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Old 11-09-07, 09:02 PM   #1
Geddy
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Camping Security....

No, not another gun thread (though I do carry an Airweight .38) I'm picturing myself 500 miles away from home, trying to sleep in my tent, in the middle of the forest, where every crack and snap of a branch makes me think someone is stealing or vandalizing my bike.

I'm probably being paranoid, but if you lose your bike out there you're screwed

I wonder if there's a tent big enough to put your bike in along with all your stuff that is still light enough to carry?
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Old 11-09-07, 09:06 PM   #2
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When I'm 500 miles away from home, in the middle of the forest, every crack and snap of a branch makes me think:

a) bear ... "did I put the food cache high enough?"

b) elk ... "will it trample the tent ... nah, probably not"

c) deer ... ""


If there were anyone around in the middle of the forest, why would they steal or vandalize your bicycle???

Thousands of miles of tour, 150+ nights on the road, and I've never felt the need to do anything more than sling a light lock around the bicycles. The gear, however, goes in the tent ... mainly to protect it from the elements.
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Old 11-09-07, 09:11 PM   #3
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When I hear a crackle, snap, or pop (okay, I'm done now) I don't think animal or intruder! My first thought to these sounds is, am I far enough away from that 200 foot tree that the limb that's on it's way down won't land on my tent...with me inside?!
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Old 11-09-07, 09:22 PM   #4
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Because I'm paranoid...

An elk stole my friend's Jeep once...but that's another story!

I would just like the peace of mind that being able to store it in my tent would give.
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Old 11-09-07, 09:32 PM   #5
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About 12 months ago there was a similar thread.

The main problem I see is getting you and the bike under the same piece of cloth and you still being able to get around it, especially in the middle of the night when nature makes its call.

To me, the security issues are ALWAYS going to be in commercial campgrounds. A friend had a $5,000 titanium recumbent stolen in the Loise Valley recently at a commercial campground -- the thieves knew what they were after, and after cutting the bike lock, carefully moved a Bike Friday out of the way before making off with the recumbent.

Camping out in the wilds is a non-issue for me, security-wise.

If it still worries you, though, pitch your tent against a brushy backdrop with enough space to lay your bike down behind the tent. Put out guy ropes as you normally would for most tents. Believe me, if someone firstly can see the bike, then wants to make off with it, the chances are they will trip over the guys and wake you up.

Last edited by Rowan; 11-09-07 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 11-09-07, 09:35 PM   #6
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You can change your tent - -
Or you can change how you think.

The chances of getting your bike stolen in remote locations are - remote.
What is the value of being free from worry on a tour?
I have twenty years of touring experience and have rarely even locked my bike.
And I have spent the night from the Arizona deserts to the Northwest Territories.

You will never get a tent big enough to contain all possible worries.
But it is possible to leave the worries behind at the beginning of a tour.
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Old 11-09-07, 09:43 PM   #7
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I would just like the peace of mind that being able to store it in my tent would give.
I always use my cable lock to secure the bike to the tent. If the bike moves it pulls on the tent.
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Old 11-09-07, 09:50 PM   #8
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uh...yeah...okay...

I appreciate the hippy philosophy, iamawani but no matter how you try to put a happy spin on it, in the morning...your bike is still gone.
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Old 11-09-07, 10:08 PM   #9
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I always use my cable lock to secure the bike to the tent. If the bike moves it pulls on the tent.
+1
But I wouldn't do this wild camping. The likely thief response may well be kicking the crap out of whoever is in the tent.


I once found a deer chowing down on my leather jacket. Maybe just bring the brooks saddle into the tent
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Old 11-09-07, 10:09 PM   #10
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But Geddy -

I've toured for twenty years -
Probably more than 100,000 miles on my current bike -
More than half of that from touring.
Don't you think it more than just "hippy philosophy" to have 60,000 miles of experience?

The original poster said camping - not protecting a bike in Seattle or Chicago.
There ARE choices a person cam make -
Of route, of camping options, of value of bicycle -
So that one does not have to worry constantly about theft.

