How to Escape From America





Introduction: How to Escape From America

About: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output devices. His detailed drawings of traditional Pacific...

My cousins were hiking in Washington State when they came upon this sign. It says

United States Boundary
This is an Unlawful Pedestrian
or Conveyance Crossing
Violators are Subject to Arrest,
Fines and or Forfeiture of
US Customs and Border Protection
Please Report Suspicious Activity to
U.S. Border Patrol"

So of course they braved the possible minefield and sensor nets surrounding this sign and ALLEGEDLY traipsed back and forth across the border. They also ALLEGEDLY experimented with that strange limbo of having half their bodies in each country.

"Allegedly" is a journalistic term of art that will protect us from overzealous law enforcement agents seeking to use this instructable as evidence.

Then they went back home to the U.S., but they could have kept going into Canada carrying a cargo of books which are banned there but not here or attempted to work there illegally. They could have tried to enroll in a free Canadian University or attempted to get medical care at some free Canadian clinic and generally become a "burden on the Crown." That's the sort of thing that borders were invented to prevent.

The Canadians didn't put up their own sign though, recruiting informants and warning about how they'll punish violators.

Step 1: Just Leave

In 2001 and 2003 when I left the country on my own boat I researched to find out the proper procedure.
I was very surprised to find out that the proper procedure was NONE. You just leave.
If you wanted you could file a "float plan" with the harbormaster or coastguard so they'd have an idea where to look for you if your boat falls apart and you don't get to your destination. But you didn't have to.

There was no permit to get, no form to fill out, no stamp to put in your passport. You just left. You could decide where you were going later. Thats what leaving was like. All the checking happened on the way in. And in most places there wasn't much of that.

Customs cared that you might be transporting stuff. So they wanted to hear that you arrived.
You were supposed to go to a "Port of Entry" which in s.e. Alaska is Ketchikan. That's about 100 miles from the actual border. After you get to town you go looking for the Customs office. They had a piece of paper on a clipboard. I wrote my name and what my boat was. "home made canoe". I could have done it by calling the customs "clearing in" phone number 1-800-827-2851, but I wanted to do an extra good job.

I was so happy and proud to be an American. A free country. They don't care what you do. You can leave or come back if you want and you don't have to get hassled by jerks in costumes.

Now that the terrorists have won and we've decided we hate freedom also, there are some dumb new hassles. If you want to go in and out of the country on your own boat you have to go to some office with three forms of id, get fingerprinted, pay $16 and buy a sticker to have the right, which lasts a year.

There are some other methods also. I couldn't make any sense of the crap on the "homeland security" website, supposed to be the real source: and
As you can see, their mission is to advance their careers, try to look good, and waste people's time with useless crap. Meanwhile, other branches of government are devoted to creating as many terrorists as possible. (Ooops. I forgot title wasn't "why to escape"). Anyway,

The "Lake Ontario Sailing" website is much clearer on how to deal with the new red tape:

By the way, as Chomsky says, the message of all this ranting is not that our government is bad, but that we all should get much more involved with it, because it represents US.



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    232 Discussions

    Thanks for sharing... I was looking for such information.

    I am seriously considering revoking my citizenship in the US if things don't get better. I could go on and on to write a paragraph detailing what's wrong with the US, but I'll stick to the points of interest. Turn 18, and you HAVE to sign up for selective service, or you get nothing from the government and won't be able to keep a driver's license. I have less than a year before this happens. Smoke pot, and you are a criminal. Enough said. I can't stand a country that makes its own criminals. Did I mention the military is retarded? Anyhow, nice find, thanks for posting it. 5 starred.

