Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
BackcountryGear.com
backcountry gear

---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#175936 - 03/21/13 12:06 PM Homeless campsites
balzaccom Online   content
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1799
Loc: Napa, CA
Some major construction projects in our area got us thinking about the homeless in our town. In a way, these folks are backpackers, too, albeit in an urban environment.

And so we started thinking about campsites: what are the criteria for a good urban campsite? And how would that be different from a good campsite in the wilderness?

The first difference would be shelter. Most of the homeless people in our area don’t have shelter—yeah, that’s why they call them homeless—so the first thing to look for is a roof over your head. That’s why highway underpasses and bridges seem to be so popular. Would that change if the homeless had effective tents? Interesting to consider.

And the next items on the agenda would be food and water. Backpackers usually carry their own food—but the urban homeless are going to be foraging. That means an ideal campsite will be not far from sources of food and water—whether those are official sources like food banks and the Salvation Army, or simply the back parking lot of the local grocery store.

If possible, you would also want access to a public restroom—although we don’t use those in the wilderness, and plenty of homeless people follow that same example in the urban environment.

And finally, you would think that all people still want a bit of privacy—so that would be another consideration for the urban backpacker/homeless person.

Do social services networks use this kind of matrix to work with the homeless?

Are there elements of backpacking equipment or technique that could improve the situation?


Edited by balzaccom (03/21/13 12:10 PM)
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

Top
#175954 - 03/21/13 07:05 PM Re: Homeless campsites [Re: balzaccom]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3915
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
It's tough to think we have to resort to tent cities to house those in need, but I am sure that having some of the same gear we use for backpacking would benefit some of the homeless if they had a place where they could set it up legally.

It does bring back visions of the government camp the Joad's stayed at in the "Grapes of Wrath". They were pretty darn happy to be there.
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



Top
#175955 - 03/21/13 08:21 PM Re: Homeless campsites [Re: balzaccom]
PerryMK Online   content
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1171
Loc: Florida panhandle
I'm hardly an expert in the field, but I'll offer my observations and experiences.

Originally Posted By balzaccom
what are the criteria for a good urban campsite?
Access to facilities such as water, power, and public transit. Also, inconspicuous.

Originally Posted By balzaccom
And how would that be different from a good campsite in the wilderness?
Mainly the power and public transit access I suppose. These first two answers are based on the premise that not all homeless are jobless and that many have cell phones.

Originally Posted By balzaccom
Do social services networks use this kind of matrix to work with the homeless?
Generally speaking I believe the answer is no. Most social services have as their objective getting people into stable living situations. A few recognize that some people simply cannot adapt to society for whatever reason and so try to provide them some minimal shelter and services. They might also provide sleeping bags and other gear on occsaion but genreally prefer not to be seen as promoting homelessness.

Originally Posted By balzaccom
Are there elements of backpacking equipment or technique that could improve the situation?
Depends what you mean by improve. A sleeping bag might keep a person warmer and that is an improvement over colder. A tent in an urban area might get a person noticed and "moved along", which might not be an improvement.

It's a complicated situation and one for which I feel there aren't any general, correct solutions. I don't think you meant to suggest there would be.

I think its too easy for something said on an internet forum to sound offensive and that is certainly not my intent. You asked a question and I hope I gave frank, polite, and maybe something-to-think-about answers.

To be safe, I'll stop now.

Top
#175975 - 03/22/13 09:21 PM Re: Homeless campsites [Re: PerryMK]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Most homeless people consider sleeping under a bridge to be the most dangerous place to stay.

Some homeless people wear their sleeping bags with many layers of clothes. This makes them less recognizable.

Usually, there are three levels of camps. One level doesn't allow any alcohol or drugs. Another level is all about drugs. Then there is the level in between that does not care as long as you behave.

The homeless are becoming harder to spot because they can get laundramat vouchers.

Seriously, I'd rather meet a homeless person in the out of way places in our city than a cop. There is a lot more to fear from a cop.

_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

Top
#175993 - 03/24/13 05:50 PM Re: Homeless campsites [Re: balzaccom]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3939
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Pray maybe the International redcross or Russia or Albania or maybe Venezuela will put forth the humanitarian effort to airlift food to the needy in America.
Jim cool
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

Top

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Pullover vs Zip Rain Jacket
by 4evrplan
09/13/18 05:12 PM
Multitool or knife scissors or dedicated scissors.
by SJS
08/29/18 09:32 AM
Getting Accustomed to Zero Drop Shoes?
by Bill Kennedy
07/23/18 02:32 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Donnell Fire in the Sierra
by balzaccom
09/10/18 08:51 PM
First trip with Bear Vault 500..not enough space!
by willie1280
08/17/18 08:10 AM
Leaving a Mark
by balzaccom
07/10/18 09:32 PM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Featured Photos
Breakneck Ridge, New York
May 2012 Eclipse, Lassen Park
New Years Eve 2011
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
1 registered (), 31 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Simon Eklöv, MrShelley, Bahy, DanielClark, JAM
12639 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
Backpacking.net
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum