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What is stealth camping?

Stealth camping, or hidden camping, is a new trend, which, however, can already boast some successes. It is roughly … hidden camping.

What is stealth camping?

Stealth camping, or hidden camping, consists in setting up a camp, usually for one night, in a place that may not necessarily be associated with camping.

Stealth camping comes from vanlife and requires spending the night in an unusual place. The thing is that you cannot sleep in the car or camp everywhere. In some countries, sleeping in the car may result in police checks and an order to leave / go home etc. The law is not always favorable to people for whom sleeping in a car is not a one-time necessity (e.g. a breakdown), but rather something like an extreme sport.

Stealth camping also assumes that you do not always camp in a place where camping is allowed, e.g. in a park, in a green area between expressways or on a large, forested roundabout (specialty in the UK). That’s why it’s so important to go unnoticed. Camouflage techniques such as camouflage nets, little light and mostly no fire are used for this purpose.

Pioneer and legend

The man who made stealth camping popular is Canadian Steve Wallis. His YouTube channel has over 816,000 subscribers. In ten years, Steve has made well over 200 films, a large part of which is devoted to hidden camping.

In his case, it also started with vanlife and intensified a few years ago when Steve made his documentary Boondocking, which shows the lifestyle of people who live in vans and often spend the night outdoors. At the same time, he developed the film series “Camping with Steve”, in which – apart from traditional forest camps and longer trips – there were more and more frequent trips for the night to some strange place, eg behind a roadside billboard.

Steve’s films fascinate and inspire more followers around the world. Stealth camping does not require organizing a big trip. It could literally be an exit to the park, two streets from where you live. This gives you a lot of possibilities. It opens your eyes!

Stealth Camping Alliance

The use of the word “follower” can be harmful. Not everyone who practices stealth camping today began by staring at Steve Wallis’s exploits. A peculiar “club” or association known as Stealth Camping Alliance, which can be found under the hashtag #stealthcampingalliance on YouTube or Facebook, is becoming more and more popular.

These are youtubers who practice stealth camping, from different parts of the world, who agree on challenges – for example, the January challenge was camping in such a way that there were tracks or a train in the film. The films were released around a similar time, so stealth camping fans were given a few hours of footage to watch in one evening. The challenges are selected (by lot or by proposal) by selected members of the alliance.

Outsiders

People who camp in the city are people with a very unusual passion, typical outsiders. It is surprising, that a community is being formed among them. But not everyone wants to be members of this community at all costs. We also have outsiders among outsiders. Steve Wallis is not yet part of the Stealth Camping Alliance. Kevin from Small Plots is a complete original with a standout attitude and humor. Although he had a very successful cooperation with another camper – Sam Bananas. In Australia, we have a guy named Jordo from Where’s Jordo Wally. He goes camping in various configurations, also in hiding. There is also Billy from offcamping – a man from the UK. He lives in a van, sleeps under a tarp, often at the aforementioned roundabouts.

There are also many, many others worth observing to follow their creativity, more or less related to stealth camping. Naturally, all roads lead to Steve Wallis – you have to get there after all.

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