    18 replies

    REVOKE IT....please,but then decide what country is "better",and then move.
    things will never get "better" then how you think things "were".
    dont render verdict on anything you know nothing about...I did exactly that to selective service,and that was in the early 1980's...they NEVER called me,
    there isnt any draft,so your only giving them your name,just like when you do a tax return.

    trust me,if the federal government wants you,they'll get you no matter where you "Revoke to",and even in canada they have you do service.

    how you as a minor,who has never served in any branch,voted legally,or know anything about the military services escapes me,with exception of heresay,and innuendo,and your repeating it here.

    and dude,the "smoking pot laws" are LOCALLY enforced,not might want to learn a bit more before you start going off on who is guilty of what "crime against dopers",and I am a libertarian,who thinks drug laws are vacant.

    feds only care if your a big enough dealer to rise about the radar,and they get a large enough return on all their time spent investigating you.
    lastly,if your a professor,you ARE a "doctor"..
    your accorded a 'Phd',one of my friends has one,a doctorate in aeronautical design.

    lastly look here for a good idea about hiding in canada,to avoid "the draft"

    the draft wont happen,too many people are volunteering fopr active service and re-enlisting,there is no need FOR a draft,there is enough people who are going willingly,to need to drag you in "kicking and screaming".

    For starters, lay off. My name is one I made just for grins, and until the end of this month, I don't have a high school diploma, so naturally I have neither a PhD or a doctorate. I also know full well that the name "Doctor Professor" is redundant. That's the idea.

    I am also fully aware that SS does not guarantee that I would be drafted into the military, but I resent the idea of being told to give my name for a service I would never be willing to join. You say you weren't called on in the 80's. There wasn't any god-awful messes like the Iraq war going on then, which has had way too many soldiers thrown at it (twice if they survive the first bout). I would dread the idea of fighting pissed-off Iraqis/Iranians over oil fields.

    And to the drug issue. Yes, dealers are a priority over users. But users can still get slammed for holding. I'm applying for college. I'd be very pissed if something got messed up because I decided to enjoy my 420.

    Now you can reply. saying I've gotten all uptight and I'm taking this in a hostile way. But you've mentioned the fact I'm 17 as if it's a cause for ignorance. I've taken quite a few courses in U.S. Government, I watch the local and national news every night, oh, and my brother, uncle, grandfather and Great grandfather were/are all Naval officers. Don't ever give me the "dumb little boy" talk. Your condescending demeanor isn't welcome on sites like this, where people are allowed to express their opinions without undue backlash.

    You could have politely corrected any mistakes I made, but instead you went for the offense and decided to blame my mistakes on age or lack of higher education. Arguing on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics.
    Even if you win, you're still retarded.

    But being underage, as you've mentioned, I guess I'm already eligible for that race.

    I'm glad you said something . . . personally i despise the mere thought of speaking with someone who looks down on me strictly for superficial reasons like age and assumes that they know more or are better simply for having not died for longer. Unfortunately, for the most part, things wont get any better . . . i don't get any more respect or civility now at 22 than i did at 12. The only older people that treat me as equals are my co-workers(and this is only after i "proved" myself by solving coding problems that escaped them) and the people at my dojo. wasnt an age thing....he's dogging our country and saying it ISNT worthy.... that sucks..that was my point..not his age,except for the whining

    no place is "worthy" to tell you the truth . . .but that's entirely beside the point if he has found something about our country that he takes issue with then he should (and in my opinion has a duty to) say something. If he's the only one with that issue then most likely it's a non-issue but if his speaking up shows others something they don't like and they take issue with it too then perhaps he has found something requiring change and started the process. I don't think he is "dogging our country" in the sense that he's saying the people in it are terrible . . .he's merely complaining about the way it's run

    hey pm me i like to pick your brain please its hard to find people who can think out the box

    Thanks for being one of the few REAL patriots of this country. Maybe with your help, we can have a real democracy again someday, and the founding fathers can stop rolling in their graves after witnessing what they have in the past 7+ years....I commend your "uncommon-sense", and may you never lose your grasp on it.

    for about 13% of the U.S. Population it's a terrible place and those 13% are descended from people that never wanted to be here in the first place.

