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"Stealth" camping on STX?

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OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

When all but one poster has told you how stupid and dangerous your plan is, surely you must see an obvious pattern here? If you're moving here with no money to tide you over for a few months you should rethink the whole plan. If you're planning on looking for employment, the economy here is in bad shape and it may take you months to find a position and it's almost impossible to get around without your own transportation. How are you going to find "permanent digs" when just about all landlords here require first month, last month and a security deposit? And that's only the bare bones of expenses.

This is a plan doomed to failure and you're being given sane and sensible advice from people who don't want you to become a bad statistic.

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Posted : May 20, 2012 1:05 pm
mgpilot
(@mgpilot)
Advanced Member

To back up what OldTart said, the rule of thumb has been to bring about $10,000 when you move here, and to do a pre-move visit first. It really is that expensive.

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Posted : May 20, 2012 1:39 pm
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

I moved here with a little over a grand, got a job in a week, bought a beater and am fixing it up. I met some great people who helped me out, because there are a lot of them. I found that most of the things I read, including this site, didn't prepare me very well and it was a lot different.

If you're a serious camper and used to doing without much "stuff", you'll do fine. There is plenty of work around also.

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Posted : May 20, 2012 1:43 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I moved here with a little over a grand, got a job in a week, bought a beater and am fixing it up. I met some great people who helped me out, because there are a lot of them. I found that most of the things I read, including this site, didn't prepare me very well and it was a lot different.

If you're a serious camper and used to doing without much "stuff", you'll do fine. There is plenty of work around also.

With all due respect there are exceptions to every rule but I've personally seen pretty much the whole gamut of this spectrum over close to 30 years and the odds of success in this case are way at the low end of the curve. As far as job availability is concerned I definitely think your optimism is amiss. You came in "high season" and we're now rapidly approaching low season when everything slides down to a crawl. Couple that (something you haven't yet experienced) with the continued negative economic slide and you may be looking at taking one of those currently vacant positions for extra hours to supplement your income! Just saying.

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Posted : May 20, 2012 2:09 pm
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

Old Tart, I know it's slow season. I've lived in other touristy areas and I know how it goes. I've been offered 5 jobs the past two weeks. They're around.

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Posted : May 20, 2012 2:32 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Old Tart, I know it's slow season. I've lived in other touristy areas and I know how it goes. I've been offered 5 jobs the past two weeks. They're around.

The whole point is that it's not slow season yet. But you know best so we'll leave it at that! 😀

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Posted : May 20, 2012 2:36 pm
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

to the original poster, if you do decide to come regardless, and make a go of "stealth camping" PLEASE do start your own blog thread about it here on this board. Regardless of the outcome it would be MOST informative to other board readers. No one could call your posts "opinion" or "hyperbole" or "candy coated" if you show pics, and just tell it like it is. I for one would be completely riveted to this forum if you gave daily updates of your stealth camping adventure.

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Posted : May 20, 2012 2:44 pm
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

I know it's not slow season "yet" and it's already slowing down a lot. My point was that there is still work to be had if you want it.

I don't know why you needed to add the attitude part of the post though.

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Posted : May 20, 2012 2:50 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

The old saying, "Better Safe, Than Sorry" applies here.
I have camped out in the VI when growing up but unfortunately those days are gone and unless you are camping in a designated camp ground, you may be asking for more trouble than you may be prepared to handle. Unlike Matt T, the so-called negative posters, myself included, are trying to prevent something bad happening to you. STX has campgrounds, you would be well off to touch base with them and rent a site which would be a darned bit safer than striking out on your own, lurking in the bush, attempting to hide your camp and yourself from discovery.We already live in the islands, we know what's safe and what's not. Take good advice.

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Posted : May 20, 2012 4:41 pm
East End Doug
(@east_end_doug)
Advanced Member

OldTart

It's the slow season with some peoples level of thinking. You can only help so much and never argue with a fool.

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Posted : May 20, 2012 9:14 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

old tart is spot on

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Posted : May 20, 2012 10:08 pm
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

I moved here with a little over a grand, got a job in a week, bought a beater and am fixing it up. I met some great people who helped me out, because there are a lot of them. I found that most of the things I read, including this site, didn't prepare me very well and it was a lot different.

If you're a serious camper and used to doing without much "stuff", you'll do fine. There is plenty of work around also.

Aside form idea of camping (ie hiding out in the bush) I have to agree. There is a world of difference between a young single guy/gal and older semi retired couple or a family with school aged childern. A single person may be able to couch surf for a week or two and pick-up a "job", find a roommate, bum a few rides. Relocating with a family is whole different story.

More important than money is the correct attitude. A big smile, a good personality and a generous spirit go along way in VI. (I think some of the posters here have forgotten the freedom and joy of youth.) I made a lot of mistakes in my life and enjoyed most of them at the time!!

Your 20s are the time in your life to take risks.

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Posted : May 22, 2012 12:55 am
Jamison
(@Jamison)
Trusted Member

I moved here with a little over a grand, got a job in a week, bought a beater and am fixing it up. I met some great people who helped me out, because there are a lot of them. I found that most of the things I read, including this site, didn't prepare me very well and it was a lot different.

If you're a serious camper and used to doing without much "stuff", you'll do fine. There is plenty of work around also.

Aside form idea of camping (ie hiding out in the bush) I have to agree. There is a world of difference between a young single guy/gal and older semi retired couple or a family with school aged childern. A single person may be able to couch surf for a week or two and pick-up a "job", find a roommate, bum a few rides. Relocating with a family is whole different story.

