Camp Security

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 08:54
ThreadID: 33077 Views:2553 Replies:19 FollowUps:20
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Hi All,

Just a question on camping and the security of your equipment in camp sights and parks.

I was wondering how secure your equipment was after it has been setup and you go off sight seeing etc. To what level do you need to pack up to and are there any known areas that you don’t leave your gear at all.

Thanks,

Matt
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Reply By: Coolman - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:02

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:02
Matt,

I have never had a problem but I always close my tent up (also in case it rains) and put anything valuable out of sight or hidden if smal enough.

Anything really valuable gets locked in the car.
AnswerID: 168005

Reply By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:14

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:14
Matt,

Work on the theory that everyone else is like you. We all are out travelling because we love it. Usually everyone respects the possessions of others it's just the small minority who might be tempted to "lift" someone else's gear.

Until recently we never had anything "go missing" but we were camped in a cp in Singleton last month, woke to the sound of rain on the camper roof, looked out the window and saw a bloke rifling through the crate that we'd left on our table. this was just beside my window. He bolted when he heard our voices, dropped the crate and off. We thought we'd be so fortunate and divine providence had thwarted our would be thief. This was until two days later when we thought we'd have a celebratory drink . Guess what? He dropped the crate but he took the bourbon. If I'd know that I'd have chased him!!

Viv
AnswerID: 168008

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:17

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:17
Matt,

In all the years that I have been camping I have never had a camp site touched.

I do take a few precautions though.

Things that can go inside a tent get pack away, chairs and tables are stacked together, the fire is alwasy put out, and the place left tidy.

Gas bottles and anthing that is portable is also out of site.

I have come back to camp and a tarp or a tent may be down but that ws caused by the wind.

Wayne

.

AnswerID: 168010

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:29

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 09:29
Matt, what the other guys said.
Despite that, my biggest 'fear' is coming back and finding that some low life has hooked up the CT and pinched the lot.
To help prevent that, I carry a length of high tensile chain. I put it through one of the wheels and attach a large lock. I put the lock behind the wheel where it is difficult to get at to try to break it.
When hooked to the vehicle, I put a lock through the hole in the end of the hitch pin.
Probably not entirely necessary, but I relax a lot more when we leave the rig unattended.

Like others, we take reasonable precautions and have never had anything pinched from a camp site.
AnswerID: 168013

Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 15:58

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 15:58
Spliced heavy cable is better than chain, there isn't many chain & padlock set ups that a 4' 'master key' won't open!
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FollowupID: 423323

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 18:14

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 18:14
Perhaps true Shaker, but the chain is Lockwood hardened manganese steel and the lock is also hardened steel. Both are rated 9 on a 10 point scale, ie about the toughest, highest security Lockwood makes.
Not impossible to get through (nothing is), but few people would own or carry the the equipment to breach it.
Most physical security is based on time to penetrate. What time is required for response to arrive, or what time the criminal is prepared to apply to breaching it before moving on to an easier target.
I think Ive done about all I can reasonably do.
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FollowupID: 423376

Reply By: Mr Fawlty - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 11:05

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 11:05
I take all the reasonable precautions only had 2 nasty incidents, once I was completley done over at Bourke by bored kids and at Merimbula I had the contents of my Waeco freezer taken....
AnswerID: 168033

Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 11:51

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 11:51
Matt,
I personally haven't had a thing taken in many years of camping all over Aus. but I have learn't a couple of things to be aware of.The biggest target for "outback" thieves is the popular Engel fridge(or Waeco) so make sure and keep it out of site if possible and maybe secured.One year 3 fully stocked Engels were taken at Cable Beach C.P. on the same night----I believe he was later caught.Another thing to beware of is remote boat ramps as the would be thief sees you leave the ramp for your fishing trip and he has free time to "inspect" your car.A good sign of danger is broken glass in the carpark area.Also when stopping for 2 mins. to buy that loaf of bread LOCK the car as there may be some nogood eyes looking at your well packed up car----and don't laeve the key under the bull bar.Hope this helps and enjoy your travels.
AnswerID: 168038

Follow Up By: spliney - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 17:29

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 17:29
Another good reason to get a Trailblaza - too bl00dy heavy to run away with!! :)

Spliney
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FollowupID: 423354

Reply By: Wizard1 - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 12:58

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 12:58
The only bad incident we had was in a crowded caravan park in Margaret River, WA. A scumbag tired to walk off with our esky full of beers until he got some rough justice dealt out.

