Getting the most from the great outdoors

How to secure your bike when camping

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Camping is an excellent way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

When you’re camping, it’s a great time to disconnect from work, school, and other distractions.

However, when you’re out in nature there are some new challenges that come up.

One thing that can be challenging is securing your bike while camping as often you’ll need to leave your bike out in the open while you sleep.

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to keep your bike secure and as safe as possible when you camp.

The best strategy to adopt is out of sight out of mind, if people don’t know your bike is there then they won’t try to steal it. Try keeping your bike in the tent with you. Take off a wheel to make it fit inside. If you have a flysheet you can put your bike between the tent and flysheet too.

Make your bike difficult to steal

Most thieves are cowardly opportunists and won’t hang around to risk getting caught.

By making it difficult to steal your bike you raise their risk of being caught and they are more likely to move onto easier pickings.

To make your bike more difficult to steal you can:

Lock it to something hard to move. Bikes have been stolen by being pulled away from blocks and objects they are locked too while people were sleeping inside tents.

Lock your wheels as well as the frame and fork.

Use the best quality locks that you can afford and also try a good, heavy steel chain with a padlock.

The more work that they have to do, the less risk you face of losing your bike.

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Make your bike less attractive to thieves

It’s important that you do your best to make sure nobody can ride off on your bike and one thing that you can do is to remove parts when you secure your bike.

Chain your bike up securely and remove the saddle, a wheel or both, chain the frame too. If it doesn’t look worth stealing then a thief is unlikely to put the effort in to take it.

Register your bike

Many countries operate a bike registration scheme which involves etching the bike frame in several areas and registering the details online.

While this won’t prevent theft, it does act as a deterrent, a bit like an alarm on a building.

Keep your bike with you in your tent

If your bike is in the tent with you then it’s going to be less likely to get stolen than if it’s outside.

Keep your bike out of sight, try pulling your flysheet right down instead of just halfway and so on.

You can buy tents with vestibules where a bike can be stored.

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Get a movement alarm for your bike

Get a movement alarm for your bike.

This will activate if your bike is moved and, if your bike is close to you, such as when you are sleeping, you’ll be able to respond quickly.

There are alarms available that in addition to motion sensors provide GPS tracking for extra security.

There is a great one available on Amazon that you can see here.

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Use appropriate locks for campsites

Many campsite will have a designated place where people leave their bikes.

Try to lock your bike to a heavy object, perhaps even the ground itself as this will help deter thieves.

You can purchase heavy duty ground anchors that screw into the ground which you can use to padlock your bike and other things to.

We recommend these P Locks on Amazon as a solid and reliable security solution.

Use a bike cover

A bike cover will help against the two biggest causes of bike theft, opportunist thieves and bad weather.

A good quality waterproof bicycle cover will protect your bike from rain as well as some light moisture that can contribute to rusting.

Bike covers are also hard for someone to lift and then move your bike out into the open without you noticing them in your campsite or on site at a festival.

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Always lock your bike when it is unattended

We always lock our bikes and you should too.

Even if you’re just going to the toilet or getting food, lock your bike.

It takes seconds for a bike to be stolen and many are never recovered.

It may seem inconvenient to lock your bike when you are just popping into the toilet but it would be far more inconvenient and distressing to return to find that your bike has been stolen.

Final Words

Bike theft can happen to anyone and anywhere.

The best you can do is to make your bike as unattractive a target as possible.

We have listed the various ways that we keep our bikes secure and what works for us in an effort to help others enjoy their cycling adventures without worrying about theft.

Never forget that security should be layered, like good health insurance.

Having a good quality lock on your bike is important but then having it well hidden, not leaving it out of sight when you go into shop and making it as unattractive as possible, all play their part in keeping your bike safe and secure.

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