How To Keep Your Bike Safe When Camping

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How to keep bike safe when camping: There is always the risk of the camper losing his/her precious bike to thieves while out camping in the suburbs, particularly when you consider that camping is done mostly in secluded environments with as few people as possible and in some cases only one camper.

To further worsen the odds is the fact that campers may stay in this seclusion with nature for a few days sometimes, which really counts against them.

Since bike theft is a fact we must contend with, how best can we guard ourselves against the pilferers of our precious possessions?

There are innumerable ways via which we can stop any such losses from happening.

Some of these thieving countermeasures are really quite logical and very ingenious, such as never to camp in a place where only one person knows that you are there.

It is much better if no-one knows you are there if that is possible.

Where that is not, then camp in a place where several people actually know that you are there such as in the neighborhood of a village or gathering place like a church, for instance.

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In such cases, you are advised to lock your bike to a gate pole or to itself via a very reliable bike securing locking device and there are many of such on the market to choose from.

When you do this, make sure that the bike is in some way touching the tent so that you may get alerted of any possible attempt on it by potential thieves.

This is very ingenious since most thieves may not know that any attempt to nick the bike especially in the dark may cause the tent to rustle in the process, which will inadvertently alert you of the impending doom.

There are also battery-powered alarms with chain loops attached to one end of the alarms and the other end to a tab that sets off a sharp shrilling siren, the moment it is tampered with in any way.

You can also route this chain through the spooks of the bike so that the instant someone fiddles with the bike, it goes off blaring into the night.

The very crafty and effective security measure, if you ask me.

There are some roomy tents with vestibules where you can also stash your bikes inside as a panacea against thieves.

Where you camp close to a  tree, for instance, you can equally lock your bike to the tree since shifting both the bike and the tree seems a difficult, if not a downright impossible endeavor.

After such ingenious arrangements, unless the thief or thieves carry firearms or they far outnumber the camper(s), any attempt at pilfering a bike so secured is bound to come with very disastrous tidings, particularly if the campers are willing to put up a fight and most are or should because I would.

Thieves don’t want any trouble but mostly an easy loot, or so I think.

This should count in your favor.

Always lookout for some insurmountable object to which you will chain lock your bike and if possible in plain sight.

By the way, never be complacent on a busy campground because these are usually the arena for thieves of all categories and shady intents; you might want to stay alert and most of the time too.

How to lock your bike while on camping trips

The impending fear of getting your bike stolen while on any camping expedition is the fear of most campers.

Luckily enough, there are numerous countermeasures to take in discouraging this from happening and save the day.

Take a look at the following measures and make your pick(s);

  • Procure a safe and reliable lock
  • Do not park in isolated or overcrowded places
  • Bring your bike indoors
  • Do lock your bike on a balcony or in a closed garage
  • Use a GPS tracker

1. Procure a safe and reliable lock

The safety of your bike may in most cases depend on the integrity of your locks.

Though this may not entirely safeguard the bike from being stolen, it nonetheless makes the task of stealing the bike very difficult to execute, irritating, time consuming, and unattractive, just to frustrate the thieves.

In using locks, as much as possible, stay away from cable locks which can be easily picked open by ‘intelligent’ thieves.

U-locks mostly guarantee more bike protection and you may use more than one for added protection.

Do not lock just the bicycle frame because an ‘objective’ thief can always remove the wheel and in no time too.

So, beware.

When using a second lock, it is highly suggested that you use a different kind of lock altogether so that you get a combination of security locks.

Generally, chain locks are not very reliable, but remember that there are still chain locks that are capable of giving prospective bike thieves a good run for their money.

The smaller the U-lock the better, since smaller locks give the thieves less leverage in freeing the bikes.

2. Do not park in isolated or overcrowded places

Isolated places are as bad as lonely places for the security of your bike!

An irony, right?

No, it is not, and here is why: the more the number of bystanders, the less likely they will intervene in any bike theft.

This is because individuals are less likely to seek help for others when multiple people are present.

Simple, park your bike in a well-exposed area where passers-by will easily see it.

Preferably, choose any spot covered by a security camera but heck, avoid crowded parking lots because no-one will notice theft in there even in plain sight and broad daylight! 

3. Bring your bike indoors

Whenever it is possible, take your bike indoors as an added protection.

Do not just leave it exposed in the hallway.

If you fear that it will use up much-needed storage space, stop, since there are now numerous bike storage solutions compatible with bikes of all shapes and sizes, which are simply great to use or you can even utilize a bike rack!

