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Theft while showering?

Old 08-19-22, 05:10 AM
  #26  
Tourist in MSN
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Originally Posted by bathedinshadow View Post
... showering? ....
This being your first tour, there are a few things that you always take to the shower at campgrounds. In most states, you need coins. Best to have plenty of them.

When I did Pacific Coast in 2014, if my recollection is correct Oregon state parks had free showers. California state parks wanted quarters (USA, not CAD). I think four quarters has usually been the norm, but in a time of high inflation, maybe that is increasing?

I am not sure if there is a standard amount of time, but I almost always get a shower completed a minute or two before the timer runs out. But three years ago at one private campground in Nova Scotia the timer ran out before I even got completely wet. I had to keep feeding coin into that timer. That timer only took one quarter at a time, but fiddling with a zip lock baggie of coins with soapy fingers is a real inconvenience.

If you keep touring, my experience in Canada was that dollar coins were most often needed for the timer, but occasionally quarters, best to carry both. You can ask when you enter a park and may be able to buy coins there if you need them.

That is in addition to towel, your own soap and shampoo, some of us use shower shoes (flip flops) as you do not know what the population of microbes on the floor is.

I think most bike tourists do not do sink laundry, but I do. Campground sinks almost never have a drain stopper. I bring a very flexible silicone flat stopper. And I have a 25 foot (~8m) strong small diameter cord that has minimal stretch and a dozen wire clothes pins to hang up the wet wet stuff. And a plastic 100 ml squeeze bottle of laundry soap.

I hope you have a great trip.
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Old 08-19-22, 06:00 AM
  #27  
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One benefit of going light? Not much to lose.

I had stuff stolen in France. Bike stolen in Germany. Nothing stolen in USA, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Norway, Spain, italy, Austria, UK, Ireland, or even Mexico. Life is too short to worry about random criminals stealing gear. Buy cheaper stuff or used gear. Leave the laptops and such home. Bring the minimum. You can carry all your crap to the shower if you are that scared.
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Old 08-19-22, 06:33 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by bathedinshadow View Post
Yeah this is why I ask. A guy I work with had ALL of his stuff stolen at a campground when he walked to the ranger's station to ask a question. Tent and all. And he had even pitched it.
vancouver guy, you give the impression that you didnt grow up camping at all.
It's impossible for any of us to assess how you are with common sense, but as already mentioned, just use situational awareness and common sense.

always bring a coil lock or whatever with you to lock your bike to a tree or picnic bench or whatever, around the campsite or if you ride to the bathroom.--this is a no brainer, just lock the damn thing up, done.

if your fellow campers are families and such, the chances of someone stealing your stuff is pretty small---and as you yourself mentioned, just bring a pannier with your with your valuables to the shower, or your handlebar bag if you use one.
A pretty straightforward solution.

I hope you enjoy your tour and begin to develop a feel for situations and risk assessment.
No internet searching can help you with developing common sense real world stuff, so this will be a good experience----Don't get me wrong, there could always be a risk of theft and you should be thinking of all of this.
Many of us have been camping and bike travelling for a long time, and TOUCH WOOD, its generally ok, but its certainly true that one must always be vigilant and always having an eye out on the surroundings and people, whether its outside a store you stop in for food, or at a campground.
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Old 08-19-22, 06:47 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
be more careful anywhere that had more bikes, as more bikes is where the bike thieves are likely to be.

A friend of mine was extra careful on bike thefts when we did a bike tour in Florida, he brought a big chain and lock for his titanium bike, but when we rode Pacific Coast, he had a much smaller lock for that bike. The big lock in the photo.


That's gotta add a massive amount of weight to the setup.
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Old 08-19-22, 07:00 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
One benefit of going light? Not much to lose.
I have found that to be the case. Some folks go on about spending large amounts ($$$) trimming weight, but most of the load cam be trimmed by choosing to take less stuff and lighter items without going crazy expensive for high tech fibers and what not. I know that I have less money's worth of gear in my gear than the average tourist for any given trip and still have fully functional camping and cooking capability. I could trim a few ounces by the application of more $$$, but the return on investment is getting pretty small at that point IMO.

Whether you decide to go ultra light or just light you can reap some of this benefit. Over the time when I was trimming my packing list I was at various points of lightness. I'd say that at base weights of 9-14 pounds taking everything in with me would be a snap, but even at 22 pounds it would be pretty easy.
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Old 08-19-22, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I have found that to be the case. Some folks go on about spending large amounts ($$$) trimming weight, but most of the load cam be trimmed by choosing to take less stuff and lighter items without going crazy expensive for high tech fibers and what not. I know that I have less money's worth of gear in my gear than the average tourist for any given trip and still have fully functional camping and cooking capability. I could trim a few ounces by the application of more $$$, but the return on investment is getting pretty small at that point IMO.

