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Approaching people in hobo camps

Discussion in 'Alternative Housing' started by drode, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. drode

    drode Hungry for Knowledge

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    I recently, as in today, went down to the whereabouts of a BNSF intermodal facility, which I wanted to scope out because it should take me west and I want to have a good idea of the layout before I mess with trying to hop trains there when it's warmer.

    I ran into some sort of hobo camp on the side. It wasn't a jungle by any means, like it was for one person. There was a trail leading up to this camp that had all sorts of weird ass shit like old rotary phones tied to trees, bowls of golf balls, a stuffed skunk duct taped to a cane, and a whole lot of string running every where except on the trail itself.

    It lead up to this makeshift house of sorts with what looked like a trash bag roof that looked like it was barely holding together. At this point my common sense is telling me to get out of there, but I give a few hollers, let whoever might be there know I'm not there to cause any trouble and I had some questions to ask. Got no response.
    But I let out a few more warning "HELLO"s and actually got a hello back, but no one ever came out. Sounded like a young guy, didn't want to kill me, or at least I think.

    Now, was what I did dumb as fuck, was there a better way I could have done that, or should I have not done that.

    Depending the responses I get, I might end up going back, but with food and coffee.
     
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    #1 drode, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  2. Kim Chee

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    First impressions are everything. If you put a big ass can of ravioli or chili down with a note explaining that was you calling out yesterday, you're chances are good he'll talk to you if he's not mentally ill. A pair of socks (even used ones are pretty nice things to break the ice with). If he takes up your things, you can probably try calling out again. He still may not want to talk though.
     
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  3. Tude

    Tude Sometimes traveler is traveling.
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    Great idea @mmmmmmmichael - I shall remember this as I've run across things around here - although not as interesting as having a skunk duct taped to a tree :D hehe pics would have been interesting on that - @drode do try what mmmmmmmichael said - hopefully he's willing to talk to you, if not I wouldn't push it.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    drode

    drode Hungry for Knowledge

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    So, I won't get off work til' it's dark and I'm gonna be out of town for the weekend, so I need to go tomorrow despite the dark, would it be safe to go or what?
    Sorry, this is all new to me, don't want to be running into some angry FTRA people or something
     
    #4 drode, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  5. Tude

    Tude Sometimes traveler is traveling.
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    Hmmm - wait until it's daylight - till next week or something. You don't know who you're dealing with ... have to be careful out there. I've had someone camping under a bridge next to a trail that I was bicycling on - come running out at me - he looked like Tom Hanks as the many year Cast Away guy! Hehe - had a friend who was on another trail on her bike - and a guy appeared suddenly and she knew she needed to pick up speed (trail next to a canal - he was camped in the bushes - cops nabbed him) to get by him - hehe and as she zoomed by him she realized he was naked and had his underwear on his head. hehe never know what you'll meet out there.
     
  6. Kim Chee

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    What @Tude said. Better for everybody if you go in the daylight.
     
  7. pigpen

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    Has it occurred to you that this might just be some guys camp and he might be a complete wingnut given his choice of decor? Not everyone who hangs out track-side is a hobo, a lot of people go to the tracks to do sketchy shit or just to camp. Anywho, best of luck with your impending journey.
     
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  8. Ireen

    Ireen Appreciated Participator

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    It sounds to me that who ever it was didn't have much intrest in chatting it up or hanging out with anyone if he had no interest in coming out to say hello. Be careful if you go back i my self have ran in to a lot of home bums\wing nuts that where any thing but friendly and just wanted to be left alone. Think of it this way how would you like a complete stranger just walking in to your home
     
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  9. West

    West Squatter Fodder

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    Sounds like a bum camp to me. If you're really interested go talk to him, bring booze and a knife :) diplomacy
     
  10. Tude

    Tude Sometimes traveler is traveling.
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    hehe sounds like the same kind of thought going through here. I'd be freaking careful and just be even more careful plus! :)
     
  11. highwayman

    highwayman Emperor of the North Pole
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    Sounds like your run of the mill homebum, rotary phones lol::playful:: I dont associate with any humbums & sure as fuck dont creep up on there collection of valuable treasures.
     
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  12. Arketype87

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    Wow, let these replies teach you a lesson in prudence sir. He/she could have been playing coy to your "hello's," to draw you and your curiosity close enough that a trap might ensnare you or by misfortune an arrow or bullet find their mark! Practice discretion and try not to let your curiosity win you over...
     
  13. Odin

    Odin ANTISOLIPSIST
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    There used to be an old dude named Sunny? I think. Used to hang around behind the gas station in the gravel alley between the fence and liquor store. Shared beer with him many a time. Told me about his travels and odd jobs. Sleeping in barns and being all over the country.
    Was losing his sight to cataracts unfortunately.
    Think he was getting help for it though.
    Don't know what happened to him. I think he hoped trains though didn't talk to him about that in detail.
    Had long white hair... beard and a teardrop tattoo by one of his eyes.
    Always keep your wits about you... but no reason not to be friendly to folks if you can.
    Jst my opinion. Also... I guess I get lucky scoping out people sometimes. Sometimes you just get that precognitive feeling when someone is sketchy and avoid... and sometimes you just think hey this is a goodfella/girl.
     
  14. Ironweed

    Ironweed One of the Regulars

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    I think that most tramps and boes have forgotten the lost art of 'jungling-up". I think it is due to a variety of things. The biggest reason is there are just not enough riders out there to make it work, at least on a national scale. Sure wished it was different.
     
  15. highwayman

    highwayman Emperor of the North Pole
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    I recently came across a tent behind a baseball field/skatepark that had a barrier of rocks, logs and brush built up on 3 sides around it.

    It was a great location in an affluent suburd outside of Boston. It was a few hundred yards from Burger King and since it was an old money town had great trash day scores of mid century modern furniture and barely used high end stuff.

    I was walking our dog while we were out picking trash day there and i had my daughter with me too. I called out "oi" as soon as we approached within ear shot. There was a well worn path but devoid of debris. A nice camp all together with a large family size coleman tent and nothing outside but a pair of boots. All though we didnt meet anyone I wanted to atleast extend the courtesy & announce our passing just in case as the path was but 3 feet from his camp

    I didnt meet the inhabitant but did see him heading back to his camp after we left. This dude was no hobo and looked like a mostly sane and resourceful homebum (judging by his apparel, camp setup & location). He must be a decent guy since he was probably the only homeless person within 5+ miles. The location was great with access to downtown via subway and a fastfood place and little to no crime. Sonce there were no other bums, there was no drama etc. I doubt the local police would tolerate this dudes camp in West Newton/Waltham, Mass. If another bum moved in I bet this place would be blown up. Most bums live near downtown areas all fighting for the same resources. This guy has no soup kitchens or shelters around so hes obviously has his shit together. Buy keeping his camp tidy and not scaring the locals he has a recipe for semi long term and safe camping.
     
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    #15 highwayman, Jul 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  16. Rob Nothing

    Rob Nothing I'm a d-bag and got banned.
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    unfortunately the railroad has always attracted all kinds of trash from out the boundaries and the bowels of society and more than likely what you stumbled on was a crackhead camp. just because it is next to the rails does not make it anything hobo-related. I'd advise never going back, unless the prospect of a rabbid drug fiend jumping out of his hideaway to chew off your leg is anything you'd consider amusing.
     
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  17. Ironweed

    Ironweed One of the Regulars

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    It is a pleasant surprise to see bums with decent camps. It is a total rarity.

    Most bum camps in the vicinity of the tracks are usually bums who have simply watched Tramps and Boes of the past. They watched where they camped, or thought they knew where they camped.They heard rumors where the camps were through the missions/feeds, or maybe they even intermingled a bit (Biggest mistake). I can discover if they are riders or not by two things; What is in the camp/type of gear (if any), and asking questions if they are around. I usually find out quickly that they are bums, or on rare occasions homeguard. Sometimes you'll find some decent bum folk. Mostly you won't. Homeguard are much better, but incredibly scarce to find. Generally speaking, bums are parasitic and are best to be avoided. (I know...Preaching to the choir.. ;) )

    I tend to camp and jungle up by myself, unless I know any other riders I'm around and can trust them. (Very seldom.) I do not jungle up at a catch-out spot ever! Numb-nut road-kids especially today, have the bad habit of camping right at the catch-outs. Not smart. You can wait at the catch, but to camp there is just silly. Jungles can be near the tracks, but good ones are away from the catch and well hidden. Back in the 80's and 90's you could jungle up with others, but you still had to guard your gear. Jungling up today with complete strangers is a big no no. Sad but true.

    People asked me how it could work in the old days. I tell them that it worked because there were 100's of thousands riding the rails from the 1870's-1940's. The shear number required them to cooperate and develop a code. Also, folks back then generally had more empathy and brotherhood....
    ....Not today.... (damn shame)
     
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  18. AlwaysLost

    AlwaysLost Failed Adventurer

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    Yes daylight...even nice tramps, bums whatever are gonna be antsy if you walk into their camp at night. I'm a pacifist but u creep up on me in the dark while trying to sleep and u gonna be staring at my blade. I'm scared of the dark lol. There's wolves serial killers sasqautches tweakers etc out there.
     
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  19. wISDOM

    wISDOM Appreciated Participator
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    Pretty sure I stumbled across naked underwear hat guy near the verde river last year exploring! If not, apparantley he has a doppelganger ;)
     
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