How do you sleep discreetly in a large city?

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#1
I've had the cops called on me countless times around europe while simply trying to sleep away from rain under some roof of a public building... What are your guys' tips for discreet urban camping?
 
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#2
On foot; find the cut, or a good bush, or an abando, the US is different though, never been to Europe myself but one traveller I came across who had been all over from Turkey to Ireland swore by abandoned flats and houses. Said he never had an issue.
 
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#3
On foot; find the cut, or a good bush, or an abando, the US is different though, never been to Europe myself but one traveller I came across who had been all over from Turkey to Ireland swore by abandoned flats and houses. Said he never had an issue.
Thanks for the input, though finding squats in a city like Turin is complete chance, and more often than not i can't spend hours sifting through the streets for that :/ also some people patrol abandoned buildings with dogs, certainly saw that shit when heading through the Milano industrial area
 
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#4
Thanks for the input, though finding squats in a city like Turin is complete chance, and more often than not i can't spend hours sifting through the streets for that :/ also some people patrol abandoned buildings with dogs, certainly saw that shit when heading through the Milano industrial area
Hmm I see.. Well usually in a situation like THAT, and depending on the layout of the city and surrounding areas, I'll sometimes go to the outskirts of town and set up camp in a more low-key location and then trek into town when I need to. Walking or using public transit can be a bitch but sometimes it's worth it just to have peace of mind that you won't be rousted.

Also, if you find a good rooftop and are careful about your hours; it's not too bad.
 
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#5
abandoned buildings, under bridges, rooftops, underground, tarp or tent set up somewhere wooded or surrounded by tall grass, or under the stars....anywhere that is out of the way of peoples daily routine that you feel comfortable...limited by your imagination :)
once you find the spot, keep it clean and repeat until you wanna leave.
if its very cold, i usually try to go into apartment buildings and go behind the stairs or in a closet. slept in a few bank lobbies although its not discreet by any means haha. sometimes on rooftops they have those vents or whatever that let out warm air, put a tarp around that to keep it in with ur body heat and that is good also. building a fire with rocks and after burying the rocks under you works well. i dont know how cold it gets where you are this time of year. hope something here helps. stay warm!
 
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#6
Addt'l note: I've found that if there's a good bush or park-type area that's avoided by the masses because of the sprinklers; use it to your advantage and just be aware of when they go off as to not get wet.

Also: Dumpster corrals are a very overlooked sleeping spot, just be aware of the business' hours that use it.

Also: (at least in the US) residential or minor commercial construction sites are ok for use on Sunday's. Usually no one is there working.
 
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#7
Addt'l note: I've found that if there's a good bush or park-type area that's avoided by the masses because of the sprinklers; use it to your advantage and just be aware of when they go off as to not get wet.

Also: Dumpster corrals are a very overlooked sleeping spot, just be aware of the business' hours that use it.

Also: (at least in the US) residential or minor commercial construction sites are ok for use on Sunday's. Usually no one is there working.
Be careful of the construction sites. I used to work security out in CO and I would catch people trying to squat all the time. I'd let them stay on cold snowy/rainy nights, but other guards were assholes and like to make their lives even more hellish.

However, most guards are lazy so if you can find somewhere up some stairs... you'll have better luck.
 

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#8
Well, most of my experiences sleeping rough I made in UK, but I never really got into problems. Slept most of the time in shop doorways but also in front of office buildings.

My strategy is always: go to sleep at about midnight or a bit earlier and leave the place at about 6am in the morning without leaving any rubbish behind. Clean and tidy.

I used to sleep in a doorway of an office building in Bristol quite often. The building has three doorways, the middle one being the main entrance. I slept in the right one. A security guy came every morning I was there at about 6, at this time I was already awake and mostly sitting there and smoking my "breakfast cigarette". Only thing he said was "morning, how are you?" ... Because he knew in a minute I would be away and everything good, no trouble.

Best thing of course are doorways of empty shops. There I could sleep a bit longer, but even then I was away at 8am at the latest.

Also slept in a doorway of a cathedral some times, not being hassled there as well.

Avoid fire exits though. Even very early in the morning they may be used by staff to go in and out (for smoking a cig for example) or they may be used as staff entrance.

And check local by-laws. I was fined in Amsterdam for sleeping rough, and we were in a quite hidden space. The only time I got problems in about 2 years travelling.
 
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#9
When I used to travel around Southern france and Northern Spain, I'd really just sleep out very publicly in a park or somewhere. Usually that kept my peace of mind, as if anyone would hassle about, someone else might see it. Never had trouble with the police though, I guess there's a difference to where you're at, personally I've never travelled around Italy and have no ideas of their customs.

