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Locking Cars

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Locking Cars

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:42 am

How many of you have ever left you car at the trailhead, and then later on
started to worry about whether you really locked the car, or not?
Who has gone in several miles, and then gone back to check?
Any of you continue on with your trip, and then when you got back to the car you
found out that you really did forget to lock it?
I have gone through this a couple times, but luckily each time I got back to
my car at the end of my trip, it was locked.
Or has anyone ever lost there keys while backpacking?
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Re: Locking Cars

Postby balzaccom » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:16 pm

Every trip, I get 500 yards up the trail and then forget. It turns out that I always have locked the car...but our trips wouldn't be the same without me slipping off my pack and leaving my wife on the trail as I sprint back to make sure.

Excellent exercise for acclimatizaton as well. Really gets the heart pumping.
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Re: Locking Cars

Postby oldranger » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:27 pm

That happens to me fairly frequently but not lately. How about getting 2 miles in and then realizing I left the keys inside the locked car? Had two of my kids with me and this was before I had a cell phone. Well after hiking out I found a person with a cell phone and called a neighbor. Told her how to get into the house, where the extra key was and how to identify it. Before long she was at the trailhead (luckily only 40 minutes from home) and proudly presented me with ... the wrong key. She must have been colorblind (but I thought that only males were). I had her bring us home. I got the key and then enlisted another friend to return me to the TH.

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Re: Locking Cars

Postby rlown » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:33 pm

Never happened. i kinda have a mental checklist. Make the last call for anything anyone wants out of the truck, clean it up, lock the door, check it, and put the key on the little key ring inside one of the pockets in my pack. i know.. kinda anal about that, but i never have to turn around.
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Re: Locking Cars

Postby maverick » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:34 pm

Wow Or, that was very nice of her to drive 40 min's, nice neighbor!
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Re: Locking Cars

Postby quentinc » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:22 pm

I've become so absent-minded that I usually worry about whether I've left my brain behind in the car. Curiously, though, I've never had the slightest worry about having not locked the doors.

Oh, but the number of things I have left behind....there is that agonizing point where one has to decide just how far it is worth walking back, or just going without sunglasses (my favorite things to forget) or whatever else I realize I've left.
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Re: Locking Cars

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:35 pm

I've got back to the car and found a door unlocked. Luckily nothing left inside the car and nothing disturbed.

Due to lockouts when the wind blows a door shut and I end up calling AAA (fortunately not at trailheads) I have a habit of keeping my keys on a carabiner and firmly in hand or clipped on my person somewhere until everything is settled, all doors tested, and then the key is clipped to a pack D ring where they jingle from a pack strap all the time (day hikes) or zipped in the security pocket of my pants where they stay for the duration of the backpack. I check the condition of the pocket before each trip starts so there are no holes for the key to fall through.

I get especially paranoid if I have people riding with me...

I have thrown away my keys with trash at coffee houses, dropped my keys in shelving at cash registers, and had to climb into my car via the trunk before... so I get really nuts about this sort of thing. Some trailheads are so far out of phone range, locking myself out would be a long second backpack ... a couple of trips there wouldn't have been good hitchhiking for another 10-15 miles of dirt road. Doesn't really appeal to have what scraps of food remain between you for another day's walk. #-o

I've thought about hide-a-key but not sure where on the car I would stash that so it would not be easy for someone to find. I don't have many not - obvious places on my car that I could reach myself.
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Re: Locking Cars

Postby Snow Nymph » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:50 am

I turn back all the time. Mine has a long range, so if I can see the lights, I can click on it from a distance. A few times it was not locked.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison


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Re: Locking Cars

Postby LMBSGV » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:00 pm

I (or we when I'm not going solo) have a trailhead ritual to prevent worrying about locking the car. After the pack(s) are out of the car and everything else stowed out of sight, we lock the car. Then I circle the car and go to every door and make sure it's locked. That rids us of any possible doubts. Of course, this also leads to anyone else in the parking lot to wonder what we're doing. (There's something about getting packs out, changing shoes to hiking boots, etc. that gets a lot of day hikers and fisher people watching you.) That only helps me remember locking the car.
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Re: Locking Cars

Postby freestone » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:50 pm

I have never worried about my car at a Sierra trailhead. My experience is, if they see it and want it, they will get it. The damage will be greater than the value of the booty. I lock my car, but I don't angst over it, nor do I leave valuables or food in plain site. I drive a Ford Focus or rental, who cares cares?
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Re: Locking Cars

Postby SSSdave » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:15 pm

As someone that has done several hundred backpacking and day hiking trips, I cannot recall ever doing that where I had to walk back more than a few feet. It is something that registers rather high on my awareness immediately when leaving a vehicle. On the other hand many years ago after being distracted by an odd sequence of departure, I once left my townhouse on a skiing day with not only the front door unlocked but with the door wide open. When I returned the next day my neighbor related a story of how in the evening they thought it rather odd the door remained wide open and yelled into my home. With no reply they shut the door, and kept an eye open. Fortunately I live in a rather secure area where doors to any unit can be seen outdoors by a several others. After that incredibly unbelievable for this person mental lapse I've been rather worried about repeating that. So a few years later a friend and I were leaving my place packed for a backpack and had driven about a dozen miles. I could not with cetainty recall shutting my door and finally turned around to go back when I realised I would be worrying to no end if I didn't. It was locked. My method for car keys has for decades been always having two sets in my pocket at all times except out on a trail where I may store one set in my gear. A few times has been extremely valuable after losing one key set.
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Re: Locking Cars

Postby John Dittli » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:50 am

I have an '81 pickup I leave at the trailhead, don't lock it so no worries. Always figure someone will do more damage if they have to "break" in.
I once saw someone that took it a step farther; left all the windows open too so the bears would do less damage breaking in. Wonder how many critters were living in there when he got back?

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