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    The Road

March 11, 2016

Living out of a backpack. 4am Saturday March 11th

Signals green, get out of town.Guerrilla Camping – 2006 Trip Journal – Day 0

This was written sitting awake on our last night in the city. We had gotten rid of everything except what would fit in two well thought out packs that we had spent a few hundred weekend miles testing and training with. We were finally living out of a backpack.

It all comes down to pack weight now.

Everything is mailed, stored or ready to be heaved onto our backs.

In about 30 hours we walk.

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February 14, 2016

Soon, You CAN take it with you.


Off and on over the last decade, I have played with the original content behind Guerrilla Camping. I’ve gone through 7-8 edits, added chapters, added some incendiary comments, and removed a few. I’ve edited some things based on findings on the last long walk.

On March 11th, I’ll be releasing the book!

February 3, 2014

Guerrilla Camping – Introduction

About Guerrilla Camping

Guerrilla Camping 101 was written starting in September 2005, as images of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina flooded the airwaves. As most of the 9th ward lay submerged, I began writing after looking at a backpack sitting packed and ready to go by my front door. Unlike most people who have a bag packed with four days of food sitting next to the door, it wasn’t meant for the end of the world. At the time, I was working two days a week in San Francisco, and spending the majority of my time living in a tent.

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May 8, 2013

Thank you….

Thanks to everyone who continues to constantly comment and e-mail me about this blog. Please accept my apologies for being one of those people who pop up every two years saying, I’ll blog more, I promise.

A comment from Theresa on “I wanna rock” made me realize what everyone has missed out on in my silence over the last few years,

You mean you haven’t gone camping or trekking since that rock incident? You must have missed out a lot of the activities. I hope you feel better soon.

I certainly did not miss out on any activities, in fact, the activities have been why I don’t blog anymore.
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April 26, 2012

Guerrilla Homesteading 101: Let it Rain

They are predicting drought here this year, and it finally spurred us into action on setting up rain catchment to assure our garden gets water without pushing any rationing limits. Since our town is on a number of small municipal wells, water quality can greatly decrease if the aquifers run low, increasing the concentration of things like boron and sulfur. Also known as stink. A few days before a predicted storm, I had a couple of days off, and set out to start saving the rain.
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December 31, 2011

Have You Seen This Man?

An old buddy from the GNN days was seeking a picture. I decided I would post a few. While going through it, I found this one:

I’m the pale kid in camofluage in the picture, which was taken a few days before I walked out of the city. The big guy in the picture is “Papa”, a vietnam vet who lived in the door way of a closed down drug store near the corner of 7th And Market in San Francisco. I lived a block way in a cavernous basement beneath 6th and Market and when walking home from night shifts papa and I gradually grew to be good friends, spending many late nights and sunny afternoons discussing life and slinging stories.
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November 16, 2011

I wanna rock.

As the weather changes, old injuries come out to haunt. A couple of dislocated knees commiserate with a pair of shoulders who shared their fate. Tingles and pops remind of awesome, decade-old stories, but the fame shines on a point just at the ball of my right foot, where cold weather becomes searing pain and taunts me with the notion that I may have crippled myself away from the very freedom I once swore by.

Yes, five years after the infamous rock in the dark that ended my cross county hike, I still enjoy frequent pains from that damned foot.
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October 15, 2011


Real life is oft a sledge hammer to my promises to write more. Thank you to everyone around the world who continue to send messages of encouragement, particularly those who see the bits that only get posted for a new minutes and who e-mail words of encouragement from the four corners of the globe. Read More

April 20, 2011

You’re not going anywhere.

Most disasters will not require you to get out of town, as romantic as the notion may be. In fact, in the bay area, most disasters will completely strand you as bridges, tunnels and overpasses are shut down for inspections or reconstruction. Not only will this keep you in, it will keep essential services out. In the event of a major quake, you can expect to be on your own for three days to six months depending on the severity of the incident. Truth be told, the following advice will help you even if the tremors you experience are a layoff, an earthquake or the proverbial zombie apocalypse. This is what you need.

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April 12, 2011

Nomadic Electronics

As much as we all want to leave civilization behind, the need for electricity is perpetual and often aggravating. In 2005, I invested in a few small sheets of Powerfilm flexible photovoltaic sheets. Using a cheap battery pack and diode from Radio Shack, I built two simple solar chargers capable of keeping our lights, FRS radios and other electronics working. The whole set up weighed .8 ounces and produced 7-8 volts, enough to charge four AA batteries over the course of the day as we walked through sun and shade.

Unfortunately, the first version of the panels lasted through our field testing, but not through an actual trek. Twenty miles from town, and fifty from the nearest electronics store, the wear and tear of the road ripped the positive wire from my panel, leaving us with only one charger. After the second day of trekking through train tunnels with dim headlamps, I’d had enough and decided to make a field repair.

That evening, after finishing heating water for dinner, I took an old nail I had found along the side of the railroad tracks we were hiking and placed it on the burner of our stove. While the nail was heated to red hot, I laid out the panel on the ground and held the wire in place with a few small stones. I put the maulie clips I used for my map packet onto the panel as an impromptu heat sink to keep from burning it up with the heat from soldering

It took a minute or two for the nail to get red hot. Once it did, I pulled it from the stove with my multi-tool and pressed the wire against the panel in a series of light taps to keep heat low. The solder melted just enough to complete the circuit. I used a small piece of duct tape to add a bit more stability to the junction, and hoped for the best.

The next evening, I pulled the batteries from the charger and was quite pleased to have a bright headlamp to complete my evening’s journals.

Since then, I learned another trick. Creating two jumpers, using alligator clips on both ends of short lengths of wire allows you to clip the panels directly to cell phone batteries, which can be problematic to charge on the road.

Living nomadically does not only rely on your hiking and outdoors skills, it is a perpetual test of your resourcefulness and creativity, and you will frequently find odd applications for many seemingly unrelated life skills.