Dispersed Camping- Leaving/Returning to your camp

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Traveler I

60
Indianapolis, IN, USA
First Name
John
Last Name
Reynolds
We are going to be headed out this summer and plan on using our Atlas to find more dispersed camping in spots our old van couldn't reach. In the past we have set up our base at traditional campgrounds and left it alone while we explore elsewhere. This summer we would like to do the same thing while we disperse camp but we're not sure how safe it is to leave our camp set up while we are not there. I suppose there are risks no matter where you set up camp, but I thought I would ask for your opinion and see what others do.
 

OTG

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Contributor I

60
Hurricane, Ut
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Sean
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Reddish
This is so different for each area. I see people leave stuff that I would never leave out. If you gotta have then lock it. If not then your comfort level is the best guide. Sorry it is so arbitrary.
 

Lil Bear

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I've often wondered this same thing. When I would backpack, I would set up camp and wonder off and around and (knock on wood) I have never had any issues with folks taking anything. Not that there would be a lot there to take anyway. The worse thing that happened is once in a state park campground, an overstuffed racoon came and took the whole tupperware container of my dogs dogfood!! So for 3 days my dog ate the same thing I did. He kinda normally does a little anyway. I would think you would be fine for the most part but maybe see if you can find anything out about the area you are staying in. Has it happened there before? Has there been suspicious people around? That kind of stuff.
 
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Anak

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Camp remotely enough and no one else will be around to worry about.

The more people there are the more you need to be concerned with security. (Note this doesn't just apply to camping.)
 
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Pretzel

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OB1

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Greenville, NC
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I put stuff that I don't want to walk away inside the ground tent, then put a pad lock on the entrance zipper to slow people down lol.
Maybe it's irrational, but I feel like anyone willing to rummage through a closed up tent for things to steal would be just as willing to cut through a tent wall to get into it. I'd rather come back to an empty tent than an empty tent I can't use anymore. If I'm leaving camp behind for some time I try not to leave anything too hard to replace. I'll lock up larger things in the truck and bring smaller stuff with me in a day pack.
 
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RoarinRow

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Maybe it's irrational, but I feel like anyone willing to rummage through a closed up tent for things to steal would be just as willing to cut through a tent wall to get into it. I'd rather come back to an empty tent than an empty tent I can't use anymore. If I'm leaving camp behind for some time I try not to leave anything too hard to replace. I'll lock up larger things in the truck and bring smaller stuff with me in a day pack.
That's certainly another way to look at it. Just peace of mind for me even if the ground tent gets cut up. If my tent was open and things got stolen, I would feel violated and probably would not like to use it again anyway. I'd give me a reason to upgrade.
 

Traveler I

60
Indianapolis, IN, USA
First Name
John
Last Name
Reynolds
I've often wondered this same thing. When I would backpack, I would set up camp and wonder off and around and (knock on wood) I have never had any issues with folks taking anything. Not that there would be a lot there to take anyway. The worse thing that happened is once in a state park campground, an overstuffed racoon came and took the whole tupperware container of my dogs dogfood!! So for 3 days my dog ate the same thing I did. He kinda normally does a little anyway. I would think you would be fine for the most part but maybe see if you can find anything out about the area you are staying in. Has it happened there before? Has there been suspicious people around? That kind of stuff.
I agree with you...it is something that I wonder about, but it doesn't stop me from going anywhere. Perhaps the old adage of 'trust your gut' applies in these cases. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!
 
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smritte

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My expensive things get put in the vehicle. My trailer is rigged to make it hard to tow away. In the past, I have never had an issue because the idiots didn't go as remote as I. Now that this hobby has become a fad, I see people out in areas I never would. Now I'm more cautious.
 

Road

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I've done variations of this at times, when I know there may be daytrippers around and I'm going to be gone from camp with my vehicle, or even with just my bike or canoe.

I've solo camped all over the country in the willy-wacks and always, always, clean up camp and put anything valuable--from cookware to chairs, either in the trailer or van and lock it before leaving on a hike, bike ride, or run for supplies.

I've had people come into camp while I was gone and check out the trailer rig, even try the faucet, but never anything stolen that I know of.

I believe if you keep a clean camp, you project that you have your shit together and people will assume whatever they may, but mess with you and your stuff less.


RoadResearch-GPH4-1000.jpg

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RoarinRow

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Just as an afterthought a trail camera would be cool. No joke. Only problem is that someone could steal that too.

6361334_bd.jpg
 
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Shokgoblr

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I actually like the thought of a few spent shell casings just outside the tent door.
Funny, but I would just think you're a dirty camper who doesnt care about the woods
 

MidOH

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I've often wondered this same thing. When I would backpack, I would set up camp and wonder off and around and (knock on wood) I have never had any issues with folks taking anything. Not that there would be a lot there to take anyway. The worse thing that happened is once in a state park campground, an overstuffed racoon came and took the whole tupperware container of my dogs dogfood!! So for 3 days my dog ate the same thing I did. He kinda normally does a little anyway. I would think you would be fine for the most part but maybe see if you can find anything out about the area you are staying in. Has it happened there before? Has there been suspicious people around? That kind of stuff.
That would be trip ending for us. Only dog food for the dogs. We never mastered getting dogs to behave around picnics and stuff when we gave them human food.

Except for a skill level 11 maligator. He'd do anything we asked. But that's a lot of dog, that I don't want to do again.
 
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Matt Hixson

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I've setup a game camera before. Not that that prevents theft, but would at least give you something to go on if a thief needed to be found. Other than that I try to keep things as buttoned up as possible.
 

bgenlvtex

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I find that placing a few skulls on pikes of the vanquished around the site is an excellent deterrent. For the ones too stoopid to take this message, a motion activated recording of a racking shotgun generally gets their attention. A mean-ass dog inside your tent should only be a last resort! :grinning:
Skulls are so bulky and heavy, I prefer scalps.

Seriously though, leaving a camp unattended is always an invitation to theft and mischief, these days feral humans are likely to just take everything. Securing items in a tent would likely discourage the most uncommitted ,otherwise you might as well just leave it all out.

It's like having a gate at your home, it either has to stay open or it has to stay closed otherwise you are signaling the condition of the residence to malignants.
 

Mrprez

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The only time we had anything bothered was in an established campsite. Fortunately, we came back to camp in time to scare them off empty handed. They did manage to get another campers generator though Even though they were inside their camper sleeping!