4. Do lock your bike on a balcony or in a closed garage

Where you can’t bring the bike inside, then you can alternatively lock it on a balcony or in a closed garage.

Though, be aware that first and second-floor balconies and terraces are particularly dangerous options.

Additionally, cover your bikes so that thieves do not get tempted to go for it.

Whenever you are leaving the bike either at workplaces or elsewhere, always remove any accessories or take the front wheel with you as an added protection!

After all, you can never be too careful with all manner of thieves on the prowl.

5. Use a GPS tracker

To a devoted tracker his/her bike is among one of their most valued possessions and they will do virtually anything to protect them.

If that is so, then why not try this smart ass bike protection tracker.

These trackers look much like common bike components and can be concealed in a variety of places; the seat posts, top cap, and just about anywhere.

They transmit GPS signals to enable you to know where your little asset is at and also notify you whenever it is moved.

You can also invest in a bike alarm that detects when the bike is jostled via a series of signals and messages to your phone.

These may not be locks, so to say, but they lock much more than locks, don’t you agree?

Bet you do.

How to make your bike less attractive to thieves

This may not really be the way you wish to go, but it is far better than getting your bike pinched.

It simply implies that you make your bike less shiny and attractive.

Thieves may not be too keen on stealing something that ain’t worth stealing by their reckoning after appraising your seemingly ‘ricketty’ and ‘gross’ bike!

Place on it some dirt or debris or even widely spread duck tapes to make it less appealing to crooks.

Tape the seat, handlebars, and various places on its frame just so that it can look worn out, over-used, worthless and shabby.

After all, you don’t want them to love your bike, do you?

You may even consider putting some nasty and repulsive stickers all over it which will make the bike look less valuable and harder for the thief to leave with it without attracting attention.

This is more like ‘what is old and cheap looking isn’t worth stealing’.

At least, that will be their contention.

How to lock your bikes while camping.

There are many ways to lock your bike so as to prevent theft by using all sorts of bicycle locks each with its own features and protection gimmicks.

We shall look at some of the ways by which you can lock your bike while out camping.

One sure way to protect your bike from theft is to install a very reliable locking device.

To do this effectively, you are advised to use a U-lock or two or even a combination of differently designed locks on your bike.

Whatever precaution you take is worth it so long as your objective is achieved finally.

Though chain locks are not very recommended, but there are very reliable and ingenious chain locks on the market now.

We shall talk more about this later.

Secondly, if you happen to set up camp near a tree, you can lock up the bike to it or even to a tent pole.

Additionally, you can both lock up the bike and secure it inside your tent, since there are tents that are spacious enough and also those that have vestibules for the storage of such items.

You may also use a cable lock through both wheels of the bike and its frame before laying it behind your tent.

Where your campsite has fixed or heavy timber and steel picnic tables, place the bike against the tables and thread the chain lock through the bike frame and the table.

Some campgrounds have lock-up garages or some such storage areas, where you can comfortably lock your bike and keep it away from public glare and temptation.

Overall best lightweight bike lock for touring

There are different designs and makes of bike locks.

However, for the purpose of ensuring that you get the benefits of top-notch security for your bike, we shall restrict our discussion to some of the best lightweight bike locks on the market.

There are four major types of bicycle locks you can choose from.

These are the lightweight bike locks, the chain locks, folding locks, and the U-locks.

Since we are primarily concerned with the lightweight bike locks, we shall limit our discussion to them here.

Among the lightweight locks, we have the Zip tie-based designs and also the coiled cable lock which is often equipped with a combination tumbler and very popular among bikers.

Since these locks can be defeated with simple common tools such as bolt cutters or tin snips, they should consequently be used in light security situations, such as where you take quick time off to buy from a grocery store or a short stop at a cafe while all the time you have the bike in sight.

In other words, the lightweight bike locks should not be used in cases where heavy or fortified security is needed for a long time, such as when the bike is kept in isolation or throughout the night on campgrounds.

How to keep a Bike safe when camping – Conclusion

We have spoken in great depth on why your precious bike needs all the security it can get and lucky enough there is a wide variety to choose from.

However, take note of the distinction among these locks.

Some are meant to provide mainly quick security that will allow you to take a short time away so that you can attend to some private matters, while you keep the bike in plain sight and others are designed for tough security against night prowlers and determined rogues.

In some instances, you are allowed to use a combination of different types of locks for added advantage. Whatever you do,  as long as it saves and protects your valuable, is worth the efforts and any resources used therein.

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