In camping, as in the everyday world, a few bad apples can ruin the whole experience. And at campsites that attract many visitors, this adage holds very true. Though it doesn’t happen often, instances of theft have occurred on campgrounds in the past. It makes sense when you think about it. Camping parties go on extensive hikes or engage in other activities, often leaving their things behind – and sometimes vulnerable.
Complicating this problem is the fact that the items left behind are often personal and valuable in nature.
A camper might, for instance, leave their wallet in an unprotected tent when going on a hike simply because they don’t need it. Even camping equipment itself – from tents to cooking equipment – is often quite expensive and unprotected.
Simple Security Measures
While the threat of campsite theft certainly exists, it’s not exactly practical to set up a full-on security system – complete with barbed wire fencing and warning lights – around your tent. Fortunately, all it takes is some common sense and a little extra care in order to protect your belongings from would-be theft or damage.
When you first arrive at a busy campsite, it can be a good idea to introduce yourself and the rest of your group to your immediate neighbors. Not only will you get a sense of their trustworthiness, but they’ll be around to let you know if something fishy – namely an unfamiliar person – is making their way onto your campsite without notice.
Once camp is all set up, the last thing you’ll want to do is put things back in the car. But when the whole group is venturing off the campsite for some fun, it’s wise to do just that. Valuable and personal items should all go into the car if no one will be around to watch the area. You can make it a little easier on yourself by setting up a “value spot” where the group can keep the items they don’t want to lose or carry with them. Then, when the time comes to lock them up, they’ll be ready and accessible. Similarly, having a checklist to refer to when you arrive and leave will ensure that nothing of value is lost permanently.
As unfortunate as it might be, theft on campgrounds is not exceedingly rare. And while it’s impossible to make a busy campground 100% safe, these measures are quite effective for good overall campsite security. In most cases, all you need to do to prevent opportunistic crimes like campsite theft is to diminish the easy opportunity itself.