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LongShadow 05-22-2002 06:08 PM

Dayhiking from basecamp - gear at risk?
I'm always apprehensive about leaving my stuff and doing a dayhike. Should I be? Have any of you had problems in the past with missing stuff or vandalized stuff? If so, what happened and where? I know there's supposed to be a "code of ethics" but finding litter and stuff in areas leads me to think that's not always the case. I'd be very interested in any first hand or stories you may have heard about through 3rd parties. Thanks!!!

Hiker Boy 05-22-2002 06:50 PM

Good point. Generally I feel that most of the people that I'm likely to share the wilderness with are decent people with the same ethics and appreciation of the outdoors which I have. In areas which are filled with litter, I have had concerns too. I have never had anything stolen yet. I think the further from the trailhead you go, the less the risk.

See you on the mountain!

kenkeknem 05-22-2002 07:18 PM

I have had those kind of toughts too. What if I get back to camp and my $700 Trios Convertable is gone and in its place is a ratty old WalMart special or nothing. If my whole pack full of gear was stolen, then I would be out $1500.00 +. But I think Hiker Boy is right, most people out there respect each other enough that they will not steal from each other. It is a matter of survival. However Jim my wife would say that negitive thoughts bring negitive energy the old ying and yang thing. Another advantage that Hiker Boy has going for him is that he is a big guy, anyone crazy enough to be steeling his things would be suicidal <img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle> Or at least he looks quite big standing beside Lu.


May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

- Edward Abbey

LongShadow 05-22-2002 09:02 PM

I think you're right in the farther away from civilization, the better your odds are that nothing will happen. Don't want to be paranoid, but also don't want to be left with nothing but a small daypack when I get back to camp. It would be extremely expensive to replace the gear I've got to date - not something I would want to repeat anytime soon.

Barry, I don't know how safe Hiker Boy is... He's the ultralite fan. A circus midget could carry his pack out without breaking a sweat. <img src=icon_smile_wink.gif border=0 align=middle>

FOXTROTS 05-22-2002 09:25 PM

True Story:
While up at Elfin Lakes with my nephew, I ran into this guy who just returned from a 12 hour day trip up Garabaldi. Man was he tired. He had left at 4 am and got back at about 5-6. We met him at the cabin, just as we were arriving, talked a bit and in he went. 2 minutes later out he comes screaming bloody murder. Seems someone took his new therma rest. The bunks at Elfin are wood, and this poor guy was tired. So yep, someone walked off with it.

I however am trust worthy in secluded areas and have never had a problem, but am considering a photo of an unknown wrestler attached to the outside of my pack may ward off any wrong dooers.

Yin Yang, all hikers I hope live by a code, ( I hope)


Jimbo 05-22-2002 09:53 PM

It's nice to believe that those out in the great outdoors live by a higher standard and wouldn't touch someone else's stuff, but it's still a combination of trust, luck, and common sense.

Like Hiker Boy said - I think the further you get from the trailhead the less the risk.

Kodiak 05-22-2002 10:48 PM

I have agree with most of the other posts....the more litter in the area and the closer to a trail head the chances of theft are increased greatly.
I've never had or heard of any theft on any of my isolated trips, that's not to say I don't think about it.
Being in the wilderness is such a state of mind, I believe the chances of meeting people of poor ethics are remote and should not lead you to thoughts of paronia !


19351 05-22-2002 11:12 PM

After spending years hiking in the bush I have found it's too much trouble for the scum bags that ransack your car at the parking areas . In fact the only time I have had stuff go missing was at the local camping grounds . I do tend to think it is not best to tempt people and i would hate like hell to replace my $300 pack not to mention all the gear inside it . I tend to make a judgement call after checking out my fellow hikers . Also if it is a busy weekend at say Black Tusk or Elfin lakes I leave the cheap stuff in the tent and pack the expensive gear with me . So I guess the short answer is let common sense be your guide .

No trail is long with good company.

LongShadow 05-22-2002 11:50 PM

I probably came off a little paranoid in my original post. I like the tip about watching your stuff a little closer in the popular campgrounds and taking your "more expensive" gear.

I know on a number of occasions you can tell at a glance if the people are questionable. Just the other weekend while at Skagit, Jimbo and I saw a couple guys smashing logs and bashing rocks near the river... We thought for a moment - albeit a brief one.. Let's just keep moving and set up camp down this way a few KM...

I haven't really heard of any theft from people I have talked to, but I do wonder, which is why I posed the question. My guess is that most of it would occur in the car camping kind of areas. I've also never had a problem with car breakins at trailheads.. I guess it pays not to wash your car for 3 months before you head up somewhere.. ehheheeh <img src=icon_smile_evil.gif border=0 align=middle>

It's always interesting though to hear if something else happened. That way I can learn what not to do - and not the hard way...

Hiker Boy 05-23-2002 01:42 AM

Hey, I'd be paranoid if I were going to be leaving that McHale pack in camp too! <img src=icon_smile_cool.gif border=0 align=middle> he he

Being a shameless gear *****, I also take some of my more expensive items with me on dayhikes. I know that my insurance would cover the loss, but it doesn't do much good when you're dependant on this stuff while you're out. Luckily, I don't think the average person realizes just how much value there is to all of that outdoor gear or we would be targets all of the time. I must have over $5000 in gear and I have been more worried about it at home.

BTW, Lu and I can tell you tales about the odd people you can meet at Black Tusk and Elfin Lakes. The Elfin Shelter is a notorious party hut and I'm always worried some drunk is going to burn us down when I have stayed there. The best and safest time to visit these places are mid-week.

See you on the mountain!

Jimbo 05-23-2002 06:36 AM

I'd definitely drag my more expensive stuff along - and the beauty of the mchale pack is that it turns into a daypack in less than 30 seconds.

At worst I'd likely return to find I've got no accomodations (tent or bag), no extra clothes, and probably missing some food. It would make my trip back that much lighter and faster, while I hunted the @#$%ers who did it down! <img src=icon_smile_shock.gif border=0 align=middle>

FOXTROTS 05-23-2002 04:54 PM

I fluff my sleeping bag, and put my pack and all other items in it. I put a little bend in it. The sleeping bag is in my tent of course. Anyone who strays by, and looks inside might assume I'm having a nap. I think about it, but leave it all up trust in the end.

Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal....


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