Do you carry bolt cutters?

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Tundracamper

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So, I went for a short ride down a gravel road that provides access to a public use area on the river - or so I thought. Apparently, that area is only for boat access as the open gate I passed on the way in was quite locked when I attempted to leave. It’s a pretty remote area. Nevertheless, I meandered around in some overgrown unused trails and eventually found my way to another gravel road that let me out. However, if that road had been any more overgrown, I’d have been trapped.

Although I would never cut a lock to gain access to a road, I could see a need to gain an exit from a road. Do any of you carry a bolt cutter for such instances?
 
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The other Sean

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Did you check to make sure it was actually locked? I've known more than one person who puts the chain and all that on and doesn't actually close the lock.
 

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So, I went for a short ride down a gravel road that provides access to a public use area on the river - or so I thought. Apparently, that area is only for boat access as the open gate I passed on the way in was quite locked when I attempted to leave. It’s a pretty remote area. Nevertheless, I meandered around in some overgrown unused trails and eventually found my way to another gravel road that let me out. However, if that road had been any more overgrown, I’d have been trapped.

Although I would never cut a lock to gain access to a road, I could see a need to gain an exit from a road. Do any of you carry a bolt cutter for such instances?
DO NOT CUT THE LOCK.
Cut the chain at the OTHER end and have a quick link to close the gate again.
Then next time you just need to undo the quick link........ and no one even knows you were there.

ps it helps if you paint the quick link so it becomes invisible

10094231x1145736_zm.jpeg
 
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I can imagine what that fine would be getting caught. A Ranger I was talking to said they use trail cams to catch offenders and illegal dumping. That’s why we go prepped to spend an unforeseen night camping.
 

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I can imagine what that fine would be getting caught. A Ranger I was talking to said they use trail cams to catch offenders and illegal dumping. That’s why we go prepped to spend an unforeseen night camping.
But If you get locked in, how do you know you’ll only be there one night? Couldn’t it be several nights?

Plus, isn’t it the ranger’s responsibility to make sure a road is clear prior to locking a gate?
 

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Spray some warm saltwater in the lock key hole and next time you go that way you can open it With a screwdriver. Most padlocks are a joke and open with hammer. This is all assuming your ok with heafty fines. Its not always park rangers and logging companies that close gates ive seen plenty of offroaders do it to have the trail to themselves.

Maybe stop by the rangers office and ask them what is and isn't open and what you should do if something is locked that isn't supposed to be or if you get locked in what to do about it.
 

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Maybe stop by the rangers office and ask them what is and isn't open and what you should do if something is locked that isn't supposed to be or if you get locked in what to do about it.
Good point. I would add, has the OP picked up a pair of bolt cutters that could do the job of going through a hardened hasp, they are not light. I could think of a couple of more frequently used items to carry for that weight.
 

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Another consideration if you get pulled over and are caught with things like bolt cutters, pry bar, hammer you can get hassled or worse because they assume your going to burglarize. This is more likely in the city but I've been questioned a few times about cutters and slimjims at traffic stops
 
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Tundracamper

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Good point. I would add, has the OP picked up a pair of bolt cutters that could do the job of going through a hardened hasp, they are not light. I could think of a couple of more frequently used items to carry for that weight.
If I had, then what would be the point of this post? It would be moot. I guess this is like asking who carries a gun. Lots of folks just assume you have one for nefarious purposes.
 
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Sneaks

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If I had, then what would be the point of this post? It would be moot. I guess this is like asking who carries a gun. Lots of folks just assume you have one for nefarious purposes.
I have bolt cutters but I don't carry them in my overland rig, they are in my daily. So, no, the point would not be moot. Not making an assumption that you have them or not, that's why I asked. They are heavy, which is my point of asking. The set I have tips the scales at 27lbs, the same as 4.5 gal or water. If you feel the need to have something that can handle a hasp, I'd recommend a battery operated angle grinder with a good cutoff disk, lighter, easier to store, and more versatile.
 

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Another consideration if you get pulled over and are caught with things like bolt cutters, pry bar, hammer you can get hassled or worse because they assume your going to burglarize. This is more likely in the city but I've been questioned a few times about cutters and slimjims at traffic stops
But we all carry wrenches... take-away lesson: Do NOT trust these locks...




(And before anyone asks, I work at a high security facility where we use alternatives for exactly this reason. Breaking a lock to enter where you don't belong is likely to be used as prima facie evidence that you knew you didn't belong there. Breaking a lock to open a gate to escape a fire or to evac a casualty will likely be viewed as justified by the circumstances.)
 
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systemdelete

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You can also shim cheap padlocks with a simple pair of tinsnips and an empty tin can, cut the fence posts with a chainsaw, or the gate itself at the hinges loosening them and spreading them to release the other side of the gate. Any are acceptable in an EMERGENCY egress situation, NONE for taking a shortcut, or due to improper route planning up front. No need to carry bolt cutters, but I generally have my lock picks on my person and have never had issue with law enforcement. Even when my FJ was thoroughly searched at the US/CAN border they were more interested in empty shell casings found in the floor boards under seats, and open liquor in the fridge. None of the agents took so much as a second glance at my tool rolls after running them through the X-ray.
 

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You can also shim cheap padlocks with a simple pair of tinsnips and an empty tin can, cut the fence posts with a chainsaw, or the gate itself at the hinges loosening them and spreading them to release the other side of the gate. Any are acceptable in an EMERGENCY egress situation, NONE for taking a shortcut, or due to improper route planning up front. No need to carry bolt cutters, but I generally have my lock picks on my person and have never had issue with law enforcement. Even when my FJ was thoroughly searched at the US/CAN border they were more interested in empty shell casings found in the floor boards under seats, and open liquor in the fridge. None of the agents took so much as a second glance at my tool rolls after running them through the X-ray.
Indeed. A timely thread, Monday evening I found myself behind a forest service gate which had just been locked by the fire crews working to suppress several small wildfires started by lightning strikes last weekend. No immediate danger. The crew unlocked the gate to let me back out with little disruption. Could I have known in advance the gate would be locked when I was departing? No (And the gate closure was NOT posted on the forest service website. There were two trail/trailhead closures identified, this was not one of them.). Was it a good idea to lock a gate on an area that had not been cleared? Probably not, but I'm not going to fault the firefighters - they were focused on other things. I guess the point is, "stuff happens, have a back-up plan".
 

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But If you get locked in, how do you know you’ll only be there one night? Couldn’t it be several nights?

Plus, isn’t it the ranger’s responsibility to make sure a road is clear prior to locking a gate?
IMO that responsibility would be yours to know the rules and hours. 2M, phone, someone knowing your game plan and expected return time. Damaging government property will just give Overlanders a bad name just like the newbie CV19 campers that are trashing the National Parks and are blowing it for everybody. That’s what happened down here, so they simply started closing the trails.
 

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I carry bolt cutters for this reason, and full tools, bailing wire, etc.

I've gotten locked inside supposedly open gates/roads in the National Forests in CA more than a few times. I'd much rather deal with the lock/chain/fence than having to go massively off trail or off designated roads in most situations.

My favorite thing out here in our national forests is to see a gate off the main road on one route.. then end up being stuck on the other side of said gate later in the day after exploring all day. Like. What's the point?
 
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