Never had a problem free camping...I trust the vermin types in some of the caravan parks less than I trust other free campers.

Mind you, as most have suggested, avoid the tempatation....90% of most theft is opportunity...we leave our Waeco and generator covered and locked in the car when we're not around.

When we are around I chain the generator to the van bumper.

But then again it only keeps the honest people out....if they want it bad enough they'll take it...

One of the worst boat ramps I remember was East Arm Wharf in Darwin. We turned up to find about 8 cars had broked windows and stuff stolen. Lucky they'd struck abf left before we got there. There we several ramps around Darwin that accepted a fee for secure parking while you were out...

Wizard
Gold Coast
AnswerID: 168051

Reply By: Joe King - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 14:03

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 14:03
Mate of mine told me it got that bad at the Bohle River ramp in Townsville, people started taking everything worth of value out of the car & they were still getting broken into, finding nothing, they would slash the seats & tyres, so they started leaving $10 on the seat of their unlocked vehicles to save the broken windows, slashed tyres & seats.
it stopped the b@stards vandalising but still not a solution... there is only one for scum like this........
AnswerID: 168062

Reply By: flappa - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 14:10

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 14:10
Chain and padlock through wheels , and a small padlock between the 2 zippers on the tent.

Wont stop a determined thief , but may just deter an opportunist one.
AnswerID: 168063

Follow Up By: robak (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 16:16

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 16:16
Flappa,

RE: "small padlock between the 2 zippers on the tent".

When we were traveling a few years ago, a guy that worked at the airport (in mexico) showed us how useful padlicks were on bags with plastic zippers. He just pulled apart the plastic zipper with a screwdriver and becasuse all plastic zippers are self repairing you just zip it right back up. Takes about three seconds at most. Try it yourself.

So don't count on any padlocks. It may just tempt thieves thinking you've got something valuable.

Cheers

R.
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FollowupID: 423333

Follow Up By: flappa - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 17:04

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 17:04
Yes , you are correct .

In all honesty . . . I dont lock anything for that reason , hoping they work out I have nothing to pinch.
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FollowupID: 423349

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 15:18

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 15:18
Hi Matt,

We've been fortunate to have never had anything stolen or vandalised in 20 years of camping. However, I know two people who have had Engels stolen from their camp. Our Engel stays in the vehicle at all times. I suppose a determined thief could still break in and steal it but it takes a bit more time and effort than simply picking it up from an unattended campsite and walking off with it. Engels aside, we generally leave anything of value in the vehicle with things like satphone and camera out of sight. Laptop is kept locked in a draw of our storage unit. Lesser valuables such as camp chairs, tables, gas bottles, stove etc we always leave neatly stacked by the campertrailer and keep our fingers crossed. Always close up the kitchen and camper when away from camp which is good policy against local wildlife as much as low-lifes. We recently added a solar panel to our set-up and its security is a cause for concern as it is a highly desirable and portable item. We do not have it out unless we are at camp and before our next trip will be fitting a lockable carry bracket to the camper so that except when in use, it will be secured and out of sight. As a previous post has already said, our biggest concern is returning to camp one day and finding the whole camper trailer gone. I suppose at the very least we should buy one of those Treg hitch locks as a deterent. Lastly, if all else fails - INSURANCE!