Whether you decide to go ultra light or just light you can reap some of this benefit. Over the time when I was trimming my packing list I was at various points of lightness. I'd say that at base weights of 9-14 pounds taking everything in with me would be a snap, but even at 22 pounds it would be pretty easy.

Out of your gear list, is there anything you would protect or take with you to the shower? Our gear lists are similar although mine is not written down like yours. (no camera, lock and no second set of shoes for me). Our evolution seems similar, too. I started with front and rear panniers, handlebar bag, and tent/pad/bag strapped to rear rack. Then, I got rid of the rear panniers....just front, HB bag, and tent strapped to rear. Then, HB bag and large bikepackers saddle bag. Am now working out a different setup using tailfin on the rear and HB bag up front. Only my tent and sleeping bag, if stolen, would get my goat.


https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=280176&v=6H
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Old 08-19-22, 08:02 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Out of your gear list, is there anything you would protect or take with you to the shower? Our gear lists are similar although mine is not written down like yours. (no camera, lock and no second set of shoes for me). Our evolution seems similar, too. I started with front and rear panniers, handlebar bag, and tent/pad/bag strapped to rear rack. Then, I got rid of the rear panniers....just front, HB bag, and tent strapped to rear. Then, HB bag and large bikepackers saddle bag. Am now working out a different setup using tailfin on the rear and HB bag up front. Only my tent and sleeping bag, if stolen, would get my goat.
I think I tweaked that list a couple more times befor the trip and it was actually a little different before I left. I think this is close to what I went with https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...id=292760&v=3Y

In any case I vary the list with the trip and have generally changed it since then as well. I have a spreadsheet select items trip by trip. I too go with no camera, lock and no second set of shoes on some trips. It is a trip by trip decision. I have given up on the little half tarp and gone to a bigger tarp and made some other adjustments.

To answer your question, no I don't typically make much effort to take stuff into the shower with me. The items in the little backpack tend to go with me by default if I am using it on a given trip though. I like to keep it to not much more than 4 pounds or so. I do load it up heavy for short periods when I need to lug exta water or something for a short period or a dry stretch of road.
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Old 08-19-22, 08:40 AM
  #33  
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when I think of what I take to the showers, really it come down to wallet, or reasonable facsimile (reduced in a pouch), cell phone, tablet if I have it--and thats about it.

panniers and stuff are in tent, bike is locked either by tent or at shower station if far away, and tent is all closed up. Don't leave stuff on picnic table (shower as soon as tent is up, so no meal prep yet) so really, the time my stuff is "alone" in tent is maybe 20-30 mins or less, and unless you're in a really sketchy campground, the chances of someone going into your tent is pretty low.
I mean, a cycle tourist isn't carrying flat screen tvs and gold bars, and there usually are friendly families with kids camped nearby anyway.

and dirty bike clothes and some panniers are not high up on the "worth it" view from the type of person who will walk by and look out to steal someones cell phone left on a picnic bench or whatever.
touch wood
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Old 08-19-22, 12:33 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
when I think of what I take to the showers, really it come down to wallet, or reasonable facsimile (reduced in a pouch), cell phone, tablet if I have it--and thats about it.

panniers and stuff are in tent, bike is locked either by tent or at shower station if far away, and tent is all closed up. Don't leave stuff on picnic table (shower as soon as tent is up, so no meal prep yet) so really, the time my stuff is "alone" in tent is maybe 20-30 mins or less, and unless you're in a really sketchy campground, the chances of someone going into your tent is pretty low.
I mean, a cycle tourist isn't carrying flat screen tvs and gold bars, and there usually are friendly families with kids camped nearby anyway.

and dirty bike clothes and some panniers are not high up on the "worth it" view from the type of person who will walk by and look out to steal someones cell phone left on a picnic bench or whatever.
touch wood
Exactly. As recounted above, the only time someone tried to take something from me was when I needlessly left it left in view in an area that was easily accessed by the public. And it was something that looked to be of value to someone "in the know." The would-be thief did not head towards my tent to open the fly and have a look around. He went straight for the object that was an easy grab and run target.

If I am camping in a place without easy public access I will usually leave my stove on the picnic table overnight. At most, I will put it under the table to keep it out of view. On the opposite end of the spectrum is a place like North Beach Campground in Burlington, VT, where there is a level of drug-related petty crime, and the public can access the campground fairly easily, even at night. The last time I was there I had a lean-to. Whenever I left my site other than for a short bathroom trip I put my panniers in my tent that was pitched inside the lean-to and hid things like my stove behind the tent. While sleeping, the panniers, stove and bike were in a corner that was blocked by my tent. It would have been impossible to grab something without waking me up.

