Empty Out Your Car Before You Hike!

There are more and more trailhead break-ins happening and the locations are too remote for any type of law enforcement to oversee these crimes. It is up to those that are parking their cars, to make sure nothing worth stealing is in the car. 

Last weekend a friend of mine stayed the night on top of Mount Pilchuck, only to come down to find his friends car had been burglarized. His friend had left his laptop in there. The picture I used on this blog was a recent break-in at Padilla Bay Trailhead. Nothing was stolen, but the window was broken. 

Here is what I do when parking at any trailhead:

  • Leave your car unlocked
  • Do not have anything that you want to keep in it
  • If you must leave something, try to conceal it. In the trunk is best
  • You can go as far as putting a sign up, saying that you have nothing of value
  • Hide a "game cam" nearby facing your car for possible evidence
  • Take pictures of the other cars, including their license plates for more information to put into a possible report

When I suggest to people that they leave their cars unlocked, it seems to be a tough idea for them to accept. My response is - You must have something in your car that you are worried will get stolen then. If someone wants to get into your car, then they WILL break your window. Better to go home without having to worry about replacing a window! 

Cars can be stolen from a trailhead also of course. Keep in mind that if someone wants to steal your car, they will find a way. Locking the doors will not prevent this. Some hikers that have an option of cars to choose from, will take a car that is less likely to be stolen or looks like it has anything of value in it. 

For another take on this subject - http://www.wta.org/signpost/keeping-your-car-safe-at-the-trailhead

By: Rudy Giecek

Overnight in the Woods: What to Pack When Backpacking

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Land Management Meetings