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 168072

Follow Up By: rickwagupatrol - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 22:03

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 22:03
Hiya Melissa.
I can vouch for the tregg lock myself. Some lowlife decided they wanted the jayco whilst we were up at wedge over easter. they took a few small bits and pieces, but the jayco had a tregg lock through the hitch, there are marks from where they tried to hacksaw it, but it is still in one piece, and we still have the camper.

rick.
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FollowupID: 423475

Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 17:00

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 17:00
Avoid Campgrounds near pubs. At Southwest Rocks people camping there would see hands resching under the Annex after pub closing time - locals seeing what they could pick up. NOTHING was left outside the tent overnight.

Mike
AnswerID: 168106

Reply By: datto311 - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 17:03

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 17:03
We have never had anything stolen from our campsites, but we have had low-lifes steal our fish out of the bucket!! Once when we had the bucket in the shade under the car on a quite beach, and the other time was just recently on a busy beach on Fraser with all of the cars lined up and plently of people around.

Noel
AnswerID: 168107

Reply By: Mike Harding - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 18:28

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 18:28
Not quite what you asked but I carry a battery operated Passive Infra Red (PIR) alarm for those very rare occasions when I camp near to civilization. I set it up pointing in a direction where I think people may approach - never had any problems though. I also take it when I visit 3rd world countries and have to stay in "interesting" places :) Also use it in the top end in case crocs decide to wonder into camp at night - but given their low body temperature I don't know if it would detect them and I am happy to remain ignorant :)

As for stuff around camp: I'm usually sufficiently remote no one is likely to come along but if I'm going to be away prospecting for a few hours and I'm close enough in that theft is a worry I leave a note on the dashboard saying "John - gone shooting rabbit nearby - back soon". Never had anything stolen :)

Mike Harding

AnswerID: 168130

Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:46

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:46
'gone shooting rabbit nearby - back soon'
Love it.
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FollowupID: 423409

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 14:07

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 14:07
G'day Mike,

"battery operated Passive Infra Red (PIR) alarm " Are these a simple purchase? Are these the sort of things you see at the Dr surgery where you get that annoying chime?

Kind regards
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FollowupID: 423602

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 14:22

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 14:22
'gone shooting rabbit nearby - back soon'
idiots actually arnt smart enough to be scared of people with guns. i used to shoot at a pistol club in a quarry and the local village idiots would throw rocks down on us from above when we went to change targets. All you could see was a shaven head sticking above the lip from about 70m ---- Hmmm challanging shot with a pistol but easily do - able.
I ended up having to put a few into a tree (I am a bad shot i was aiming at the target - honest) near where they were hiding before they took off
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FollowupID: 423605

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 14:36

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 14:36
G'day Davoe,

Haven't moved yet? I think these idiots are now living in Bondi - watching ACA which was showing an article about some bored youth playing chicken with the traffic, including chucking some eggs at passing traffick. They said it was cool and just fun, pitty you weren't the club champion hey!

Kind regards
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FollowupID: 423608

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 17:11

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 17:11
Hi Beatit

Yep that's the kind of PIR I mean, these links point to a couple:

Site Link
keywords=passive+infra+red&SPECIAL=&form=KEYWORD&ProdCodeOnly
=&Keyword1=&Keyword2=&pageNumber=&priceMin=&priceMax=&SUBCATID=

Site Link
c06f7/Product/View/L7228

Mike Harding
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FollowupID: 423662

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 07:57

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 07:57
Thanks Mike, will get myself one of these.

Kind regards
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FollowupID: 424371

Reply By: Jimbo - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:35

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:35
I've heard some foul gossip and rumour that if anything gets pinched when camping, that you can keep schtumm and tell your insurer it was pilfered from your garage. Then they pay on your household polcy.

Now really, what sort of a low dog would rip off an insurance company. Flogging with the "cat of nine" needs to be re-introduced.
AnswerID: 168141

Follow Up By: Muddy doe (SA) - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:52

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 19:52
My policy with TCIS covers open air theft of camping equipment when unattended at a campsite. This would indicate that it happens rarely enough that the insurance company is happy to accept the risk.

