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What to do with your bike while camping ?

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What to do with your bike while camping ?

I'am about to leave for my first bike trip and I was wondering, what you guys are doing with your bike at night time while doing wild camping ?

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what to do with bike at night

Julie and I carry a cable lock which we also use if we go for a hike while staying in a park. Any little deterrent is good. If you in a commercial campground I would say the chance of theft is highly unlikely, but even a very light cable lock would be a suitable deterrent if that is all you need a lock for. Let's see what others have to say.

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You can buy ground anchors

You can buy ground anchors that you screw into the ground to attach dog leads to. I bought 2. They are the type that cannot be plied open at the ring.

Screw them into the ground about a meter apart as far as they will go in. Lay your bike or bikes over the top. I have 2 wires about 2m long which I thread through the bikes and ground anchors until the wires are tight. I then use 2 locks to secure the wires.

You need 2 ground anchors and not just one. If you have just one a thief just picks your bike up and walks in a circle and the ground anchor comes out. You cannot do this with 2 anchors.

I really tried to 'Steal' my own bike but couldn't.

Sounds a bit complicated but the anchors and wires are very light and really work well.

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My current solution

My girlfriend and I presently crossing the US and are camping quite a bit. Now the likelihood of theft in one of the nearly vacant camps we go to is very low but I don't ever want to wake up without a bike. What we do is use a old style frame lock (the kind that consists and a lock a cable reel unit attached directly to the seat tube and runs flush inside the frame right below the top tube) which aren't common today as the were maybe 30-40 years ago. We use that to tether in all four wheels and pull the cable taut back into the reel (once locked the cable can't be extended further) and I carry a two foot kryptonite cable with serious shackle lock and that locks the bike frames together and if possible to a nearby object, i.e. Small tree, picnic table, post or whatever. In the end if someone wants our wheels they'll make a lot of fuss getting them and if they want the bikes they'll have to bring construction grade cutters or a grinder. Needless to say I'll be out of the tent swinging punches and hissing swears before these bikes go anywhere. Now as far as weight I are over killing it but I've been a victim of bike theft before and I'm not going to be one again.

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What to do with your bike when wild camping.

I would say if it is truly Wild Camping there would be few or no people around to take anything. People have always been the cause of the very few issues whenever I have travelled. An animal might be attracted to your food but it has no use for your bike. Just stay out of site of people and you will be fine 

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On campgrounds - even empty

On campgrounds - even empty ones - I would attach the bike to something immobile with a very good cable lock or a chain-lock. If you are a sound sleeper, there are alert-whistles with motion-sensors that will wake you.

In the wild I would still use some type of securing in any case - better safe than sorry!

You would find it amazing what people are stealing! Even a cheap, solderen-on faucet was stolen 2 times from a remote boating-house where I live. As long as it CAN be stolen, somebody will steal it eventually.

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Tie it to tent

If there is a tree or similar structure nearby, I lock my bike to that with a heavy duty cable lock. If there is nothing to lock it to, then I tie it to the tent discreetly with a thin, lightwight cable lock, the idea being that if someone tries to quickly take it, then it will pull on my tent and wake me up. I also deploy my rear wheel lock so that it can't be wheeled away easily. Sometimes I even 'booby trap' it with a plastic bottle if I have one so that if the bike moves it will make a loud sound. Even if I am camping alone in the middle of nowhere, I secure it as much as possible. Better to be safe than sorry!

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I have a gear shed attachment

I have a gear shed attachment for my MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent, and it's great for shoving the bike or wet gear in out of sight. You wouldn't know there was a bike in there. I only use it if there is nothing to chain my bike to.

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What to do with your bike while camping?

I ALWAYS lock my bike while camping, or even at a library to update a blog. I can't imagine losing your bike over a thousand miles away from home! I have a fairly good lock and cable that I slip between the frame and rear wheel, and hopefully a picnic table frame at the camp. I figure anyone trying to get at it would make enough noise to wake me. I also carry a light plastic tarp to cover the bike. It helps keep it dry in the rain, and keeps the morning dew off of the seat and gear train. 


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I use two light, and long,

I use two light, and long, cable locks to attach my bike to the tent or a picnic table, etc. Both would be pretty easy to cut with cable cutters but the time it would take to do both might make it a bit easier to scare them away (wake up, etc). The second cable lock I try to hide so they think that one is all there is they try to get away and the second cable yanks it back (ok, that is the hope anyway. I have never had anyone try to steal my bike...yet). 

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funny measure?

A cyclist ever told us that he added a regular, adjustable handle/switch to raise/lower the seat, just like you find at rental bikes worldwide. He takes the seat in his tent at night. With one hand movement you  take off the seat. His idea is that very few people will steal a bike without a seat. If can't confirm the value of this precaution, but it's a creative thought anyhow. At least a thief can't "hop on your vehicle" and ride away. 

Now we can wait for the first thief who sneeks around with a seat in his pocket to steal a "seatless" bike. :-).....:-)....


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Another good option would be

Another good option would be to tie a string to the bike, then feed it into the tent under your pillow. Under the pillow would be a hand grenade. If they run away with the bike, your head explode and you will be saved all the upset of finding your bike missing in the morning. I haven't tried it yet myself, obviously :)

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bike protection wild camping Europe

Only thing that ever confronted us was a wild pig on a very lonely bush path in France, his grunts let me know he was pissed that our tent was on his trail (I raised pigs and am familiar with their expressions).

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lock it right next to your

lock it right next to your tent and then develop long term insomnia. Always been a very light sleeper so never a problem for me. Locking it with cable lock to tree is good idea too. Good luck and happy trails.

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