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Old 03-10-2012, 07:22 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Crime? I like my gear.

Back in the day, we could leave our gear at a side trail junction or in our campsite or lean-to and bag a peak or take a day hike without worrying about it wandering away.

How are things these days, is my gear safe in my camp site or lean to if I take a day hike? Will my pack be there when I return to the main trail?
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:28 AM   #2
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i have never had any problems leaving my gear for the day. however you hear stories from time to time about theft.

usually it is one person who eventually gets caught.

usually it only happens in popular areas like marcy's damn.

usually it doesn't happen if you are far from the parking area. the more miles you walk in the less likely someone will take your gear.

people are generally respectful.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:44 AM   #3
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We've never had a bad experience, although I have heard of some. I must admit I do think about it sometimes. Generally, like Buckshot says, we find people to be helpful and respectful. I do hear of a car break-in from time to time at a trail head parking area and that sometimes concerns me. Most of the time we feel pretty confident and comfortable. Much more concerned with our "stuff" here in suburbia than when we are while roaming the Adirondacks.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:11 PM   #4
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I have taken many day hikes and left gear, tent, etc. at lean-tos or at campsites (often far from trailheads) with no trouble. Knock on wood.

If I'm tenting away from lean-tos I tend to throw all gear into the tent and zip up the doors. My hope is that any ne'er do wells may suspect that people are inside the tent.

At any rate, I've had luck. But to leave your gear out and about in a public place involves taking some kind of risk. I'd take any valuables along with you on the day hike, if possible, to err on the side of caution.

Last edited by WiseFool; 03-10-2012 at 12:22 PM..
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:07 PM   #5
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On my way down Phelps today, someone left their Black Diamond poles in the middle of the trail and near the bottom there were 2 full back packs on the side of the trail. A few weeks ago I spent 2 nights at the up hill lean-to and left our stuff there while out and about. Personally I have never had problems but I tend not leave the "good" stuff out in plain site. I like to think most people are good- or to lazy to carry it out.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:14 AM   #6
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I have never(knock on wood) had anything stolen in 30+ years of hiking. That being said, a very good friend of mine had his wallet stolen from his pack that he left at one of the Lake Colden lean-to's(no comments about how wise it is to leave your wallet in a lean-to).

I have seen and heard of much more gear being damaged and also dragged off by 4 legged critters than 2 legged.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:13 AM   #7
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I like to help keep honest people honest. I lock my house and carefully hide my gear backpacking and canoe camping. However after two house burglaries, 18 mo apart, by the same creeps; I'm thinking about just leaving my doors unlocked. There would be less damage to my house! I will add noisy alarm system to scare off the timid, so called "honest". Incidentally they were eventually caught. It is crystal clear these two married men, living in $600,000 houses, (renting), listed their professions as professional gamblers, had robbed 100s of houses along the CT coast line. Sometimes it takes a while to catch the bad guys.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:59 PM   #8
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I had a folding stool stolen while deer hunting a few years ago. I was sitting about a mile off the road on top of a small hill in a jumble of rocks. I took my mid-morning stroll and when I got back an hour later, my folding stool was gone. The big buck must have came and snatched it from me.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:20 PM   #9
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Use common depends where you are, when, etc....I say that if it's not a total shock to see another human being wherever you are, then you should watch your stuff. If you are on a 15 mile hike into the Western High Peaks Cold River area in November, you're OK. Eastern High Peaks main trails, in July, on a Saturday, is a whole nother story...
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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Scumbags are every where

This past Feb we left our packs at the heard path junction for Cliff & Redfield. When we returned from Redfield someone had gone through our packs and tossed stuff on the ground. We thought we were far enough in the bush that our stuff would be ok....
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:39 PM   #11
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I've never had a problem. Generally, if I'm leaving stuff in a lean-to, I'll try to leave everything nice and neat- usually stick everything that I've leaving behind inside my sleeping bag.

If I'm leaving my pack someplace, I'll usually stick it off in the woods, away from the trail.

A friend of mine tried to do St. Regis as an overnight a few years ago. She hiked in to the designated tent site at the base of the mountain, set up camp, and climbed the mountain. When she returned to the campsite, all (yes, that's right... all) of her gear was gone. Nothing left behind.

When she returned to the trailhead, she found a not on her car that read "found gear, call ###-###-####." She called the number, and a teenager answered- he explained that when he and his friends had come across the camping gear while hiking, they'd thought that it was "abandoned," so they took it down and carried it out. It was pretty clear that that they had very, very little outdoors experience. Fortunately, she was able to get all of her gear back, but needless to say she was incredibly upset. The teenager got an earful when she met him in person to retrieve her gear.

Moral of the story- it's not just vindictiveness that you have to watch out for- but also extreme stupidity!
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:40 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post

Moral of the story- it's not just vindictiveness that you have to watch out for- but also extreme stupidity!
I wouldn't necessarily call this stupidity - just extreme lack of experience. Clearly they thought they were trying to help...
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:36 PM   #13
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I think I would have to call it pretty stupid. Taking gear that is set up at a campsite? It would be one thing if the kids had seen it there for a few days with no activity. At least she was able to get it back. And that said, I'd rather share the woods with idiots than thieves any day.

As for my experience, in 20 or so years of backpacking and canoe camping in the adirondacks, I've left gear in lean-to's and campsites while daytripping many times and never had a problem. Like DSetthar, I tidy up and leave everything inside my pack or tent, and I never leave my wallet or anything really valuable in plain sight.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:50 PM   #14
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Some idiots barged into the remaining muddy space of a campsite at North Lake that we had already been at overnight. They set up right between us and the lake. Strange young couple and two kids, inbred siblings perhaps. Got their truck stuck, asked us for help, told them stuff was missing, didn't care, started to be overly friendly, and that's when I started packing up the kayak. The fools stole my board shorts, flip flops and camp stove. Go ahead, wear my underwear and socks basically, I'm sure they only shower once a month so it was probably a step up. Kayak, PFD, paddle, bong...yes, other items all untouched. It's not that deep into the Park but it's decently remote. There were other spots open and we had the most incredible day with the whole lake to ourselves, not a peep, until later. I would go back because it's a nice site and close'ish to home but I wouldn't leave it unattended again.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:22 AM   #15
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I did just remember one incident that happened to me... nothing was stolen, and I think it was a result more from stupidity than willful vindictiveness.

I think it was Fall 2007- a friend and I hiked out the Pharaoh Lake, and set up camp in the large lean-to on the peninsula. I walked a fair distance off into the woods, and set up a bear hang. Then my friend and I left to go climb Pharaoh Mountain.

When we got back, our bear bag was on the ground, and there was a father and son setting up a tent nearby. I asked the father if he had taken down the bear bag, and he said yes. I asked him why, and he said "I wanted to see what was in it." No look of guilt or anything. Only thing I can think of is that he'd never seen a bear hang before, and when he saw mine, he had no idea what it was...

So call it stupidity, call it inexperience... Whatever it is, it's a lot more likely that you'll end up having to deal with it at some point in the woods than you will have to deal with intentional theft.

On that same trip, a group of teenagers also had also managed to start a wild fire on the peninsula, but that's a different story...
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:52 AM   #16
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I had a similar experience with someone going thru our bear hang while doing the CL50 on East Flow. Nothing was taken but it was obviously moved and gone thru, we left it hanging for 4 hours at a campsite with a permanent DEC wire hanger for a lunch cache as we were finishing the loop. Sure glad they didn't like are sardines and Ritz!
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crime, safety, theft

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