More important than money is the correct attitude. A big smile, a good personality and a generous spirit go along way in VI. (I think some of the posters here have forgotten the freedom and joy of youth.) I made a lot of mistakes in my life and enjoyed most of them at the time!!

Your 20s are the time in your life to take risks.

I'd agree with everything you said. I wish I made this move in my 20's, instead of being almost 40. haha.

I'm sure it's a completely different story with a family, but if it's just yourself, with no baggage, it's doable much easier than most would think.

It's a risk and not for everybody, but I'm loving it and will work my ass off to make this work, no matter how hard it can be at times.

But I guess I'm just a fool.

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Posted : May 22, 2012 4:37 am
Uttica
(@Uttica)
Advanced Member

There's no way on god's green earth (which includes STX) that I would camp anywhere that has centipedes!!.

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Posted : May 23, 2012 12:06 am
Matt T
(@Matt_T)
Advanced Member

I have yet to find a centipede where I live. But da tarantulas dem everywhere. Maybe they eat the centipedes. Anyhoo, I like the tarantulas, they're my friends. My when I come across one while diggin up some soil for a new garden plot, I just relocate them out of my way.

Ok as you were, back on topic.

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Posted : May 23, 2012 4:14 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Tarantulas? Are you in Rust Op Twist area??

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Posted : May 23, 2012 4:43 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Sure they're not wolf spiders?

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Posted : May 23, 2012 4:52 pm
sheiba
(@sheiba)
Advanced Member

Tarantulas!!!!!!????? What???? I was not aware of tarantulas on island. I see the centipedes on occasion, usually dead and never in my home, yet. I have seen them while hiking in the rainforest on rainy days.

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Posted : May 25, 2012 8:40 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

Having rented to hundreds of newbies, I can only say that this is not the place to move with no money. Determination and a smile could be good, but the next thing you will be at the soup line and counted on the next homeless count. If you sincerely want to come and be productive, then stay back home and squirrel away some more funds to rent a legit campsite or even an inexpensive room. That;s all. If you were to squat on my property I would see to it you are arrested. It's against the law. Period. JMHO.

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Posted : May 28, 2012 12:40 am
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member

Ronnie, I agree...in part. I would not like if I found someone camping/squatting/hiding out in my bushes. My dogs and my dad's veintidos wouldn't like it either. Having a place to crash (friend's couch, cheep room) for a week or two is a minimal requirement. HOWEVER, not all "newbies" are seeking a waterfront condo and a job waiting tables. A very good friend of mine grew up in a two room shack with 11 siblings down Island. In addition to substantial material sucess, my friend managed to improve the lives, health and well being of hundreds in need of true assistance.

I think alot of the regular posters, forget that middle class, middle aged, state side, anglo transplants are a minority in the territory. The VI is home to many different folks form many different walks of life, who find success along many different paths. Forcasting someone else's potential success using some "standard model" based on "high/low season" and how much $$ is your pocket upon "landing" is a bit persumtious.

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Posted : May 28, 2012 2:21 am
nohstx
(@nohstx)
Advanced Member

It seems that the original poster has left the conversation, and there are obviously some strong feelings about the topic, but having personal experience living "Off the Grid" in the VI, I will say this:

Everyone who moves here approaches it a different way. Some want to take the more standard route, house, car, job, etc. Some want to do it differently, maybe squatting, sneaking around in the bush doing who knows what. Others, like myself, just have a love of the outdoors.

I know I am the exception to the rule, but after two or three years of living mostly off the grid stateside, I moved to STX as a young, single guy ten years ago with $300, a trunk full of tools, knowledge of my trade, a healthy work ethic, and the ability to not only survive, but thrive living outside. I lived in the rain forest aka "da bush", with the landowner's permission, in a tent or various temporary shelters of the grid, for over four years. The main reason I moved into a house is because eventually I wanted to turn on a light at night, sit on a soft chair, and open a COLD beer.

I have worked steadily for the entire time I have lived here. While living off the grid I was able to save enough money to travel quite a bit. I was able to get a jump start to purchase a piece of land here in the VI. I pay my taxes. I have a career. I have a family. I haven't been a drain on society, hopefully. I have made out pretty good, overall. Some would say even better then many of those who took the standard route moving here.

It is my experience that out of all of the people who move here, no matter how you start out, only a handful out of all who try actually have what it takes to make it here for more than a few years. I say all of this to say that while I would never recommend "Stealth Camping" or "squatting" as portrayed in this Topic, intentional, "Off the Grid" living is possible for the right person. It is not glamorous, and it my not be comfortable for some, but it is possible.

I know because I have personally done it.

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Posted : May 28, 2012 7:13 pm
Matt T
(@Matt_T)
Advanced Member

best post ever on this board

Thanks for sharing your experience and showing what's possible.

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Posted : May 28, 2012 9:57 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I agree, good post. I'm too old to do this, but I respect the idea.

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Posted : May 28, 2012 10:33 pm
jimmy
(@jimmy)
New Member

http://stthomassource.com/content/news/police/2012/05/28/homicide-data-2012

i was thinking of moving to stx but it does not sound safe..
its got me thinking of not even going for vacation...

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Posted : June 9, 2012 1:32 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

That's a shame but thanks for posting.

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Posted : June 9, 2012 10:58 am
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