It has taken me half a lifetime to realize that I can either change my surroundings -
Or change my thinking. The latter is far easier and more pleasant.
Such a way of doing things may not be your choice -
But it remains a choice for those who wish to do so.
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Old 11-09-07, 10:11 PM   #11
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The original poster said camping - not protecting a bike in Seattle or Chicago.
Oops! You are the original poster.
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Old 11-09-07, 10:21 PM   #12
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If you have camped a few nights, you'll learn to ignore the twigs and noises unless it's something really, really, really unusual.

Machka has it right though. Bring most of your stuff in your tent **EXCEPT FOR FOOD**, which you should hang or secure properly to protect from critters and beasts.

I've never read a single recorded case of a bicycle being stolen while **STEALTH CAMPING**. I have read reports of them being stolen while parked at busy areas like super markets and gas stores though.

The odds your bike will get stolen while camping go up megafold if you camp at a busy campsite with motorized campers around you.

My feeling, stealth camping is safer for you and your bike.
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Old 11-09-07, 10:27 PM   #13
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I use something fairly simple to help me ignore the snapping of twigs and the wind and such little noises: earplugs. They are great, and very light and packable. You sleep like a baby. And if your gear is stored properly and your bike is secure, just snooze away.
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Old 11-09-07, 11:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geddy View Post
...I'm picturing myself 500 miles away from home, trying to sleep in my tent, in the middle of the forest, where every crack and snap of a branch makes me think...
Your being paranoid, try using earplugs.

Edit (oops): exactly like slowjoe66 said!
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Old 11-10-07, 11:05 AM   #15
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What, me worry?

I lock the bike and sleep blissfully. If it's ever stolen, I guess I'll deal with it.

I've camped my whole life. The only things that were ever stolen were two solar showers that I left down by the lake because it was the only place where there wasn't shade. I did a walk around the campground and found them in someone's campsite. Their kids - around 10-13 years old - had found them and thought, "finders keepers, losers weepers." I told their parents they were mine. There were some tense moments. The parents were kind of cretins (like their kids) who felt like they had to defend their kids regardless, but I was able to walk away with my showers and no fisticuffs.

My last bike was an old pink Nashbar with red blotches all over it ("touch-up paint" from the hobby store). I never worried about anyone stealing it. Now with my shiny, new LHT, I'll have to worry a little more I guess. Darn.
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Old 11-10-07, 12:06 PM   #16
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I think the likelihood of a bike being stolen is proportional to the utility of the bike in the area. In the middle of nowhere, with 20 miles to the nearest store, bikes aren't all that useful, and thieves are less likely to steal a bike. In Seattle, NYC, etc, where even a wally world bike is decent transportation, any bike locked with less than two monster hardened steel locks will last maybe 15 minutes.
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Old 11-10-07, 12:25 PM   #17
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In remote areas I never worry at all. In towns I am a bit more careful, but still don't worry. In cities I am very careful and do worry at least a little.

If you are paranoid enough to be worried in the woods then you should probably stay home
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Old 11-10-07, 12:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geddy View Post
I'm picturing myself 500 miles away from home, trying to sleep in my tent, in the middle of the forest, where every crack and snap of a branch makes me think someone is stealing or vandalizing my bike. I'm probably being paranoid, but if you lose your bike out there you're screwed.
Yes, you're definitely being paranoid.

Heck, I bet that most of the people who live in these areas that are 500 miles from your home don't even lock their doors at night.

Entertainingly enough, the NY Times ran an article awhile back on how "city folk" who have houses out in the country pretty much flip out, because they assume they are somehow more vulnerable to intruders, wildlife and the like. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/26/tr...gewanted=print )

The reality is that people just aren't going to mess with you, because there aren't all that many people out there in the first place, and they almost certainly have better things to do with their time than roam around a campground or forest looking for bicycles.

Oh, and on my last tour, I spent lots of time at least 3,000 miles from home, used state-run campgrounds, saw quite a few cycle tourists - including guys going from Alaska to Argentina - and never saw anyone using anything more intense than a cable lock. Really, bike theft is just not an issue.

