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Thailand forum

backpack security

Posted by calitraveler on 25/7/2006 at 12:18

i'm going to be backpacking alone (female). what's the best way to secure your pack while on the overnight train or on the gov't bus?

a friend mentioned that after hearing his friends' stories of thievery on the train he slept with this pack. also, someone else mentioned using chicken wire net that brunches which you can secure with a padlock. perhaps that's over the top??

i'm planning to use little padlocks to secure zippers but the top of my pack (like all backpacks) has the two flip latches -- how do you secure that?

and do most guesthouses, hostels have a safe to store your passport while exploring during the day?

thx.

#1 calitraveler has been a member since 24/7/2006. Posts: 25

Posted by glassrider on 25/7/2006 at 14:10

hi there,
whilst looking for info for my first trek around se asia i have discovered that most people use an ordinary bike lock to secure their luggage on the trains just by attaching it to something solid.

hope this has helped
rob

#2 glassrider has been a member since 19/6/2006. Posts: 1


Posted by tsargood on 25/7/2006 at 15:48

Hi,
There is this thing you can get called a Pac-Safe, I have used one in countries where theft is a problem, eg Indian sleeper trains and dodgy hostels. Although I never used it Thailand and still have all my belongings.

They are kind of heavy to carry on a long trek and somtimes people wonder what you have in there that is so valuable it needs to be locked away. On the other hand, its nice to get a good nights sleep knowing you pack will still be there in the morning! or not be the bag getting slashed open on the roof of the bus!
Check it out www.pac-safe.com
Happy travels ,
Tim

#3 tsargood has been a member since 10/4/2006. Posts: 87
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Posted by murwill16 on 25/7/2006 at 15:51

Thin steel wire rope with a loop at each end is lighter than a bike lock chain, some trecking/outdoor stores in Oz stock these, eg Katmandu. I have also read that a ships' chandler could manufacture this type item.

#4 murwill16 has been a member since 2/1/2005. Posts: 19

Posted by somtam2000 on 25/7/2006 at 16:45 admin

I concur with murwill16 -- I've always used a thin cable like that -- doesn't weigh much at all and I padlock it to something too big to fit out the window.

That being said I keep my "difficult to replace" stuff (passport, credit cards, photo of pet cat etc) always on my person or in a guesthouse safe.

As far as totally securing your backpack, there's little you can do -- don't leave anything you wouldn't throw away in pockets you can't secure.

#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,507
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Posted by somtam2000 on 25/7/2006 at 16:47 admin

Oh and I forgot to mention, my pack is filthy - and I mean FILTHY.

I've used the same pack for over a decade and while it commenced life an embarrassingly bright pink, it is now so vile a shade of ochre I've had baggage handlers refuse to touch it, no doubt fearing contracting cholera from it (no it doesn't smell) -- but I've never had anybody ever try to steal it ;-)

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Posted by hnldock on 9/9/2006 at 18:21

The cheapest easier way to secure your pack/bag is to go to your local hardware store and buy a length of simple small chain, a couple of feet long is good. It's very cheap and weighs little. Then buy a cheap combination padlock and you've got good protection from a grab and run type thief who would need some serious chain cutters to get your bag.

#7 hnldock has been a member since 7/8/2006. Posts: 6

Posted by hnldock on 9/9/2006 at 18:21

The cheapest easier way to secure your pack/bag is to go to your local hardware store and buy a length of simple small chain, a couple of feet long is good. It's very cheap and weighs little. Then buy a cheap combination padlock and you've got good protection from a grab and run type thief who would need some serious chain cutters to get your bag.

#8 hnldock has been a member since 7/8/2006. Posts: 6

Posted by marianwarren on 9/9/2006 at 20:00

Hi calitraveler
Having every security gizmo attatched to your luggage is a sure fire method to indicate that you have stuff worth knocking off. Most security stuff is only a deterrent. If they really want to rip you off they will slash your pack.

Consider ... would you knock off a daggy old backpack or a Louis Vuitton original/knock off.

Sure - have a strong cable to secure your bags to large objects, use common sense. The world is not out to get you ...

Enjoy

Marian

#9 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270

Posted by steviej on 10/9/2006 at 04:52

Make a point of only using combination locks, a lost key can be a confusing sight when your left to 'hack' away into your own bag.......... ;-)



chill...........

#10 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by steviej on 10/9/2006 at 05:05

And another thing.............

..............As for the 'latches'; if it's the plastic clips you mean, you could buy a couple of large key rings per clip and thread the rings through the webbing where it attaches to the each part of the clip and lock them together.

It's not fool proof but it's a small deterrent if you need peace of mind.

#11 steviej has been a member since 18/3/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 265
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Posted by GussieG on 10/9/2006 at 17:54

You can buy purpose made plastic clips which thread through the webbing either end of the quick-release clips, and have a small hole drilled through which you then lock with a normal padlock

#12 GussieG has been a member since 9/9/2006. Posts: 24

Posted by GussieG on 10/9/2006 at 17:56

The other thing you can do, common in central America, is get hold of a large grain sack or similar and put your backpack in that before it goes on the bus roof. It then looks like a locals bag, not a western backpack

#13 GussieG has been a member since 9/9/2006. Posts: 24

Posted by Enrico_Gatti on 11/9/2006 at 20:28

So in conclusion the best way to keep your pack safe is to
Make it look grubby
use lightweight chain to secure it to something steadfast
use small padlocks on zippers
Keep your most expensive belongings on you.

One small question, whats the level of violent crime like in SE asia? i.e as a westerner are you an easy target?

#14 Enrico_Gatti has been a member since 4/5/2006. Posts: 17


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