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Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?

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Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
June 26, 2015 08:36AM
What do you guys think about leaving your tent up with some gear (bag, pad, stove, maybe even the big pack) in the backcountry while you do a day hike with a smaller or reduced-weight main pack, if you're planning to camp 2 nights the same place? How much risk would I be taking? This would be in the Sunrise to LYV area in July.
Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
June 26, 2015 08:40AM
We do this whenever we stay two nights in the same place.

Then again, we would never stay two nights in an area that gets as much traffic as Sunrise HSC....



Balzaccom

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Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
June 26, 2015 08:54AM
We do it all the time. Protect your food from varmints (big and small) of course....
avatar Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
June 26, 2015 06:37PM
Similarly, I also leave my tent up whenever I'm camping in the same area for two days and day-hiking in-between. I do take with me any particularly valuable toys/luxuries, for example if I'm hiking with an iPod Touch I take that with me on the day hike. But pack, clothes, sleeping bag, etc., I leave that in place, and keep my food in a proper bear container nearby.
avatar Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
June 26, 2015 07:13PM
Keep stuff under you open sleeping bag and put on your rain fly. This will keep prying eyes out and will make it awkward for someone to rummage in your tent. Store food in a locker as rodents will chew their way into the tent.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
June 26, 2015 07:26PM
Yes, should have mentioned the fly...I close the thing when leaving.
Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
June 26, 2015 08:08PM
Thanks for all the feedback, sounds like we should be fine.
Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
June 26, 2015 08:38PM
Another reason to leave the fly on and closed--for most tents, usually only the fly, and not the body of the tent, is treated for UV protection.
Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
June 30, 2015 10:28AM
A question we've all heard before on web boards that doesn't quite have a black and white answer. So a bit of brainstorming below considering the few exceptions.

After decades of backpacking and hiking dozens of dozens of trips, I and none of those I've been with have ever had someone rummage through our gear or take anything. However we also take care of our gear wisely per below. Some of the below is common sense that applies not only in the backcountry but also if one were picnicing at an urban city park.

It is generally safe to leave typical camping gear and items at campsites because the vast majority of backcountry visitors are honest ethical law abiding helpful people. Few urban criminal rip off theft types ever have interests in outdoor mountain activities. But one ought always be aware that yes a few small percent may venture out in our areas.

Backcountry locations more than easy day hiking distance and vertical rise from trailheads are only likely to see other honest ethical law abiding helpful people. And conversely those backcountry locations in easy day hiking range from trailheads are more likely to see visitors unfamiliar with outdoor activities and with urban world behaviors.

The closer a backpacking trailhead is to large urban areas the more likely it is to draw people unfamiliar with outdoor activities and with urban world behaviors.

The large thru hiking trails near entry and exit points are more likely to draw people unfamiliar with outdoor activities and with urban world behaviors.

Trailheads with paved road access are more likely to draw people unfamiliar with outdoor activities and with urban world behaviors, versus those with gravel or dirt road access. And the longer an access road to a trailhead is from highways, the less likely.

One is more likely to have possible gear theft issues along popular busy trails versus trails with low use.

One is far more likely to have possible gear theft issues at campspots within near visual distance of trails than at campspots out of sight of trails.

Rip off types are very unlikely to hike trails with the intent of stealing other visitor's gear. Instead those with such behavioral tendencies are more likely to do so by chance opportunity.

The greater the value of an item the more likely it might be of interest to someone with rip off tendencies. If one placed a wallet with bulging cash out in the open in clear view at a campspot, and it was obvious no one was around, such would be tempting to some individuals that might otherwise never theive. And conversely no one needs to worry about theft of most backpacking gear like a stove, much less a fork and spoon. So the wise thing to do is to not leave expensive small items out at campspots out in the open but rather at least put them away inside a tent or pack.

The easier an item is to remove and conceal, the smaller and lighter, the more likely a rip off minded person might steal something in the backcountry. For instance if one left an expensive DSLR camera out in the open in plain view at a campsite and such a person came by when no one was around, they might be tempted to steal that versus stealing some pricy $400 ultralight tent that would require more time to take down, remove, more effort to carry away, and would be more difficult to conceal along a trail or back at a trailhead.

However if a trailhead was just a mile or so away, yes some poor young urban person with rip off behaviors dayhiking back to a trailhead might be tempted to steal even a whole loaded backpack full of gear, even cheap low quality old gear, sitting along a trail ready to just lift up and carry off if they had watched from a distance, the owner heading off downhill to a nearby lake to go fishing. So don't make theft too tempting.

If one were camped at the always full Little Yosemite Valley camping zone and set off to climb Half Dome, it would not be wise to put a $2000 DSLR camera even inside one's tent while one was away for many hours if many others at the camping zone had watched one use the camera. Same thing with a wallet full of cash and credit cards etc. Much wiser to stash such unseen some distance up a trail where no one would ever have a reason to wander away from a trail edge at.

David Senesac
http://www.davidsenesac.com/Summer_2015/summer_2015-1.html
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avatar Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
June 30, 2015 11:26AM
David, one huge flaw with your logic is that you presume only an "urban criminal" exhibiting "urban world behaviors" would be the most likely one to steal stuff. This is an over-simplification. Any area where unemployment is high, where there are also a lot of drug addicts (which include both urban and rural areas like the Sierra) including the area around Yosemite, are inhabited with people who would be tempted to steal stuff of high value if given the opportunity to do so. This would include the dirt-poor subset of rock climbers who hang around Yosemite who camp illegally, scraping by trying to make ends meet with very limited funds.

That said, all of the above advice that has been given is very good, and the farther away one is from the vast majority of day-hikers the safer it is. Just don't leave any valuable, easily-fenced, high-tech electronic gadget in plain sight and all should be safe.

.
Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
June 30, 2015 03:29PM
Thanks for the comprehensive post David. Encouraging to hear that thefts are rare with common sense precautions.
Re: Good/bad idea to leave tent up for 2 night stay?
July 01, 2015 03:38PM
plawrence, >>>"David, one huge flaw with your logic is that you presume only an "urban criminal" exhibiting "urban world behaviors" would be the most likely one to steal stuff. "

Well actually I didn't presume only those with urban world behaviors might steal and left the statement lay without explanation so there isn't much of certainty to read into it. But considering all backcountry areas not just Yosemite Valley, that probably more people from such urban environments would be a source of concern versus typical rural folk I at least tend to trust more readily. Of course one could write a long essay on the most likely source of thieves at specific parks and forests and each one may have local variables. Thus no "huge flaw" but rather somewhat vague terminology on the source of those that might steal that bears little on the list presented and was stated so just to keep such an informal post reasonably brief.

For instance at southern sections of Anza Borrego one would need to worry about illegal aliens traffic but never in YV. And indeed at any parks adjacent to areas with high unemployment one would need to worry about desperate people. And as you noted, at a place like YV much like Moab or Bend one might have to worry about climbing or ski bums. I just used a single terse phrase for the sake of not making the post any longer than it already was. Thanks in any case considering this is a Yosemite web board, so your expansion for the local situation is indeed a worthwhile input.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2015 03:42PM by DavidSenesac.
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