Tenting in Northern California

The big question.
Where to sleep?

This one keeps me awake at night. Like really. Yesterday evening I was listening to how to wild camp and I saw myself sitting alone at night in a forest and peeing my pants. Hearing sounds, imagining the worst. Usually I listen podcasts about serial killers to fall a sleep. So my repertoire how bad could look like is gigantic.

Long story short. I would love to say that I just camp wherever I find a good slot. But I can't. At least not now. I will need to get comfortable with the idea and slowly ease in, ideally with some companions. But it will happen. In the meantime I'm figuring out some alternatives.

Camping on Mount Tam

My little tent on Mount Tam in Northern California. I do camp. As well in relative remote parts. But on designated spots.

Bike touring through Europe for a whole year and more. One thing is clear, spending every night in a hotel is clearly out of budget. And doesn't sound too much fun either. Therefore I have some alternatives that I'm going to try out. All options are listed in order of preference, at least for the time being.

  • Getting hosted
  • Camping on campgrounds or private land
  • Hostel, AirBnb or hotel
  • Wild camping

Getting hosted

That's obvious. In a perfect world I would always sleep at a friends place and in places by friends of friends. But I don't have so many friends. And it might take away from the adventure a bit, as I would mainly meet people similiar-ish to me. Nevertheless, if you read that and feel like hosting me, I would love that. You can reach me on Instagram, mail or facebook.

But there's another option. I was very excited when I stumbled upon: Warmshowers. The idea here is that people who need a place to sleep and people who have a place to offer are connecting. I think that's such a beautiful idea. People helping people without any commercial thoughts is truly beautiful and in general I would love to see that happening a lot more. At the moment, for obvious reasons, I can't host but plan to do so in the future. It's quite fun to meet people from all ways of life. In a way it's a bit like traveling yourself.

So far I have not stayed with anybody, tour has not started yet. But for a planned trip last summer I reached out to some people and they were all super welcoming. Very much looking forward to that.

Camping on campgrounds or private land

I'm bringing my tent and all shenanigans needed to camp. I want to use it! And while I'm still a bit hesitant regarding wild camping I need to look for alternatives. Regular camp grounds could be one thing, even though I'm not a big fan of them, specially if there are many RVs.

But once I'm rolling and once it's getting a bit warmer I'll be looking to find some nice once and will share updates.

Another alternative is private land where I could camp, obviously asking first. I thought that was an excellent idea, today somebody told me that they would never do it though, as usually you'd want to get away from people and not to them. Well, let's see. I believe like with all things the most important part is to listen to your gut and see whether it feels right.

Hostel, AirBnb or hotel

An obvious one. I'm going to use it for sure. More in the beginning and hopefully less once I'm in full tour mode. But even once I'm used to wild camping, I quite certainly spoil myself with a hotel room and a bathtub.

Wild camping

The dream and nightmare all at once. I'll keep you posted.

Last update: 14. December 2023
Possibly of interest
Mood: happy :)