In a packet communication system, loose source routing is employed to permit communication over networks of disparate types, including geographic and path-unaware types. No information resides on a wired access point (WAP). All of the intelligence of the system resides in Name Servers, which provide opaque addresses that end nodes (radios) in a wireless cloud can use to send packets to other end nodes (radios) in other wireless clouds. (A cloud is the set of radios serviced by a particular WAP.) According to the invention, the method employs an ordered list called a path and the network address of a packet consists of such an ordered list of addresses with a "marker" that flags the current destination of the packet and a "direction bit" that tells which direction on the list the next destination is. Each address in the path is type-length-value (TLV) encoded. The address has preferably a 4 bit "type" field, followed by a 4 bit "length" field (indicating length in words) of the value, and then the actual "value" of the address. Each address describes a "place" that the packet must "visit." These "places" may be areas which a packet must traverse, and not necessarily actual node addresses.