Any time I have camped near town and wanted to leave the campsite for the afternoon or evening, I have always been in a situation where I have had other cyclist / campers nearby. Not that there might not be a thief amongst all those touring cyclists, or that they would be standing guard over my gear, I have always thought that it is sort of an unspoken code touring cyclists have one another's back and I have felt fairly comfortable leaving my camp for a few hours. Of course taking all of my valuables.
I plan on taking just an overnight at the end of the month. It is just a short ride to a really great campsite next to the river and just outside of a small town. There is a cross trail that can be explored but it requires a climb up some rather steep and long steps. It would be easier if I don't have my gear.
I am debating setting up camp and leaving most of my gear in the tent and go find the cross trail or explore elsewhere. When camping near town, does anyone worry about leaving their gear for a few hours? It is a small town but I am sure it has it's bad element too. Sadly there is a problem with drugs in some of our more rural areas.