View Full Version : security of camping gear

9th October 2009, 07:04 PM
Hoping to do some 4x4 driving and bush camping soon with a group.

I'll be borrowing most of the camping kit from friends so would like to know what I'm reasonably safe leaving at the campsite while driving and what you would not leave behind. Is theft a big issue from bush camping sites?

9th October 2009, 07:30 PM
It depends on the site and what time of year. For example, public holidays/school holidays where it can be crowded, forget leaving anything behind. Lots of scum bags go to the bush for a big booze up...

However, going to a remote camp site with a few 'serious' campers, I dont see the problem. You should be able to tell from who is there if the stuff is at risk. Worst case scenario, someone from the group is left behind to guard the stuff.

9th October 2009, 08:09 PM
insurance my freind... insurance ....


9th October 2009, 08:29 PM
Try and say hello to people who are camping close to you. You'll soon know if they are the shifty type. Most of the time they're just normal, regular people, doing the same as you.

There's the unwritten rule that you don't steal from other campers, if you catch someone doing it you're allowed to hit them over the head and bury them somewhere.

9th October 2009, 08:38 PM
MY rule is to leave "nothing of value" at the site. Laptops, phones, gps, camera stuff, wallet, jewellery etc. Lock it all away some how and don't make it obvious. Tent, bedding, cookware, cloths I don't worry about.

Just think: Does this look "attractive" to someone opportunistic (and without scruples)? If the answer is yes then secure it. Most theft is simply using the opportunity to grab what they can quickly before anyone notices.

11th October 2009, 01:22 PM
Not always easy, particularly when you have a canvas top vehicle.

This year while living under canvas for a week near the Murray River someone, most probably in our own group, decided to leave their own broken blue camp chair and remove my unbroken example.

I would be tempted to use the same S.. word but hey that's life.

At least is wasn't something very expensive.

The rule of thumb, if it looks tempting lock it away, carry it with you or at least put it out of sight.

The ho har's
11th October 2009, 01:44 PM
I am pretty sure I can say we have never had anything stolen while camping....

maybe it is just where we choose to camp;)

Mrs ho har:angel:

11th October 2009, 03:32 PM
never had a problem leaving the campsite for a drive

just spent the last week on fraser and our camp site was left un-attended everyday, the only thing missing was a stubby cooler.......thanks to the wind

11th October 2009, 05:12 PM
All good advice.
It's part of the risk of going camping I guess.
We try to make our camp as unattractive as possible to would-be thieves.
They probably wouldn't bother pulling down and packing up a tent but anything loose and transportable is fair game.
You need to assess each situation and make a call. Anything valuable and easy pickings goes in the car with you. We've been known, on occassions and when the locals look dodgy, to even pack up the Thermarest mats and Mont sleeeping bags and take them with us - which would be about $1000 worth of gear to replace.

11th October 2009, 05:24 PM
I've had heaps of stuff stolen at a popular camping spot in Royal National Park...weetbix, fruit, nuts, mars bars...the damn deer stuck its snozz under the tent fly and grabbed my breakfast during the night!

In my experience I've never had anything stolen whilst vehicle camping or hiking, by people. Just animals.
Lock up your foodstuffs too!

12th October 2009, 08:54 AM
After 2 years in Malaysia, I'm very glad we don't have monkeys in Australia.
The little 'brown things' can get in to almost any thing.

12th October 2009, 11:24 AM
I've only ever been robbed by a Goanna!

He decided to help himself to a Salami Sandwich in my bag. He ripped through the side of the tent, tore open my pack and in the process of getting the snap lock bag off it, shredded my sleeping bag.

1x MSR tent, 1x Macpac, 1x Paddy Palin sleeping bag = one VERY expensive salami sandwich. :(

12th October 2009, 12:13 PM
I have never had anything stolen from a bush camp but at camping areas I have had a 150l esky stolen from outside my tent while we were asleep and had my pants stolen from the shower door while taking a tub.

Lucky the towel was big enough to cover my butt on the way back to the tent.

I have built a drawer in the back of the fender that I put all the valuables in and have a chain and good padlock that goes over the spare wheel holder. To open the rear you have to break that, then break into the rear door. The side windows have ply and the card table covering them.

12th October 2009, 12:30 PM
years ago we were camping at Malacoota at the major caravan park ... great "to-do" the morning we arrived... 15 outboard motors had disappeared during the night... :eek:

I know several ardent bushwalkers who now take a couple of folk with them to mind their cars during a long trek ... history of local louts to targetting well known spots.. other have never had a problem

12th October 2009, 01:07 PM
and had my pants stolen from the shower door while taking a tub.

