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YouTube 'stealth camper' spends night in Langford, B.C. roundabout


For most people, going camping in B.C. means logging on to the BC Parks website in hopes of booking a premium site in a provincial park.

Steve Wallis isn't most people.

A quick scan of his YouTube channel shows that Wallis has an unusual idea of an ideal camping spot.

Earlier this month, in a video that's been viewed more than 2.6 million times, Wallis took viewers on a camping trip to the centre of a landscaped roundabout on Langford Parkway in Langford. 

"How could you not want to camp in there for the night?" Wallis asked CTV News during an interview this week, before demonstrating how the bushes in the roundabout open up into a dry, well-hidden spot, just big enough to set up camp inside.

He calls this type of adventure "urban stealth camping."

"I have trouble explaining it without sounding like I've lost my mind," Wallis said. "It's just a playful sense of adventure that I think is fairly benign."

He said most of his viewers feel similarly, though sometimes it takes people a while to "get it."

"When every new wave of subscribers comes aboard after a larger video like this, there are some people that will never understand what it's all about and don't get the fun in it, and then there's others that kind of catch on and say, 'Yeah, you know what? That was neat,'" Wallis said.

On his website, he describes himself as a man on a mission "to take back camping for the people." 

That's not to say his approach is combative. He's not doing dangerous stunts, and he always packs out all of his trash and any other garbage he finds.

"It's more Mr. Rogers goes and breaks a bylaw in a traffic circle," Wallis said.

He knows his hobby is illegal, but it's typically a fairly minor violation, subject to a fine similar to those on the books for jaywalking or failing to keep a dog on leash. Plus, the point is not to get caught. That's why he never stealth camps in the same spot twice.

"I won't do it again," he said of his stay in the roundabout.

"And I don't encourage anybody else to do it." 

With files from CTV Vancouver Island's Jordan Cunningham Top Stories

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