I'm stealth camping in Palmerton, PA and I'm gonna get busted. Here's why:
The morning started off great. I had been hiking all day in the rain with a guy and his 11 year old daughter (DR and Baby Blue). They were loads of fun and their joy of hiking was infectious. They made the heavy rain and our soaking wet packs seem like not such a big deal. We camped together at night and enjoyed some great conversation in the morning. They got going earlier than I did so I hiked alone today.
The trail took me across a 'Superfund Site'. This was an entire hillside that had been decimated by zinc mining in the early 1900's. The whole area had a weird vibe to it with fences and warning signs everywhere. It put me in a funky mood.
Then the trail twits and turns down the side of a very steep, rocky mountain and spills right out onto a super-busy highway (with no shoulder) that leads 1.5 miles into the city of Palmerton. There are plenty of hiker services here but they are very spread out. It was a long walk to the Dunkin Donuts to get a cup of coffee, an outlet to charge my phone and a wifi signal.
Today is Sunday so I can't get my re-supply box from the post office until tomorrow morning. Usually, this is no problem. I just find a place to stealth camp on the edge of town, hit the post office in the morning and get back to the trail. The problem with Palmerton is that there is no where to camp! People who know me know that I have an eagle-eye for great stealth camping spots but nothing here was looking good. I ended up hiking out to the edge of town and finding a spot on the banks of the Aquashicola Creek.
The vibe here is not good. I can hear lots of cars passing by and several people have walked past and seen me already. This makes for poor stealth camping but there really is no where else to go. I dare not hike the deadly highway back out of town because I'll just have to come back in tomorrow morning.
If I get busted - that is, if I'm asked to leave - I certainly will but that will ruin my streak of never having been caught. I will lose the title of the 'King of Stealth Camping'.
The question for the reader is: When is the last time you slept anywhere that wasn't on a comfortable bed behind a locked door? Leave a comment below and describe.
I'll post again to let you know how it turns out.
Good Lord my boots stink.