Sunday, December 10, 2023

Rating likely "Camping sites" in Eaton Rapids

It is easier to find things if you have some idea of where to look.

One advantage to analyzing small towns is that all of the stores are lined out beside Main Street. There are not that many places where dense cover comes close to stores/gas-stations.

If you have ever hunted deer or rabbits you know that they can hide in tiny patches of cover. Humans are not deer or rabbits. We are loud and messy. We don't loaf for a few hours and move on. But we don't stealth-camp for 10 hours. We build cities and overstay our welcome.

Number One

East of Island City Assisted Living on Kyle Street. 1000 feet from a medium-sized grocery store. If you are not too fussy about property lines the wooded area is about 75 acres.

If were a local property owner, maybe one who owned a chunk of that woods and really wanted to keep tabs on the location, it would be a piece of cake to mount a trail-cam or two looking at the southeast corner of the grocery store's parking lot who/how many people drifted into the woods.

Number Two

The old railroad right-of-way north of Eaton Pines trailer park. 1300 feet from a Dollar General.

Ditto regarding trail-cams. There are only a few logical points of entry into the site from West Street. 

Number Three

Southeast of the lumber yard.

Tied for Fifth

North end of Oak Ridge Park. 2400 feet as the crow flies to a "Party store" and twice as far by road.

Southeast of Bradley Park. WET!

With regard to "loafing sites"

Once upon a time I was walking in the woods behind the Holiness Church Camp 500 yards south of the Eaton Rapids Middle School when, lo-and-behold, I saw a hooch with a mattress (and just a mattress) in it.

A sugar shack? Middle-schoolers? Maybe. Or it could have been high school kids since the high school was 1000 yards away (and the stadium was 800 yards).

Or maybe it was campers from the church camp. Who knows?

The hooch looked like it had been there for a while.


  1. Look for church's with free clothes, lunches, or other assistance.
    What had good intentions, usually creates a seagull situation.

    1. Most of those churches only offer those benefits one or two evenings a week. I am not sure that is enough to be a magnet unless you have a cluster of several churches who coordinate to hit different days.

  2. Just like deer in the woods, frequented trails may appear obvious, especially after fresh snow.

  3. I would look at the areas just barely in cover. Mooches don't want to walk any further than necessary. Not like the old hobos.

  4. Don't look for stores, look for handouts and spots to beg. Look for crack houses and drug dealers.

    1. Easier for the gubbermint to hand out EBT cards than to physically deliver supplies.

  5. At least here, it is location, location, location, especially towards the easily accessible restrooms and water you reference earlier and for cover from the wind and rain.

  6. I have been told that many illegal aliens use hammocks as their sleep platform.They leave less evidence of use on the land and can be strung up / taken down very quickly. Also compact size and lightweight - a lot of pluses for those living out of a pack.

  7. The last time I was around any rough sleepers was several years ago when our crew (3 of us) were installing an upgraded fire suppression system at a remodel in our local big city, ~26k population.
    We were about a half block from a major 4 lane intersection and almost every traffic island had someone "Flying Sign" as one of the panhandlers we got familiar with called it.
    The dumpster divers and scrappers were in constant rotation and I thought I was going to get to see some bum fights for real about who got to take what.
    Fifty yards behind the building was a dense mature Cedar thicket with random trees, brush, and vines thrown in. Around 30 acres in size. That was where most of them disappeared to at night.
    There were fast food places, gas stations, a big box store with the Yellow splat and motels all within easy reach.
    They developed the property a few years ago, it was in a hot growth area so somebody finally met the sellers price I guess.



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