Chesapeake Camp Cruising - SailNet Community
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Chesapeake Camp Cruising

I've recently discovered the Maine Island Trails Association online, and as a resident of MD am wondering if there is a similar association or repository of information for camping cruising on the Chesapeake. Are there enough publicly accessible camp sites to make camping cruising fesable? Is that true in the MD portion of the bay? Being a backpacker and sailor I feel like I could get into camping cruising.

EDIT:

I've poked around a bit on this website: https://www.cbf.org/join-us/more-thi...hesapeake.html and found several resources that point to 'water trails' and access points (including the boater's guide to the John Smith Chesapeake Trail which looked promising), but I'm not seeing a concise list of places to camp for the night.

Second Edit:

Finding this old thread on another site that suggests the answer is pretty much "no".

Last edited by mrWinter; 2 Weeks Ago at 05:20 PM.
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Re: Chesapeake Camp Cruising

Bumping this, I'm a bit surprised no on has any comment. Maybe I put this in the wrong forum? I never saw it on recent discussions or the main threads page...
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Re: Chesapeake Camp Cruising

You might get a little more traction posting in the Chesapeake Bay forum but there doesn't seem to be a whole lot more to say about the topic than what was stated in the WoodenBoat Forum thread. I also found this link to a list of kayak-accessible sites, although many of them are probably in marshy areas and thus eliminated from access by keelboats.

The bigger issue is that it's probably a pretty small subgroup of Chesapeake sailors who would contemplate leaving the relative comfort of even a small sailboat's cabin to go rough it in a tent ashore. Even if you don't mind being in a tent, except for brief periods in the spring and fall, a boat cabin will always be the more comfortable choice for escaping the region's legendary heat, humidity, and insects. The main reasons I'd see for wanting to camp ashore would be either having a boat with no cabin or if there were hiking trails extensive enough to not be able to cover in a single-day hike. However, around the Chesapeake, you're never really that far from civilization and most of the shoreside trails are within relatively small and self-contained parks and nature preserves that can be covered in a single day ashore.

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Re: Chesapeake Camp Cruising

I don't know Chesapeake specifics, but I have some ideas you might try.

Uninhabited islands, especially spoil islands, people generally don't seem to care much if you pull up a dinghy and set up a quiet camp in the trees. You could try google earth or land use maps. Basically, if no one lives there and there are no businesses there...

Or, you could try the British/French approach to dinghy cruising(which is also densely populated).. They actually turn their dinghies into little camp sites with boom tents, jet boils and just sleep in the cockpit/bilge of the boat on boards or whatever to keep them out of the wet. They seem to often let their boats dry out on the mud at low tide. It surely can't be as comfortable as sleeping in a tent ashore but lots of them do it.

You could check out Arwens Meanderings and Roger Barnes on youtube for some ideas.

You could look at the UK based dinghy cruising association web site for ideas. Dinghy Cruising Association - Home

There is a great book on the subject, also by Roger Barnes, called "The Dinghy Cruising Companion". I got my copy off Amazon. It's one of the better boating how to books I have read. It's pretty comprehensive.

There are also a couple of Dinghy Cruising Groups on FB. The bigger ones are UK based but have quite a few American and Canadian members because we just don't seem to have the same interest in small boat cruising over here that they have over there.
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Re: Chesapeake Camp Cruising

I would check local paddling forums (kayaks). I bet they would know.

Unless the boat is very tiny, the best answer can be to sleep on the boat in a quiet cove; the bugs on shore are monstrous at night, but 50 yards out there are none. And the Chesapeake has a lot of coves.

(I've done both)
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Re: Chesapeake Camp Cruising

Canoe trails...maybe not there
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