Camping is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but it is not entirely stress-free.
Particularly if you are camping at a festival or on a large campsite, there are certain security risks.
Here are some useful and easy ways to secure your tent and belongings.
Related: Do Canvas Tents Need Waterproofing?
How to Lock a Tent at Night Plus Other Ways to Secure Your Tent and Belongings
Use a Tent Lock
This may give you some peace of mind as your door will be secure. However, tents are made from flimsy material that can easily be slashed with a penknife. This means that realistically if an intruder wanted to enter your tent, a padlock would not stop them.
It may act as a deterrent and dissuade criminals from trying to enter your tent. They could see slashing the tent material as too risky due to the potential for drawing attention and the additional time that it would take.
Alternatively, it could go completely the opposite way and signal that you have valuable possessions in your tent that are ripe for the picking.
When choosing a tent lock, we suggest opting for a combination lock rather than one opened with a key. This is because it is incredibly easy to misplace keys and there is nothing worse than being locked out of your own tent.
We suggest zipping up your tent door and moving both zips to the base, near the ground. You should thread the lock through the holes in both zips and secure the padlock. It should be hidden at the base of your zip, tucked underneath the fabric of the door.
When Should You Lock Your Tent?
We suggest locking your tent at night while you sleep. This is more for psychological reasons than actual security, but it is likely to help you get a better night’s sleep.
We would also recommend locking your tent if you are planning on spending an extended length of time away. This is no guarantee that your tent or its contents will be protected, but it does give you an additional layer of security.
Location, Location, Location
One of the best ways to prevent your tent from being broken into is to choose a good pitching location. Try to pick a spot that is not too far away from other campers. If you are on a campsite, try to choose a very visible spot near where people often walk.
We advise pitching your tent far away from a main road. This will make it much more difficult for thieves to make off with your belongings and may serve to dissuade them from attempting to steal from you.
If you are wild camping, avoid areas that are densely covered in vegetation or are near a lot of trees. This is because it decreases your visibility and makes it harder to spot potential intruders. Position your tent so that the door faces the area you feel is safest.
Try to pick a spot that is not too far away from civilization. Intruders will always go for the most isolated campers, so do not let this be you.
Make Some Friends
One of the best ways to protect your belongings is to make friends with the people camping near you.
The likelihood is that at least one person will be in the area at all times.
If you make friends with your neighbors they are more likely to keep an eye on your tent and alert you to the presence of any intruders.
Store Your Valuables in an Inaccessible Location
One option is to hide your valuables in your tent. A good suggestion is to place them underneath your sleeping bag. This means that if a thief was to look into your tent they would not see anything suspicious.
Another suggestion is to keep your valuables inside a security or lock box inside your tent. This reduces the risk of people getting to your stuff, but if someone did break into your tent they could simply pick up the box and make off with all of your valuables.
The best option is to store your valuables somewhere safer, such as in a car. This can still be broken into, but the security mechanisms on a car are much better than on a tent.
Of course, the best way to protect your valuables is to leave as many of them as possible at home. Whatever is completely necessary to have with you should ideally be kept on your person.
Use Rainfly to Cover Your Tent
Rainfly is a material covering that acts as a barrier for your tent. It shields the tent from the elements.
It also obscures the visibility of whatever is inside your tent. This means that people cannot see what is inside, reducing the risk of anyone stealing from you.
Install a Tripwire Alarm
This is a great and easy way to get a little extra security on your campsite. They are very lightweight, small, and relatively inexpensive.
If the wire is triggered, a very loud alarm will begin to blare, alerting you and those around you to the presence of an intruder.
Do Not Get a Freestanding Tent
Freestanding tents are ones that do not get staked or pegged into the ground.
They are very lightweight and many hikers prefer freestanding tents. These are very easy to move and break into.
How to Lock a Tent – Conclusion
In conclusion, locking your tent is more for psychological comfort than as an actual security measure.
Having a lock may prevent people from attempting to enter your tent, or it could pique their interest and make them want to break in.
There are many other safety precautions that you can take that are more effective than a tent lock. The best way to keep your valuables safe is to keep them on your person or in a locked car if you really must bring them.
Try to be friendly and converse with your neighbors as an added layer of security. Rainfly is a great security option for your tent.