The initial power to do this came from stubbornness of character.
I refused outright to even consider paid accommodation.
Since then, practice has made almost-perfect, and there’s nowhere I’ve not managed to find a free spot to rest at night – whether by traditional wild-camping means or otherwise.
If you’re unsure about your surroundings, stop and talk to people.
Obviously the amount of time you need will depend to a large extent on where you are – sometimes you’ll be spoilt for choice, but if you’re not in a particularly remote area, chances are you’ll need to ride for a while before you find the beach/spinney/pastureland you’re looking for.
If you’re in a busy area, scout a little, have dinner, then sneak off the road to your camping spot under cover of darkness.
In four months of cycling from England to Turkey, across all of Western and Eastern Europe, I spent a total of five nights in paid accommodation. But soon, the realisation that it was not only possible but actually became a source of liberation.
Since then, I’ve spent half a decade relying on the wild camp for overnighting during my travels on four continents.
It’s that time again – another ‘how-to’ sharing the essential tools of the adventure cycle-touring trade.
This time I’m going to deal with what is often a stressful thought for every rider: “Where the hell I am going to sleep tonight?!?
Now, of course, we’ve slaughtered or contained the man-eating wildlife and have (mostly) got used to living in each other’s company, so it’s safe to chill out.
I’ve been hiding my tent just out of sight of roads all over four continents for months on end and have never encountered anything more than an invitation to come and sleep somewhere warmer and/or enjoy a glass or two of the local tipple (oh, and a black bear in Washington – no big deal).
Other colours will get you by as well, just not as stealthily.