Featured Wilderness Squatting 101


Playground Monitor
Lifetime Supporter
May 15, 2007
For establishing camp, choose wooded higher ground at least 50ft from streams or lakes or human trails. It should not be visible from established trails, shores, banks, sidewalks, or roads. The best woods are those without much human traffic. Make sure there are no hanging broken branch or rotted tree hazards- find another place or take them down, because it isn't fun getting squished/impaled.

If you want to be really hidden, you may want a camp that you break down every morning, it's easier with a hammock, but it can be done with tarp-covered tents by unrigging the poles. make sure you have something in the middle that makes the flattened tent into a shape that directs water off the tent. I recommend covering tents with tarps in general, because sunlight breaks down tent material, and it makes the tent that much more waterproof, though at the expense of airflow (which might be good or bad depending on the weather).

Getting over to the camp should not require you to be completely aware or uninjured, but should be enough of a trek so that stealing large items from your camp shouldn't be too easy. You should have an idea of how the other camps are in your area and keep a fair distance away unless it's a squat community that you want to live in. If you use flashlights, keep it on the trail- if you want to be found by others, shine it up into the branches and it'll be obvious from a mile away where you are.

Brambles and low branches are your friends, do not remove or kill them, as removing them is what makes a deer trail into a human trail. Deer can be annoying to have around, because they'll drop ticks and look at you funny, but they are good to have around because you can hide your footsteps in theirs in the snow, and hiding in the woods is easier if you're not the only one moving around and making noise. I would advise brushing off your arms and legs (as if you are wiping water from yourself after a shower) every few minutes or so when you are in a low brush-free spot in order to throw off any critters that may have latched on to you.

Have stash spots near your camp but not in them, in case your camp gets trashed/raided. Bicycles should not be in your camp unless you are storing them as backups, the one you are using should be locking in the nearest area, since the tire tracks are a dead giveaway, but if they must be in the woods, hide them out of sight of your camp. To deter rodent pests, you can make some snake habitats around your camp, but not too close.

Food should be stashed away from your tent, preferably in metal or glass containers- squirrels can gnaw through plastic quite well and persistently, and bears are just bad news all over. Water and drinks should be kept in plastic containers in cold weather, glass ones will shatter unless kept very well insulated.

Avoid having to go through tall grasses, you will pick up things that bite you that way, and it will leave a trail unless you take the time to disguise it. Swampy areas are fine in the colder times of the year, but not in the hotter ones. Being near flowing water or lakes increases the chances of people stumbling on your camp in warmer weather. Being up in the trees is nice, but it is colder, harder to make and unless there are some huge trees around, much more in the open. Wind is also a factor, during warmer months, places protected from breezes will accumulate mosquitoes/flies, but during the winter will be colder.

Latrines should be downhill from your camp for obvious reasons at least 50ft from any streams or lakes. It's a ditch which is at least a foot deep on stable level ground. It shouldn't be on the trail to get to your camp either. I would advocate keeping your pissing and pooping areas separate, since it'll be less effort to keep it from stinking. (if you want to be scientific about this, ideal composting happens at a 12:1 carbon to nitrogen level) So this means that fire ashes, sawdust, woodchips, and leaves will help keep the stink down. Toilet paper or paper towels should be kept nearby in waterproof containers, a coffee can works well, but keep an extra in your tent.

You may want to elevate your tent from the ground with pallets or something similar. Cots are also nice for keeping your bag dry in case of flooding, but for cold weather you'll want a ground mat, too. The area outside your tent door/under your hammock may need woodchips, planks, or gravel in order to keep it from becoming a muddy mess .

Carry your trash out with you, there is nothing more obvious than following a trail of wrappers to a woods squat, and it proves you're an idiot. Respect nature and let it help you. Passersby may decide to let you be if you're not a litterbug. And as far as being nice to nature, let me give you an example: toads are very sensitive to chemicals since they will absorb it through their skin, but they will eat the bugs that will try to eat you, and the same goes for spiders, though you might like them to be a little further away.

Fires are to be used with caution, the light and smoke can get you busted, and a forest fire can kill you. Make a fire pit lined with stone or use a metal container, as far from trees (and your tent if you have a plastic one) as you can manage. During droughts, fires should not be lit, because it only takes one stray ember to spread the fire. In speaking of fire, smoking is a pretty bad habit as far as littering and sleeping bags and tents being flammable are concerned. Drop that habit if you plan on woods squatting.

Add on as you please!


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Aug 10, 2008
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all over the show
maybe im paranoid but i always leave a stick or something in a certain way near the entrance to my camp and check its not been moved when i return.

some useful info here cheers!


Playground Monitor
Lifetime Supporter
May 15, 2007
Now for some winter tips: Too much snow will collapse your tent and snap your poles unless you have walls steep enough to shed them. The trick is to hang a tarp over your tent with a strong cord between two trees, so that the snow will land on it and slide off.

I forgot to do this tip and had to quickly fix my tent in freezing weather...


I deleted myself
notch your logs.
ALWAYS notch logs when making any cabin or mud house with logs.
fuckabuncha twine. slippage.
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Apr 16, 2009
very well said. only one thing I can think of to add. It'd be advisable to also keep your food a good 50 ft away from you so you don't wake up to a bear or some other large animal trying to take your food. espc. if it's some kind of meat.
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Playground Monitor
Lifetime Supporter
May 15, 2007
I forgot to mention that you should camp away from tulip poplar trees, as they are notorious for dropping branches during high winds and ice storms. You can identify them by their distinctive leaves. Most of the time they won't be a problem, but it only takes one incident to ruin your day.

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