And as noted above, here are a lot more things people leave out that are more valuable and more widely usable than some panniers.
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Old 08-19-22, 04:11 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Man! A New Jersey racoon once tried to run off with a pannier of mine. I was camping in bear country so I had stored all my attractants in the restroom. The pannier was completely empty. The only thing I could figure is that it had some lingering odor from a very aromatic everything bagel I had bought earlier in the day. Fortunately, I heard the thing while in my tent about to fall asleep and was able to shoo him away after he had dragged the thing about 15'.

We sometimes have them in my alley here in Philly. My next door neighbor has a a little fake pond out back. Something stole a couple of the plastic fish. I'll bet it was a racoon.
I had an Indiana racoon abscond with my titanium spork, the first night of a tour. I had walked across the road for a couple minutes, and they invaded, taking my titanium spork, I'll never get over that, and creating an inch diameter hole in the nylon bag I used for my stove and small food items, and proceeded to eat an entire cinnamon bun through the hole, that was still in a sealed wrapper. I hang that bag but wasn't yet done with it. I still miss that spork.
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Old 08-19-22, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I had an Indiana racoon abscond with my titanium spork, the first night of a tour. I had walked across the road for a couple minutes, and they invaded, taking my titanium spork, I'll never get over that, and creating an inch diameter hole in the nylon bag I used for my stove and small food items, and proceeded to eat an entire cinnamon bun through the hole, that was still in a sealed wrapper. I hang that bag but wasn't yet done with it. I still miss that spork.
😂 Your post reminded me of the night I was camping on the last night of a cross-PA tour. I had passed through Amish/Mennonite county and had picked up some sticky buns for breakfast. They were covered with sweet syrup. Accidentally left them on the picnic table when I went to sleep. Woke up to a loud squabbling. Unzipped the tent, turned on my headlamp and saw two raccoons going to town on my buns. I chased them away, but the damage had been done. Later I heard them squabbling around the area. I think they were on a sugar high. All I could think about was Beevis & Butthead. I need TP for my bunghole! They probably died of diabetes.
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Old 08-19-22, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I had an Indiana racoon abscond with my titanium spork, the first night of a tour. I had walked across the road for a couple minutes, and they invaded, taking my titanium spork, I'll never get over that, and creating an inch diameter hole in the nylon bag I used for my stove and small food items, and proceeded to eat an entire cinnamon bun through the hole, that was still in a sealed wrapper. I hang that bag but wasn't yet done with it. I still miss that spork.
they really are buggers aren't racoons?
One day waaaaaay off in the future, someone will find that nice, still in great condition spork, and say, "cool, look what I found !"
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Old 08-19-22, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
they really are buggers aren't racoons?
One day waaaaaay off in the future, someone will find that nice, still in great condition spork, and say, "cool, look what I found !"
In my alley last December. Hard to tell from the photo but he was really fat. Must have put on winter weight.


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Old 08-19-22, 09:30 PM
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Make friends with some other campers, leave your bike with them and take your valuables to shower.
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Old 08-20-22, 04:55 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
In my alley last December. Hard to tell from the photo but he was really fat. Must have put on winter weight.


They are regular visitors to my yard here in Tallahassee especially in winter when we have grape jelly in the bird feeders for the baltimore orioles. I don't often see them, but if I set out the trail cam they show up as do the possums.
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Old 08-25-22, 02:05 PM
  #41  
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At a campground in Quebec (that charged 6$CDN for WiFi) I had to put coins in to get the shower to work, does that count?
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Old 08-25-22, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
At a campground in Quebec (that charged 6$CDN for WiFi) I had to put coins in to get the shower to work, does that count?
you deserve honorable mention for that one.

its funny also because the last time I had to do that was last summer in Quebec, but I certainly have memories of having to do it in France, and in Oregon or California too, but a long time ago.