I know this is kinda mediocre, but couchsurfing is quite big in europe, so if you know it's gonna be a cold or rainy night, I don't ímagine you'd have much trouble finding a couch in any major city in europe - though I never wanted to go through the hassle of getting a profile and sending random requests.

But sleeping in city parks, somehow I never had any trouble at night. Except that time all my stuff was gone, but I was tripping and left shit all over the park, so the trash pick-up cleaned it up.
 
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#10
Be careful of the construction sites. I used to work security out in CO and I would catch people trying to squat all the time. I'd let them stay on cold snowy/rainy nights, but other guards were assholes and like to make their lives even more hellish.

However, most guards are lazy so if you can find somewhere up some stairs... you'll have better luck.
No doubt!
That's why I said residential and minor commercial construction, a site working on building a family home or condos or a small grocery store is not going to have a guard more than likely.
 
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#11
When I used to travel around Southern france and Northern Spain, I'd really just sleep out very publicly in a park or somewhere. Usually that kept my peace of mind, as if anyone would hassle about, someone else might see it. Never had trouble with the police though, I guess there's a difference to where you're at, personally I've never travelled around Italy and have no ideas of their customs.

I know this is kinda mediocre, but couchsurfing is quite big in europe, so if you know it's gonna be a cold or rainy night, I don't ímagine you'd have much trouble finding a couch in any major city in europe - though I never wanted to go through the hassle of getting a profile and sending random requests.

But sleeping in city parks, somehow I never had any trouble at night. Except that time all my stuff was gone, but I was tripping and left shit all over the park, so the trash pick-up cleaned it up.
Couch surfing in italy is hell, but i had relative success in France, especially Marseille, of a places. Cheers for all the info!
 
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#12
Buy a house.

(Conversely: Stay low. Stay quiet. Stick to public land. Make friends with foliage. Get in late and out early. And remember: passersby can't see when they don't look, so never give them a reason to look.)
 

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#13
Addendum: when it comes to the question "sleep in a hidden place or just in a doorway on highstreet" I would always choose the latter.

My opinion is: first, if something happens (idiots, people trying to rob you, etc) there may be witnesses or even people who would help you/stop the idiot and if worse comes to worse it is at least on camera (especially in UK). Second, sometimes you can make really good money and/or get food or other things just sleeping in a doorway where people can see you. :)
 
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#14
Addendum: when it comes to the question "sleep in a hidden place or just in a doorway on highstreet" I would always choose the latter.

My opinion is: first, if something happens (idiots, people trying to rob you, etc) there may be witnesses or even people who would help you/stop the idiot and if worse comes to worse it is at least on camera (especially in UK). Second, sometimes you can make really good money and/or get food or other things just sleeping in a doorway where people can see you. :)
+1 on the waking up to find money or other things left for you.
 

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#15
cities.. ugh. Ive always walked my white country bumpkin ass straighr out to the bushes whenever it was time to turn in. hours of walking is worth the peace and the dark.

there are offramps next to the freeways which providence enduring can sometimes be discreet.. and then there is the hospitals and hedges if you have the foresight to bring a few cups to contain the inevitable sprinkler system.
 
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#16
I've had success 'shadowing' hostel guests past reception, then lying low in the games room, or locking myself into a bathroom. Problem with this is if you try to bring your big-ass backpack with you, reception may want to stop and question.

I've been busted just as many times as I've succeeded stealth-sleeping in hostels, but during the day nobody will question you, so they're at least a good place to stay warm during daylight hours, watch TV and pick what you want off the free food shelf.
 

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#18
I've had the cops called on me countless times around europe while simply trying to sleep away from rain under some roof of a public building... What are your guys' tips for discreet urban camping?
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#19
As soon as I get off a train I am in hot pursuit pertaining to scouting for locations to bed down. Most of the time I tend to sleep behind shrubs, grave yards, around churches and different types of structure's. I have even slept on top of commercial roof tops before.

Anyplace dark and well hidden is typically were I will sleep. However sometimes I have been so exhausted after a train ride that I have slept in the open, rare that happens but I have done that a time or two. Out of site and out of mind is my key moto when sleeping in the urban jungle.
 
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#20
It's usually best to go to the outskirts of town and try your luck there instead of the city. I usually just take a bus or train out and find a place near the stop, usually a wooded area.

If I absolutely have to stay in a city, it's always abandoned buildings, churches, or roofs of businesses. Obviously if it's raining, roofs are terrible, but if the weather is nice, that's my go to. Usually quite peaceful.
 

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