So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Sunday, September 7, 2014
Stealth boat camping
Every spring my whole family and quite a few of our friends would go on a weekend canoe trip. We'd pick a weekend in May, soon after the ice left the local lakes. Often we'd camp at nice little place that we called Mosquito Island. It was a really great site, except that most of the year the mosquitoes were unbearable. However, there's a few special days between when the ice leaves and the bugs come out to play. During those few golden days the weather is often pleasant, the water clear, and campsites were all empty.
There's something else about our annual camping trip. It was technically illegal. The backcountry campsites were not officially open. Of course, rules only mean something if there is someone willing to enforce them. Our group never left a mess and once we were gone there was no evidence we were even there.
The whole point of stealth camping is to avoid confrontation with anyone who'd take offense. We did that by camping off season. Sometimes that means setting up camp after dark and leaving before dawn. Maybe it's just a matter of dragging one's boat deep into the bushes so as not to be seen. There's a reason my canoe is a dark green.
Last winter we had a great time coastal sailing down coast of Florida. Our boat was small and we were able to anchor into some out of the way places. We were surprisingly legal, as far as I could tell. However, there's a lot of talk in Florida right now about eliminating a lot of the free boat anchorages. The wealthy property owners are not happy with controlling their land, they also want to control everything that happens on the water. Law enforcement people know who pay their wages so they've been known to harass boaters, even when they are legal.
My first reaction is: now how do I get around the restrictions? I can't help it. That's how I react to unjust and stupid laws. We plan on taking down the little boat I'm building so that'll be an advantage. It'll be shallow draft. That will allow us to get off the main channels. Maybe I'll paint it in such a way as to blend in with the mangroves. I've got some ideas on how to make this work. After all, I've been stealth camping for years.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.