it certainly makes us become very fast showerers doesnt it? Especially for me when washing my bike clothes with me at the same time.
I had learned to be fast showering when living and traveling in Latin America, taking showers with no hot water, sometimes in very chilly conditions. You get really good at doing the "wet and soap one part", arm, leg , head, then turn off water, wash well, and then turn on water just to rinse that one specific part. Holding your breath for the water on the sensitive bits.
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Old 08-26-22, 04:05 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
At a campground in Quebec (that charged 6$CDN for WiFi) I had to put coins in to get the shower to work, does that count?
Montana and Vermont state parks have coin-op showers. I can think of only one private campground that had one.
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Old 08-26-22, 05:20 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Montana and Vermont state parks have coin-op showers. I can think of only one private campground that had one.
I have run across private ones here and there that had coin operated showers. Always a good idea to have some quarters on hand.
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Old 08-26-22, 05:39 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The only time someone tried to snatch something of wine was while on part of the Trans Am. I was camping in DuBois, WY. The tenting area was bordered by a dirt road that apparently led to a trailer park. There was only a low, post rail fence separating the road from the tent area. For some reason I cannot remember I had unpacked my stove and left it out while I went to do laundry. (It was early afternoon so it's not like I had cooked anything.) I was sitting outside the laundry room reading. A car stopped with two "yutes" in it. One got out, headed for the fence about was about put a leg over. I jumped up and started walking really fast towards my tent. The bastid ran back to the car, jumped in, and the two sped away.
By any chance were they driving a "metallic mint-green 1964 Buick Skylark Convertible"?
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Old 08-26-22, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by garryg View Post
Make friends with some other campers, leave your bike with them and take your valuables to shower.
When I was touring Nova Scotia, I stayed in private campgrounds where you could tent or have your RV. I rolled in one evening and set up next to a couple in a large motorhome. When I broke out my stove and was getting ready to cook, they invited me over to join them for dinner (which was much better than what I was planning on eating) and asked me a million questions about how far I had ridden, where I was going, what was it like to camp with a bicycle, etc. When I went to shower or use the bathroom, I would roll my bike over and they would put it inside the motorhome and watch it for me. Nice people.
On another tour, I stayed in a state park campground, and had to pack up and leave in the middle of the night, because a group of drunken yahoos nearby were bound and determined to ride my bike around while I was sleeping. I never did get to sleep because of the racket they made, and it almost came to a physical confrontation when I stopped one of them trying to roll off with my bike, which was cabled to a tree. Outnumbered 6 to 1, I decided riding in the dark and staying at a motel in town was a better option. (p.s.: I stopped at the Ranger station on my way out. Nothing was done. I guess he didn't like the 6 to 1 odds, either.)
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Old 08-26-22, 05:58 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I have run across private ones here and there that had coin operated showers. Always a good idea to have some quarters on hand.
The entrance/check in place of Wayfarers State Park in Montana is right off the road. To get to the camping area you have to climb a steep hill then ride down the other side, which i also steep. When I stayed there in 2017 I forgot to ask for change or a shower token when I checked in. I was so pissed. At least I didn't have to ride back to the entrance and back to my site with my gear. Did not make that same mistake in 2019.
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Old 08-26-22, 08:54 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
At a campground in Quebec (that charged 6$CDN for WiFi) I had to put coins in to get the shower to work, does that count?
A couple places on the north side of the Smokies used to have coin showers. Great places for an AT through-hiker to clean up, if you could hitch a ride down and back up to the crest, but they probably made enough to keep the business going from the campground (where the NPS only had sinks). I think one of those only charged for hot water. I was almost done rinsing off once when the time ran out. Thought I could finish and get out for about 10 seconds, then I spent another $1 so I didn't freeze!
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Old 08-26-22, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
A couple places on the north side of the Smokies used to have coin showers. Great places for an AT through-hiker to clean up, if you could hitch a ride down and back up to the crest, but they probably made enough to keep the business going from the campground (where the NPS only had sinks). I think one of those only charged for hot water. I was almost done rinsing off once when the time ran out. Thought I could finish and get out for about 10 seconds, then I spent another $1 so I didn't freeze!
I've had a few adventures with places like that. Nothing like running out of quarters when you are covered in soap. At least it sounds like you would have still had cold water.
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Old 08-26-22, 01:07 PM
  #50  
bark_eater 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Eastern Shore, MD
Posts: 1,856

Bikes: Road ready: 1993 Koga Miyata City Liner Touring Hybrid, 1989 Centurion Sport DLX, "I Blame GP" Bridgestone CB-1. Projects: Yea, I got a problem....

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I've got kind of a standard reply to this question. Situational awareness is important, but I think it's mentally more sustainable to determine how much effort you going put in to security in your daily routine and the just follow that routine.

My bike touring experience is limited, but I lived out of a backpack for a long time.

Stuff you can't afford to loose go's in the handlebar bag. If your off the bike you take the bag with.

Other panniers are zip ties to bike.

Bike is locked to it self if your off it in public. I have a frame lock.

If your out of sight or asleep, the bike is locked to something else and has a locked on motorcycle cover put over it.

Stuff that would be very inconvenient to loose lives in stuff sacks in the panniers so it's easy to shift to the tent at night.

All of that adds about 10-20 minutes to a daily routine.
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