Have you had any trouble Free Camping

Gunnedah Galahs
On a roll
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:25 am
Location: Gunnedah NSW

Have you had any trouble Free Camping

Post by Gunnedah Galahs » Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:58 am

There are a lot of stories out there of free campers having trouble with all kinds of things happening to them to stop them from free camping again.
What I want to know is, is there anyone with real actual experience of something happening to them first hand. I don't want to know about the brother of Uncle Joe's first wife.
What sort of bad experience did you have?
Were you actually threatened or was it perceived?
Were you in eminent danger of being attacked?
Did you have something stolen from in your van?
Was something stolen which was left outside your van?
Etc, Etc.

I have been free camping for years with a roof top tent all over Australia and only twice have we been annoyed by loud mouthed young people who were inconsiderate of other people in the area and played loud music and drank until they couldn't stand up. We packed up and moved on to avoid them. We were not threatened by them, just cranky and upset that we could not get the peace and quiet we wanted.

I believe that there are not too many incidents out there, but a lot of tails that get a little embellished over time. Let me know your direct experience please.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
La Vista Majorca Gold
Ford Territory

BrettAltea
Avid poster
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:28 am
Location: Southern Melbourne
Contact:

Post by BrettAltea » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:16 am

This is my most frustrating experience I had. It was at Murrindindee Scenic Reserve on Melbourne Cup Day 2008 (before the fires). This is my trip report from the visit:

First of all I have to say it was one of the best places I have been to. It was only 100km away which was great and cost only $5 a night.

We left at 6:40pm last Wednesday night. I wanted to wait until the morning as I don't like going to new places in the dark however got out voted by wife and kids. As my GPS had recently been stolen whilst at friends house in Carlton we had to rely on good old fashioned navigating. To aid in this I printed off directions from Google maps. Unfortunately Google maps is very inaccurate after you turn off the Melba Hwy. All you actually do is keep going straight on that road but Google soon had us hopelessly lost. At this time it was dark and I stopped at a farmhouse to ask for directions (don't know if this makes people question my masculinity - after all a male asking for directions!) and an elderly gentleman was kind enough to get in his car and show us the way.

By this time it was pitch black. I ended up getting out of the car and scouting sites on foot with a torch. In the end we went down to the Bull Creek camping spot, missed the first entry and went down the second. This was great as we got a beautiful site close to the creek, though my wife reversed into a tree and broke the tail light of the car. By the time we had setup it was around 10pm at night. Quickly put the boys and ourselves to bed.
Image
On Thursday there was basically no-one but us in the reserve (okay we saw one other couple). The site looked even better in the daytime with beautiful tall trees. I had just purchased an external 12volt pump and hooked this up to an old spare 75 amp/Hr battery I had so we could pump water from the creek directly to the van for showers/dishes etc. This worked really well. It was really nice to be there when no other campers were around.
Image
Friday at around 1pm was when people started to arrive for the long weekend. We also reserved the site next to us for people that were coming up Friday night and as we were at the last camp site we would only have people on one side of us.

Unfortunately that group that pulled up next to us was filled with about 6 60 year olds that named their site "Camp Bozo". Whilst the name was apt I would've probably used a stronger word. When they arrived we went over and said "Hi" they asked if there were going to be people in the camp site next to us and we said that some friends with kids were coming up. To that they laughed and said "they'll love it when our generator starts up!". We thought they were just joking however half an hour later the gennie started and didn't go off - it was going continuously.

We got a bit frustrated but then shook it off. Sometimes you just have to put up with some people. At 5:30pm our friends were due to arrive but hadn't. I went up to the main road about 300m away to wait. Whilst waiting some VERY loud music started up that I could clearly hear from the road. My friends still hadn't arrived after 30 minutes so I went back down to the camp site. Unfortunately the load (imagine the loudest music you have ever heard while camping) was coming from the neighbouring Camp Bozo. I walked over to one of the people and politely requested that he turn the music down as I could hear it all the way up from the road. His reply was very inconsiderate - "Mate we've been coming here for 17 years - there's no way we are turning it down. Just bad luck that you camped next to us. If you have a problem then talk to the Ranger."

Obviously I had a problem. Went back in my car and went back to the start of the reserve. Couldn't find a Ranger (it was 6pm) but I left a note on the board as you come in outlining the behaviour of the neighbours and asking the Ranger to please fix it. Also I saw that the camping guidlines said "no generators or amplified music" which was a relief.

Eventually our friends arrived. They had got lost as well following the Google maps. As the noise was deafening we didn't setup on the site we reserved for them but rather found space on ours. If they had of setup on the site we reserved they would've only been about 5 metres from where the Camp Bozo's setup their fire (of course they setup their living area as close to us as possible!).

This loud music continued until after 1pm when I finally fell asleep. Also the Bozo's were smoking marijuana as well. The generator kept going until it ran out of petrol sometime in the night. When we woke up in the morning it was beautiful. It was nice and quiet. We thought maybe they would only have music on in the evenings however both the generator and VERY loud music started again at 8:30am. By this time we were getting very frustrated. Luckily the Ranger came by at about 10am, probably after seeing the note I had left, and went straight to Camp Bozo. After the Ranger left the music got turned down to a more tolerable (though still fairly loud) level.

That afternoon my wife, who hadn't got much sleep the night before, tried to have an afternoon nap. This was when the music got turned up to previous volume. After one hour of this she cracked and went in the car to find the Ranger. About an hour later the Ranger appeared and had another talk with them and a police car patrolled past their site. Luckily after that the music, whilst still fairly constant, was quiet for the rest of the time and the generator intermittent.