As to "being screwed," even that is doubtful. It takes a car 1 hour to cover what a bike can do in a day. So unless you're in Eastern Manitoba, it's very likely that you can, at the absolute worst, hitch a ride to a nearby town / bus stop etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Geddy
I wonder if there's a tent big enough to put your bike in along with all your stuff that is still light enough to carry?
What are you going to do, carry around a 45 pound tent?

I guess you could bring a tarp and throw it over the bike, but I can't imagine that would actually deter anyone.
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Old 11-10-07, 02:03 PM   #19
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You could try a purse alarm. Set the bike next to the tent with a cable lock, than hook up the purse alarm in the tent using a tent peg and connect to one of the spokes using a fishing line. Anyone moves the bike('s) they'll pull the pin and a 120dB alarm goes off. It's sure to wake up the whole camping and maybe the thiefs will drop the bike('s).
I've used it on our last tour and it worked out well and only seconds to set up. With some looking around you can pick one up for less than 10 euro's.
cheers
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Old 11-10-07, 04:37 PM   #20
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hmmm

"What are you going to do, carry around a 45 pound tent? "

I think I mentioned that "I wonder if there's a tent big enough to put your bike in along with all your stuff that is Still Light Enough To Carry?"

I get the point that I'm probably being overly cautious (paranoid), but I disagree that, "If you are paranoid enough to be worried in the woods then you should probably stay home." I think making the bike a part of your tent and stealth camping is a good idea.

Thanks for all/most of the responses!
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Old 11-10-07, 04:47 PM   #21
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To answer the OP about tent availability:http://www.msrgear.com/tents/velo.asp seems to fit the bil but at 9.5 lbs is heavy.
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Old 11-10-07, 04:59 PM   #22
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An elk stole my friend's Jeep once...but that's another story!
Feel free to derail your own thread, I want to hear that story.
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Old 11-10-07, 06:49 PM   #23
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I think the likelihood of a bike being stolen is proportional to the utility of the bike in the area. In the middle of nowhere, with 20 miles to the nearest store, bikes aren't all that useful, and thieves are less likely to steal a bike. In Seattle, NYC, etc, where even a wally world bike is decent transportation, any bike locked with less than two monster hardened steel locks will last maybe 15 minutes.
I think that the only reason that it becomes less likely to have a bike stolen is simply because there are less people in the middle of nowhere. It has nothing to do with what is useful. Given the opportunity, a thief will steal anything that is not nailed down. Especially considering that drugs are becoming a huge problem in rural areas. They will steal anything to feed their habit.

I can see where having a bike stolen on tour could create a huge problem. The least of your problems is a ruined trip. But waking up in the middle of nowhere to find no ride out could create a huge problem.

They should do to bike thieves the same as used to do to horse thieves. All kidding aside, the police don't take these types of crimes seriously enough. Crimes that stand little chance of being caught, should factor into the punishment. You might stand little chance of being caught but you are going to pay dearly if you get convicted of a petty crime.
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Old 11-10-07, 07:17 PM   #24
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Geddy ... where's home and where are you planning to go?

My way of thinking is that you've got to use common sense, and go with what your intuition tells you. If I were camping in the Lion's Campground in the city where I live, I would handcuff my bicycle to myself and bury it in those purse alarms. And it would be pretty obvious in a short period of time that those measures would be necessary. But if I were camping way out in the woods west of where I live (Canadian Rockies), I probably wouldn't even bother with a lock. There's essentially no one out there, and the people who are there have mtn bikes on the back of their pickup campers. I highly doubt they'd want to steal my bicycle.

So you get a feel for the area you're in and act accordingly. In some cases, "acting accordingly" means moving on to the next campground. I've done that before. Or opting to stealth camp in a different place. I've done that before too. In other cases, it might mean tying your bicycle to your guy ropes or something.

The other thing you do is this ... you tour with an inexpensive and/or unattractive bicycle. The appeal of stealing your bicycle will be greatly reduced. If you are touring with a bicycle that is even remotely on the expensive side ... get insurance. Sure there's the hassle to deal with, but at least you won't be out much money.
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Old 11-11-07, 11:43 AM   #25
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I use a cheap tarp as a shelter and use the bike as a support sort of like a ridgepole. Someone trying to steal the bike would need to take the tarp down to get at it waking me up in the process.
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