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Camping is a great experience that promises to offer everyone who attends a great deal of fun and excitement. However, just because you are on holiday doesn’t mean you don’t also need to think about your security. Those who are off camping are still at risk of theft when it comes to personal items and anything that might be worth a little money – such as smartphones and watches. Here is a quick guide filled with handy tips for keeping your belongings safe when you are off camping. Make sure you read through and consider each of these points.
When You Need to Secure Possessions
Your possessions should be secure at all times, and you should always know where they are. However, there are a few instances when you need to be extra careful and make sure anything valuable is tightly secured. When you go off hiking for the day, you won’t bring everything with you, so make sure anything valuable that has been left behind is nice and secure until you get back.
Those who are at festivals should be especially vigilant as there are a higher number of thefts on festival camp sites. As a result, personal items and valuables should be kept close to you at all times, and you should always know where they are so that you can keep tabs on things.
Below, are the top ten security tips for you and your campsite. By following these, you should have a much safer camping experience – no matter if you are at a festival or out in the wild.
Security Tips for Your Camp
#1 Think About What You are Bringing
Before you embark on your camping adventure, you first need to think about what you are bringing. Do you really need that expensive watch? Are you sure you need your phone and your tablet? Keep the valuable items to a minimum, as this will maximise your chances of a secure camping experience. Once you have decided which valuables need to come on the trip with you, you can work on the best ways to keep them safe and secure.
#2 Use Your Common Sense
Bringing your common sense with you will do you a world of good. It branches off from the previous point a little, but common sense and security go hand in hand. Common sense is keeping your car locked, your valuable secure, and not leaving items within reach or sight of anyone who might find them more than a little interesting. It will get you a long way with camping security, so make sure it’s in place.
#3 Keep it in the Car
Are you off hiking for the day, or getting involved in another activity? You probably won’t be bringing all of your valuables, so make sure they are locked away in the car (and out of sight) before you head off. Even things like your camping stove should be kept locked up in your car before you leave.
While they may not be considered valuables, they are still expensive pieces of camping gear that would cost you a fair amount to replace, and would also cause you a little trouble when it comes to cooking if it should wander off. Keep your items covered and locked in the car when you are off site to help prevent theft.
#4 Keep Gear Close
A lot of the time, people leave their gear scattered around their campsite. After all, we don’t immediately think that our belongings might get picked up by someone who doesn’t own them. However, the best plan is to keep your gear close to you, and to have it neatly arranged in one place when you are on the campsite. Make sure they are in your line of view at all times, so that you can keep a close eye on things.
#5 Lock Your Items Up
Padlocks are deterrents, and that is a fact. While they may not work every time, they certainly make a thief stop and think before they act. Padlocks mean that it takes longer to get into the stuff they want to access, which means they could potentially get caught. When you go to put your stuff away, try to keep valuable in a small, portable, safe or box that can be locked either via a padlock or passcode.
For items that are large enough to be outside, such as a BBQ or portable fridge, you might find that a chain and padlock are your new best friends. You can secure the chain to a permanent fixture, and this should make it much more difficult for people to make off with your larger items. You may chuckle at the notion of chaining up and padlocking a portable fridge, but you would be surprised by the number of them that are stolen each year.
#6 Introduce Yourself
One of the best things you can do when you arrive at the campsite is introduce yourself to the other campers. Go over and say hello, introduce yourself and your family, and let them know which site is yours. Building a good relationship with your neighbours allows you all to watch out for each other throughout the day and evening.
It builds a sense of trust between you and them, and they are also more likely to let you know if there has been any suspicious activity on the site, or around your tent – namely unfamiliar people skulking around. Watching out for each other works more effectively than just looking out for yourself.
#7 Secure Your Camper Van
Just because you have a camper van does not mean you are entirely safe from the risk of theft. Make sure you have a lock on the side door as well as central locking for the driver and passenger seats. This will help the caravan to be more secure and aid in preventing break-ins.
You should also consider investing in a wheel clamp. In the unfortunate event that someone breaks into your van, the wheel clamp would prevent them from getting anywhere if they manage to get it started. Similarly, installing an immobiliser should help prevent them from starting it up in the first place.
When you have valuables in your camper van, make sure they are not in sight. Consider a screen for the windscreen and windows, preventing people from looking in and seeing what you have inside. You should also have GPS tracking installed so that you can use a mobile device to track the location of your campervan. This will also send notifications when it moves.
#8 Use Your Sleeping Bag
Your sleeping bag is the tool you never knew you had, and this tip is one that comes in very handy during festivals. You should never leave your valuables out in your tent while you are sleeping, as this makes it easier for potential thieves to access.
Instead, when you are asleep, place all of your valuables at the bottom of your sleeping bag, so that they are surrounding your feet. This keeps them out of sight, but is also a place where thieves would not usually try and access for fear of waking you up. Your sleeping bag is a safe place when you are inside it.
#9 Don’t Flash Your Cash
The golden rule of going anywhere is not to flash your cash. Don’t make your valuables obvious to anyone around you, and be discreet when you are using them – even your mobile phone and camera. Similarly, you should keep the amount of cash on you to a minimum, and make sure you don’t show it to anyone.
If you are bringing a debit or credit card, try to only bring one with you to minimise damage if it is lost or stolen. Leave the others at home where they should be safe. Keeping things to yourself and not making a spectacle of any of your possessions is the best way to keep the attention off you.
#10 Keep Everything Zipped
There is a big debate as to whether or not you should zip your tent up when you leave the campsite for the day. It can be hard to decide which is best, although for us we like to leave tents zipped up. Here are the arguments for both sides:
- Zipped tents make a campsite look empty, which could be appealing to thieves
- If you padlock a zipped tent, they can use a knife to get in through the side
- A zipped tent make it look like there is something inside worth breaking in for
- However, a zipped tent could also deter someone from going in because it will take more time to get in and look through everything
- A zipped-up tent means that anything that could be of interest is firmly out of sight, and potentially out of mind
It’s up to you as to whether or not you zip your tent up. There are pros and cons to each option, so it’s best to just do whatever works best for you and makes you feel the most secure.
Hopefully, this guide has given you some insight with regards to what you should be doing in order to better your security levels while camping. The main thing to remember is that you should only bring what you need, and you shouldn’t make valuables obvious when you are using them. With these tips, you’ll be feeling a lot safer and more secure on the campsite.
What did you think of our camping security tips? Are there any that you would have added to the list? We love hearing from you, so let us know in the comments below.