less colourful than today’s riel, they’re not all that different from the ones in my collection. They have lots of pictures of guerrilla fighters armed with various weapons, but also the national treasures (Angkor Wat), rice fields, plenty of those, along with scenes of factories and generating stations, white-coated youngsters with test tubes etc. While it lasted, DK was a cashless society.

              1. I have a small collection of banknotes printed in China for DK

                Why does this not surprise me?
                Not one fucking bit.

                1. Soviet Russia was not an experiment in a cashless society. How’s that for a surprise?

    3. My mother has dementia and says some pretty crazy stuff. Perhaps I will be polite from now on and call her a “futurist”.

    4. The Soviet Union tried this, complete with using computers for “distributing resources equitably”.

      Futurism, socialism, progressivism, and fascism are largely interchangeable.

      May Jacque Fresco rot in hell, where he belongs.

  7. Hardly forbidden; as ‘the public’ he owns the damn place.
    Just tell the bureaucrats who have never been there to stick their heads back into the computer porn at work, and leave you alone. That way everybody has a happy ending.

    1. He is not “the public”. He is one member of the public.

      Partial ownership of land does not entitle one to unilaterally decide how it will be used.

      1. Why not? Why can’t people rock climb on Delicate Arch? Or cook their dinners in Emerald Pool? Or feed the bears if they want to?

        Stuffy Park Service and their dumb bureaucratic rules….

        1. They can’t feed the bears because it makes the bears more aggressive toward other people.

      2. Members of the public do not own “public” land, anymore than people in turf controlled by the mafia own mafia meetinghouses, and for precisely the same reason.

        Protection money and what is bought with it belong to the mafia or government collecting those coerced exactions.

      3. Members of the public do not own “public” land, anymore than people in turf controlled by the mafia own mafia meetinghouses, and for precisely the same reason.

        Protection money and what is bought with it belong to the mafia or government collecting those coerced exactions.

      4. Partial ownership of land does not entitle one to unilaterally decide how it will be used.

        You’re right: it’s unelected bureaucrats, powerful politicians, and their donors and lobbyists that get to decide unilaterally how public lands are used.

  8. CA doubles-down on free shit:

    “California bill would force utilities to give rebates for energy-storage systems”
    […]
    “A bill that recently won state Senate committee approval would make California the first state to require utilities to dole out rebates to customers who install energy storage systems.”
    http://www.computerworld.com/a…..stems.html

    Yep, after ‘priming the pump’ to get the solar power industry going (for, oh, 30 years or so; it’s a slow starter), now we’ll try handing out money for batteries.
    CA has so much, doncha know. Those Jackson orchards are having a banner year!

    1. You have to admit that it is a more efficient socialism. The money is redistributed directly from the pocket of the disfavored entity into the pocket of the favored entity, without an intermediate stop in the state treasury.

      1. The money is redistributed directly from the pocket of the disfavored entity into the pocket of the favored entity, without an intermediate stop in the state treasury.

        Sorry to break it to you, but a lot of real socialism actually works that way: if money flows through the state’s coffers, all the intermediates want their cut. That’s why in real socialism, connections and secrets make you powerful and wealthy.

    2. It’s interesting to contemplate the future of these energy “rebates” Same thing as feeding excess home-grown electricity back into he net and PG&E has to pay your for it, at the most expensive price they pay for electricity. It means that people without the capital to finance expensive solar panels, or willing to let Solar City and others do it for a lion’s share of the profit, end up subsidizing the rich who can afford their own solar panels or don’t mind making Elon Musk even richer.

      As it runs its course and more people sign up for the subsidy, there are fewer and fewer people to pay the subsidy, rates have to go up, increasing the disparity, and eventually it collapses. Imagine the extreme case where everybody is signed up and there’s nobody left to pay the subsidy. Either they drop the subsidy, leaving Elon Musk and all those solar panel suckers high and dry, or they pay the subsidy out of taxes.

      I can guess which way that goes. I doubt Elon Musk would turn down yet another government boondoggle.

    3. And they’ll raise taxes on regular power users to pay for the subsidies. Crazy crazy commi californi

    1. I remember his story — the fake hermit who stole food, clothing, etc so he could live away from society. Sounds like proggies are the only ones not able to see the fakery.

      1. He was a real hermit. He was also a professional thief.

        1. A hermit who wanted to be away from society yet depended upon society for food and clothing?

          Not so real after all.

          1. You can tell a real hermit from his green, waxy skin.

            1. Kermit the Hermit,
              Went a-courtin’,
              With a sword and a pistol,
              By his side,
              Ah-hum, a-hum,
              Kermit the Hermit,
              Went a-courtin’,
              With a sword and a pistol,
              By his side,
              Ah-hum, a-hum,
              (Please fill in the rest, my brain hurts, I’ve had too much to dream today).

          2. I don’t see a contraction there. He did eschew contact with other people. That makes him a hermit. He was also a thief.

  9. 1. I have a friend who does something similar in the computer field; he builds up enough money so he can go on extended vacation all over the world. He’s been doing it for over 30 years.

    2. When I used to do long distance trips on my motorcycle, I carried a small one person tent that I could pitch off the road if I needed a place to crash. In 10 years of doing that, I was only woken once by a state trooper who just said as long as I was gone by 8 am he had no problem; after that was a new shift and some of those guys and I quote, “were pricks”!

    1. Doesn’t have to be computers; self employed as a consultant gives all the freedom in the world.
      Free to take off whenever you want, as long as you ‘want’ when you have a pile of money.
      Free to work for a lot less than you really want, if the money is not there.

      Best deal ever was a couple I knew who were both very good programmers. They bought a beachfront condo and rented it out six months of the ‘season’ while they both worked a contract with living expenses included. Then they took a six month vacation to the condo. After 10 years of this the condo was paid for by the renters, their retirement account was funded, and they sold the condo for a bigger house away from the tourists. They would take a short term contract any time they wanted to go on a cruise or something that expensive. The rest of the time, they lived the easy life.

      1. The real secret to an early retirement is not having kids.

        1. And have extraordinarily good luck so that you never experience any misfortune that causes you to go broke and have to start over again before retirement age.

  10. Ahh, news I can use. Thanks!

  11. Your Handy Guide to Camping in Forbidden Places

    Don’t bother being unnoticed, just give a few million dollars in campaign contributions to “environmentalist politicians”, or a few thousand dollars in bribes to the bureaucrats responsible for administering “our” public lands, and you will get a free pass any time you like. That’s the way it works in progressive or socialist societies.

  12. Please obey all rules and regulations. After all, we must be protected from ourselves.

  13. They allow this in Sweden, just about everywhere. In Sweden they have a “right of public access” that allows you to camp pretty much in anyone’s front yard if you want to for up to one day without permission.

  14. I spent a solid year hitchhiking around the country, and camping where I could find a spot where I wouldn’t be disturbed. Doesn’t have to be a park. Just a stand of tall grass next to a highway, the top of a hill where no one can see, or a bunch of shrubbery no one can see through. Parks were more of a problem, since they have people out actively looking for trespassers.

  15. What type of flashlight use for camping? I am using the tactical flashlight from https://tacticalflashlightguide.com/ fenix. What’s about yours?

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