Had my wallet lifted from my pants, money removed, and replaced wallet while it was on the shower door at Mt Isa CP.

Most embarrassing when we went to pay on leaving.


12th October 2009, 04:45 PM
I'm sorry to say I've had a bunch of stuff stolen from mates while camping... while we were sleeping!

Mobile phones, wallets, cash, anything of remote value that could be taken. I was sleeping in the back of my car at the time and stirred while some one was there, so they didn't take anything of mine.

We followed their muddy footprints to a remote house in the bush, it was obvious who did it, and talking to other locals it was a common event. They had been complaining about it to the police as well, but the police didn't seem to care all that much.

Same at various car parks were people go for long hikes around the blue maintains there used to be (and likley still are) people who go there on a regular basis to brake into all the cars and steal anyting of value.

Still its better than in Sydney.. I used to stay in Glebe a fair bit and one morning I walked out on the street and some cleaver person(s) had broken the windows in every car down the street. Every one exept for mine... I never found out why either, I guess they felt sorry for my beaten up 1977 Fiat. :angel:

12th October 2009, 05:10 PM
While staying at a caravan park in Dubbo 2 weeks ago there was a spate of thefts and as I was out during the day I was really concerned about stuff getting knicked, so I bought one of these and wrapped it around and through everything I could find including peg holes in the tent lol.

Master Lock - Python Cable Lock - Product No. 8413 (http://www.masterlock.com/promos/python/8413python_lock.shtml)


I think the 4m cable was cheaper than the 3m cable. My one had the cable and lock sold separately

12th October 2009, 05:19 PM
I am pretty sure I can say we have never had anything stolen while camping....

maybe it is just where we choose to camp;)

Mrs ho har:angel:Very lucky for you - there weren't a lot of people camping around us most of those who were about for the week were at the camping ground stacked on top of each other.

Perhaps it was someone who flew in and winged it out of there on the day. I guess I'll never know except to say that I won't be bringing extra stuff for other people next year. They can bring their own and pack it away themselves instead of leaving the communal gear for me and 2 mates to pack away after they did the stealing of course.

12th October 2009, 06:08 PM
If the effort to replace it is greater than the effort to pack it, then pack it.

I have never had anything taken from a camp site either bush camp or caravan park. I have however had my car broken into while on holidays. Left it in a car park in a state north of here while walking out to a lookout from a point on the coast. Police said it was likely to have been the locals doing the car parks in remote areas.

13th October 2009, 07:06 PM
Thanks for the input guys.

14th October 2009, 07:14 PM
I have been camping at Inskip point for over 30years but now we don't go there anymore as the the stealing is getting to bad, we never had troubles as we use to keep the Blue Heeler tied up at the camp site when we went out, but my brother in law came back to his camp from just being down the beach, there was 2 guys standing near his camp, he didn't think to much about it as it was Easter and there were campers everwhere, but later when he went to his gas fridge the gas bottle was disconnected and reddy to be lifed, he put it on the back of his truck after that as it was a new fridge, so close to losing it, there was so many camper that lost gear that Easter...


El Duderino
2nd November 2009, 08:37 PM
Like everyone else has mentioned...if it's something a deviant would be likely to flog, take it with you or lock it in the car.

I've never had anything stolen thankfully. One time I was out camping with an ex and we went for a mission to get some firewood just after setting up camp (the only one in the area). I think the main attraction for what happened was because it was a brand new tent (and figured the rest of the gear was new also). I'd heard some dirtbikes in the distance while we were halfway up a track swinging axes and packing the Jeep, had a sixth sense about the bikes and decided to return to the campsite. I saw a couple of teenagers hanging around suspiciously near the tent, and when I pulled up played ignorant and said g'day. They were all smiles and keeping a decent charade up, said they were exhausted, happy to have setup camp and were looking forward to an early night. Errrrrr....you reckon sunshine?! :mad:

Jumped out of the beast with a broad smile and asked for a cuppa. With a Maglite in hand and knowing what they were up to, I quizzed them at what was in the tent, and how they could carry a 6-man canvas tent which packed 90x90x10cm's on a bike. Needless to say the buggers took off rather quickly n weren't seen again, plus all the valuables were locked in the car, but the lack of sleep that night sucked. ;) I reported the incident to the local cops just in case.

My advice is keep the expensive or opportunistic stuff locked in the car, keep a keen sense of awareness, and don't take pricey items out with you. You don't need to spend the earth to have a good time outdoors anyway. :)

2nd November 2009, 10:30 PM
My advice put very simply is leave nothing unattended and pack up completely beofre leaving the campsite