Never had to claim yet but nice to know it is there.

Muddy
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FollowupID: 423414

Follow Up By: Jimbo - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 21:05

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 21:05
Now that is extra interesting Steve.

I must investigate this TCIS, I have some recollection Lyn mentioned them as well.

Jim.
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FollowupID: 423434

Follow Up By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 11:44

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 11:44
I did Jimbo, we have linked to the camper trailer insurance...

Lyn
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FollowupID: 423580

Reply By: steve+h - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 20:32

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 20:32
I have been involved in the caravan park industry for about seven years now and hav found that esky's left outside tents are the main targets for the young ones.
We once set up a dummy site using a 2 man tent and an esky with vb stickers on it to catch the ofenders but hooked up to the esky was a personal alarm (the type used for ladies handbags) as we were walking back to our vantage point at the office the bait was taken and we had only walked about forty meters. the alarm had drawn enough attention that some guys camping close by had tackled and caught th thief. these little alarms work well and are only about $15

Steve
AnswerID: 168153

Follow Up By: pojo - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 20:54

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 20:54
have travelled around aus and up the cape in a troopie and had no trouble ,then bought a van an and stayed 2nights at the calypso caravan park at yamba thieves went through the park and took anything that was not bolted down ,found eskys later but they disgarded the food and only took the grog
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FollowupID: 423426

Follow Up By: steve+h - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 21:05

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 21:05
Most eskys stolen from the park are usually found at the beach filled with sand and some go on the camp fire that the theives sit around and drink other peoples beer.
We went up to the beach early one morning and found five esky's. If the idiots only knew the value of some of these esky's they could make a fortune(Tropicals,ice-tec & once a 42ltr engel)

Steve
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FollowupID: 423433

Reply By: S&N - Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 21:46

Thursday, Apr 20, 2006 at 21:46
we dont have any probs when camping. but then we invested in a very hi-tech system. he is 50kg, black and tan, and only friendly to those that we want him to be friendly with!!! (he believes that all of our stuff belongs to him, and if you steal it, your stealing from HIM!!!)
AnswerID: 168187

Follow Up By: Joe King - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 11:41

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 11:41
Yeah, Mines about 25kg, Red with a stumpy tail. Very effective
he'll let you pick up what you want, but it hurts a lot around the leg area when you do.. he he
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FollowupID: 423579

Reply By: Member - Matt L (NSW) - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 07:36

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 07:36
Thanks folks there was some good advice here, it appears that the main item that is at risk of being stolen is GROG.

I think that I will drink mine and lower my risk.

Again thanks Matt
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AnswerID: 168234

Reply By: Tim M - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 09:12

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 09:12
I would hate to try and steal my own Tropical Ice Box as it weighs almost as much as my CT when laden with all the ice bricks and beer!
AnswerID: 168250

Reply By: johannagoanna - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 16:36

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 16:36
I have never ever had anything taken for campsites! The only thing we have of value that is left out if the gas bottle and lamp! Everything else is in the back of the car, which is locked should we be in bed sleeping or away from camp!

Nobody has mentioned the best theft deterrent and that is a set of eyes! When camping near other people, ALWAYS tell them you are leaving your campsite unattended, and ask them to keep an eye out!

Jo
AnswerID: 168336

Follow Up By: Bob - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 16:48

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 16:48
A mob at the Gympie Muster did just that.
They were camped and asked the "friendly" campers nearby to watch the gear while they went to town.
When they came back the camp was stripped, Engels, Honda Genny, tent and all gone.
"Friendly" campers were gone too.

Seperate to that one scumbag was disturbed pinching stuff and a camper chucked a star picket at him.
Thought he missed him as the bloke dissapeared into the scrub.
Coppers got him next day at Gympie hospital. The star picket didn't miss.
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 20:25

Friday, Apr 21, 2006 at 20:25
Aah, occasionally there is justice in this world.
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