Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Camping near Charleston Amtrak

My secret campsite near the Charleston Amtrak station, preparing for the southbound 5:06am Silver Meteor to Florida. I slept in a $19 Walmart sleeping bag on a $5 tarp in the bushes just to the right of the blue dot. I scouted out the location and cached my sleeping bag there while I still had a vehicle during the day. Then I came back by local bus at night to sleep. Woke up at 4:30am and walked across the parking lot to catch the train.

Although the residential neighborhood just to the north of this photo is distinctively low-rent, I felt very safe in this industrial location. The pattern of trash in the woods told me that people rarely came here, even during the day. My location in the bushes was visible during the day but completely invisible at night. The forest debris under my mattress provided all the padding I needed and I slept soundly. Fortunately, there was no rain in the forecast and it was still cool enough at night (60° in March) that there were no mosquitoes. (It would have been much more difficult in the summer.) When I broke camp, I left my sleeping bag and tarp in an obvious place where someone would probably from the low-rent neighborhood would probably see them and take them home.