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?!?”
It’s a right, not a privilege
I believe that it is every human being’s nature-given right to sleep without having to pay for the privilege.
Some would consider the idea delusional, delinquent, idealistic or impossible. But believing it acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Conviction is the first thing you need on the journey to the as-yet-unknown place where you’ll rest your head.
I mean anywhere
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. It was difficult and stressful – at first. But soon, the realisation that it was not only possible but actually easy 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.
The initial power to do this came from stubbornness of character. I refused outright to even consider paid accommodation. I didn’t think about it, therefore it didn’t exist. (I was a real expert in stubbornness!)
If an average hostel in Europe costs ~10 EUR a night, my first four months would have cost an extra 1,200 EUR (on top of my 4.7 EUR-per-day food budget) – about 20% of what I thought was my entire round-the-world trip budget for several years! Compare that to 150-200 EUR for a good-quality lightweight tent and the numbers speak for themselves.
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.
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