I have to say never before have I met campers with such a scant disregard of their neighbours. Not only with the above but the foul language that they constantly exhibited. They were such a sad group of individuals. I am thankful to the Ranger for talking to them and convincing them to turn down the music. I am also glad that the camping guidlines clearly stated no generators and no amplified music.
ImageImage
The rest of the trip was great. Went on a couple of hikes with the kids (youngest was 3 years old). The weather was better than what I was expecting from the forecast, though Monday rained fairly constantly. Overall a very good spot - though if you see the above mentioned cretins beware. If you have a van then scout for a site on foot as you can't get through everywhere.

The camper trailers association were also up there but they stayed in the Blackwood camping spot so didn't run into any of them.

Cheers
Brett
OzCamps designer and camping junkie
Want a different look to the forum? Check out my post on Change forum look with FireFox plugin

AlanP
Getting the hang of it
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:12 pm

Post by AlanP » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:43 am

Hi Brett,

Sorry to hear your story there are some jerks out there. I think I know the spot you are talking about and have camped there with my son a few times it's down past the saw mills. It is a nice bush spot but I think it is a very popular spot because close to Melbourne. One time I was there a car load of guy's rocked in late and started to drink and party on but they weren't any trouble just a bit loud.

Cheers,
Alan

jock
Rising star
Posts: 3244
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:20 am
Location: Sunshine Coast, QLD.

Had a few problems

Post by jock » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:26 pm

Hi G.G.
dont know why you want us to spell out any problems we've had at free camps. There has been quite a few posts on the subject here and there over the last few years.
But anyway......
Looking back over the last 30 years or so we've done a hell of a lot of free or bush camping and have had quite a few really bad incidents plus a heck of a lot of annoying instances with inconsiderate people with generators and loud music etc. etc...BUT!! if you look at the overall picture, the unsavoury camps would only represent a very small percentage of our total experience.
Jock

B-T
Been here for a while
Posts: 185
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:00 pm
Location: Off the road rather than on the road

Post by B-T » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:33 pm

We have never had a problem at all - ever. We prefer to camp alone, well off the road and away from towns and generally avoid the so called roadside rest areas. Many we have seen in WA are littered with toilet paper and feaces -once you step outside the immediate parking area. You have to wonder what the fly that just landed on your lunch was last feeding on:eek:. Many Consevation Reserves close to towns are a place for the local hoons to practice their high speed car antics. We travel the backs roads and enjoy the peace and quiet.

John

BrettAltea
Avid poster
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:28 am
Location: Southern Melbourne
Contact:

Post by BrettAltea » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:35 pm

jock wrote:...BUT!! if you look at the overall picture, the unsavoury camps would only represent a very small percentage of our total experience.
Jock
Agree as well. Whilst loud music can be common I feel very safe when free camping. My above experience was more the exception than the rule. Particularly if you avoid public holidays and school holidays, though with two young boys that is hard.
Cheers
Brett
OzCamps designer and camping junkie
Want a different look to the forum? Check out my post on Change forum look with FireFox plugin

User avatar
rredbeak
Major contributor
Posts: 5560
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:13 pm
Location: Ipswich Qld

Post by rredbeak » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:46 pm

weve only ever left one freecamp because I didnt feel comfy.

It was still afternoon and our FIRST day there,there was a handfull of Aboriginals drinking heavily at the supplied table,some laying on it etc.

I walked over to the other SOLE freecamper and said i dont feel comfy about this and we're leaving,they immediatley started packing up also [mostly due to his wife,quite understandably].

NO issues,NO danger i only was concerned at what MIGHT happen later that night.

BUT,actually staying in camps weve never had any trouble ever.

Cheers Rod
Living the Dream,See You Out Here Folks..OFF TOPIC IS OK IN ANY OF MY POSTS.MY FaceBook, Robby N Jones
Image Image Image Image

coxy45
Avid poster
Posts: 420
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 11:24 am
Location: Wattle Grove NSW

Post by coxy45 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:29 pm

Have never had any trouble while free camping, but have been kept awake all night by young drunken hoons at Corrimal C P (NSW S Coast)
that was $25 wasted. Prefer to free camp so if you get the rare bad night, you'll "get it for free" !!!

See you 'round my campfire

Geoff & Bev

Nissan Patrol + Millard Horizon Pop Top

jaycoontheroad
Been here for a while
Posts: 209
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:31 pm
Location: On the road...

Our worst night

Post by jaycoontheroad » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:45 pm

We have been from Adelaide to darwin and across to Cairns then down to Geelong. we try to freecamp but not near cities.

Worst experience was near NT/QLD border where the neighbors had the loud doof doof music. They shut it off around 2230 so not too bad, we got the music cranking at about 0700, not out of any revenge but just because we like it ;-)

Have never felt unsafe.

Gunnedah Galahs
On a roll
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:25 am
Location: Gunnedah NSW

As I suspected

Post by Gunnedah Galahs » Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:20 pm

Thanks guys for your replies and it is as I suspected. There are a few hoons out there who have no idea or don't care about others as long as they are having a "good time". I didn't think that there would be too many who had actually had real serious trouble in free camps. Some may come on now to say they have, but I really believe most stories are just that, stories. Long live free camps!!!
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
La Vista Majorca Gold
Ford Territory

Post Reply

Return to “Free Camping Chat”