    I agree with "Kaelessin" on this one. He isn't dogging what this country represents, he's dogging what this country IS. You can choose to be ignorant of what the current state of the union is by watching your "Faux News Channel", but some of us see how the country is currently not representing the values it was founded on. If you cannot see this obvious truth, then your opinion is invalidated until you come to terms with the truth that surrounds you.

    When you stop believing all that you hear as you wear blinders on to the rest of the world, you will quickly learn more worldly views. At least "Kaelessin" is one of those people who has not been blinded by political party or religion, and has actually seen things with open eyes. Try it sometime, you can learn a lot. Democracy can come back once Americans stop being complacent and have enough courage to speak out.

    "Land of the free, home of the brave", remember? Become complacent and you show no bravery....Have no bravery, and you will never be free, and all that our founding-fathers have fought and died for will be lost to the radical-right party (conservative republicans), and no american will have a choice, because a church will make it for them, and they will have no liberty, because a church will take it from them, and they will have no justice, because a church will decide that for them.....and churches are very influenced by large donations of money....

    "Separation of church and State" was lost as soon as we voters catered to candidates who pandered to christian values. Continue this tradition, and we bastardize everything our forefathers fought for and died for. You will defile everything this country, that you claim to be so proud of, has ever stood for, from a twisted sense of "patriotism" that is more commonly-defined as "nationalism" (and yes, there is a very-distinct gap between the two).

    "Kaelessin" is more the patriot, you seem more the "nationalist". Remember that the next time you call yourself "patriotic" (and I know you do). If you are so proud to be an american in this day and age, go enlist and die in Iraq for your beloved dictator's oil-interests, and let him profit from your death. The rest of us will dissent and combat the real threat to America and the world: The USA's current administration. You will die in Iraq an american nationalist, we will live in america as the real patriots, who demand change. The only reason we don't call for impeachment is because that would make Cheney president, and we all know how good his aim is...

    Religion is an interesting point and to so many it can be a blinder and all too often an excuse to wreak genocide on others simply for being different. However, like so many great things turned sour, religion at its very core and roots is not a bad thing . . .I for one call myself faithful (and religious though I most vehemently disagree with several points having to do with policy and the treatment of others that my chosen institution is guilty of) but do not let this faith become an excuse. it, just like any other aspect of my being simply is a part of who I am and no more. I don't expect everyone to believe the same things as I do and i certainly believe in or see the merit of many teachings which would like as not get me thrown out for being a "heretic" but now i digress . . .basically my main point is that taken at its roots, just like nationality, patriotism, and all that, religion is also not bad . . .the institution simply needs a LOT of work. Funny you should mention something about pride! I remember seeing all those bumper stickers with the pretentious slogan "Proud to be an American" emblazoned on them . . .it really gave me pause and i wondered . . .why? are we better somehow? but i remembered an old saying (which tends to be watered down these days) and made my own sticker . . .if you're easily offended or are one of these "Nationalists" just remember I;m not trying to enrage anyone . . .just disturb the complacent. See the image below if you care to . . I also thought long and hard about making one in mockery of "God bless America" along the lines of "God bless Iraq" but I figured I'd rather not try to go about my everyday life trying to function with lead in my temporal lobe . . .


    Religion which drove the nails, politics, and man induced , run government is all meant for evil. While Christianity, that walking out of the tomb as promised, prophesied exactly three days later. Rather, is meant as the only good and perfect gift which descends down from the Father of lights.
    This divine overcomer was describing religion when he declared all gone before us, where thieves and robbers. How it was a murderer from the beginning, which abideth not in truth, that as a roaring lion seeking whom it may devour
    As so is the state of mass assembly of all sort as Satan's Seat permeate all of it, until we're now suffering at its demonic form, and still we call it home. No, this temporal world, fallen into the hands of Satan, and a third of a rebellious host of heaven.
    That has visibly staggered Into this seatbed of demons without numbers, into these evil manners of cataclysmic, abominable worship. So much so the man God made is blasted heart, mind, soul and immortality. Just this horribly failed attempt to live with it
    This immortal that mortals forget, its blessed hope in the midst, Jesus knocking dome 2000 years trying get its attention. I shutter to think what has, is, and will happen to all who wont listen! I found this room, researching people escaping America while they still have their children. Awake! Apb, see here,

    actually what is the difference by your description of church control and government control? They are exactly the same. Churches are local and so individuals have a say, govt is federal and more fed every day and no input from locals so If I had only those two choices I would choose local, but guess what there are more than 2 choices.

    Amen bro, and I'm 32...That's the vigor I EXPECT from someone calling themselves an American. Thanks for being a part of the "good breed", and pat your parents on the back for raising you right. You are yet another rare example to the rest of this weak-willed and weak-minded mass of citizens that claim to be America.

    Thanks for your support . . .sometimes it seems as if I'm the only one with these views . . .granted being different is cool sometimes but simply being different doesn't get things done. Now if we could find a way to convince some more people to begin turning the wheels of change . . .

    your the foolish person excersizing your free will and choosing to smoke dope..if YOU get busted...your fault. you chose to do this.... want to not get busted? do it and dont get stupid,I could do a bunch more then be as NICE as I was..concidering your slamming the nation of BOTH our birthrights... frankly,you dont like it here...move. but since you dont care to,vote,and change things democratically and just want to have a public whining session....your just a little kid on the internet in my humble opinion. and dude,you had better grow up fast,the real world aint kind and warm and fuzzy like the classrooms you've held court in so far,and tried to here as well. failing that...let me know when you want to leave,I'll be glad to pay for your airfare to ANOTHER country,one concession on your part,you dont come stay gone,and try to make others of like mind agree with you why the USA you depict is cruel,evil,and not worthy of your allegience.

    perhaps he'd have a different opinion of this "great" nation if citizen's votes were more than suggestions, if those running it (and im not just speaking of out current one though he is no exception) weren't convinced that we don't need to know all the things they're doing, if we weren't convinced that simply being born here makes us greater than someone born elsewhere. Seriously, i doubt there are many(if any) "better" places to live but that doesn't mean we shouldn't complain and make our opinions known. If we all shut up and accept that this is as good as it's gonna get then we've already lost. my motto: "Seek improvement in perfection"


    I dare say that libertarianism is the very worst example of US philosophy. Libertarianism allowed the KKK to form. Libertarianism allows Neo-Nazi groups to congregate. Libertarianism allowed Bush to invade Irak without a single shred of evidence. Libertarianism allows parents to sentence their own children to death or lesser qualities of life by denying the doctors' liberty to administer medicines, blood products and surgery. Libertarianism allows children in US classrooms to boycott their biology teachers, and has allowed a group of religious fanatics to mask religious theory as science and introduce Creationism into biology classes. How comes that libertarianism can also be blamed for all the evils in your so-called "free" society, which allowed great degrees of racial denigration well into the 1960's?

    I hope you feel proud to be a libertarian and enjoy shouting "people should be allowed to do whatever they will". I stick with Mexican philosophy: the Mexican constitution was written around the principle "Among the people and among the nations, the respect for the other's right equals peace". Mexico has trouble implementing its own constitution and its authorities have an incredible tract record for corruption, but before you criticize that country, you should remember that Mexico is just coming out of seventy-two years' worth of US-supported tyranny.

    I think you are misunderstanding what Libertarianism is and that it means different things to different people. To me it is the type of freedom that the founding fathers had in mind.

    "Libertarians hold that each person has the absolute right of self-ownership over his or her life, body, speech, action and honestly acquired property. Each has the obligation to respect those same rights in mutual respect for each other's right of self-ownership. Anything that is peaceful, voluntary and honest violates no rights and thus is not a proper subject for governmental intervention." -- David Bergland

    If anyone wants to know the truth about libertarianism check this out

    Thank you and Have A Nice Day.