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Anyone try a bag alarm?

tohams

Member
I'm thinking of getting 2 of these for my Camino in September: http://www.dobermanproducts.com/SE-0304.htm.

You set a 4 digit code and arm it attached to your bag. If it moves (and continues to move, allowing it to accidentally be bumped) and the code isn't entered to disarm it, it blares a loud alarm, hopefully causing the thief to drop your bag where it is.

I'm thinking of putting one on my pack and another on a small lumbar pack to put my camera and iPhone in. That way if I choose to put my camera and iPhone out overnight to charge (zipped within the bag), I can do so with the alarm attached without much fear of theft.

Now, my thought is that people won't know what they are, reach to just move my stuff out of the way, and set off the alarm. Watching the video on the manufacturer website, it says that if the unit moves, it sounds a warning beep. If it stops moving in less than 3 seconds, it just goes back to armed mode. If it continues moving, it'll go beserk. If I get a card laminated in Spanish, French, English, and German to put on my bag explaining that it is alarmed, is my stuff probably safe?

Thanks!

-Thomas
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
leave the phone and camera at home and so no need for the doberman - otherwise, if they are so important to you then keep them in your sleeping bag at night
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
If you only take clothes, then you'll only lose... clothes.
Travel light and don't be afraid.
Keep your camera, passport, and cash in your fannypack and enjoy the Camino!
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
...and if the bad guy moves your bag in the middle of the night, and the alarm goes off in a room full of sleeping pilgrims, I believe you will be considered a culprit, too!
 

Arn

Veteran Member
From my experience...the packs that are taken in tact are from locations where you've left them outside while you go inside. A thief in this situation could care less about the alarm...they will high tail it out of Dodge...beeping all the way.

If you bag is moved inside a dorm...say you're in the shower and someone wants to relocate your pack to make more room and the alarm goes off...i picture a naked man coming out of the shower and a dorm full of folks having a good laugh.

As previously mentioned...if it's that expensive...don't take it...necessaries (passport, wallet, etc0 keep with you (in the shower in a zip lock bag) at night in your sleeping bag with you.

Buen hey...that's my Rolex Camino,

Arn
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
What happens if this pack duly connected to it's alarm system goes off when the owner is in the local bar having a well earned glass of vino tinto - or anywhere else for that matter. Is this alarm going to continue until he/she returns to the albergue to disconnect it? I don't think that he/she will be very popular. I suggest you take a couple of zip lock bags to put your valuables in when you take a shower, etc. Far less expensive and less bothersome to your fellow travellers!
Anne
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Thomas

We can see why you think this device is a good idea and we can understand your apprehension about the security of your gear. But as you can see the general feeling is that this isn't a practical solution. I think the reason for that is that we need to accept the challenges of communal sleeping in albergues and the fact that actually there is very little theft if sensible precautions are taken. I would leave valuables such as camera etc in my rucksack even if it was alarmed. Take them with you.

But above all be reassured that all will be well and that you will have a safe and enjoyable pilgrimage.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Sorry to make light of your question... and I hope you have a sense of humor. :lol:

But honestly, the only thefts I knew about on my Camino was 3 people who were "befriended" in Pamploma by another "pilgrim." This "friend" was asked to keep an eye on their packs while they showered INCLUDING their valuables.

Bad decision.

Pilgrims are not always pilgrims... and really, one must use their brain.

They all three returned to their room (traveling together) to find their money, cameras, and other valuables GONE with the wind! Why were they surprised?

Nobody really bothers the backpacks -- it's generally quite safe to leave them laying on the bed.. BUT

Always take your money, camera, and any other valuables WITH YOU INTO THE SHOWER. You will see this posted over and over and over on this site. You can put it in a ziplock bag if you want. I just kept mine in my fanny pack, which I took into the shower with me... and NEVER HUNG IT ON A DOORHOOK where someone could reach over and grab it :::imagine yourself naked and wet, chasing a thief?:::: but put it on the dressing bench with my dry clothes. I never found a shower with no place for my stuff....

I never heard of anyone stealing a backpack.
I did hear (I think on this forum) of a pair of shoes being stolen... but hey, what a great opportunity to buy shoes in Spain!

I guess my advice is don't be paranoid, but don't be stupid either.
Use the same cautions you would use if you went to the gym in your own city.
And don't take anything too valuable to lose, then you don't have to worry about it, huh? :)
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Listed in my signature
I agree with all the replys re: leave valuables at home or carry on you, but disagree with "always finding a dry place for my clothes" - excuse me? Jeez, I remember balancing all my clothes on the merest few inches of space while showering, worrying the whole time I'd be stepping into clothes as damp as me!
 

Sumachado

Member
I agree with Alipilgrim; many times there was not even a broken hook to keep my things dry. I had to perform some miracles of piling and balancing everything in a dry spot or something that could be used as a bench...Take ziplock bags because you'll need them, for sure... :wink:
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
alipilgrim said:
Jeez, I remember balancing all my clothes on the merest few inches of space while showering, worrying the whole time I'd be stepping into clothes as damp as me!

I laughed when I read this.
I guess I'm just an adept - or perhaps wear fewer clothes?
I don't know.. it just seemed the least of problems to me :lol:

When I thought about it, yes, there were a few places where you had to be creative.
A plastic bag is a great idea - a ziplock. You can buy the gallon sized.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thomas ... the desire to be safe when preparing for the unknown is quite normal, though, you seem to be particularly careful of keeping your own things hidden away (I had a look at your profile - doesn't even say where you are from!!) .. but all the advice is correct ..

the thing is, Camino is going to be unlike anything you would have met before .. it is a different sort of being - of course there is the necessity for the normal awareness of possibilities (after all, every garden has at least one serpent in it) but on the whole, be relaxed.

As for all the valuables .. here's a tip .... buy a large box of cereal. Empty the cereal into a container. Place all your valuables into the now empty cereal box. Place box under your bed. Now go on pilgrimage. :wink:

Or... buy a disposable camera and when it is used up post it home and buy another disposable. Yours is an expensive phone but you MUST have a phone with you? Leave that phone at home and buy the cheapest phone there is. Text everyone your new temporary number and set your own phone to re-direct to it. If this phone is lost - who cares?

I wonder if you can get a ziplock bag big enough to put dry clothes into when taking a shower ... or, Hey! - one big enough to take a shower in, leaving dry clothes outside!

As for chargers .. the days of taking a phone charger and looking for somewhere to plug it in are long past. Now you can buy a power stick - just a tube with an AA battery in it and a connection for your phone ipod, etc. Have fresh power whenever you need it and small and light too! Only about £7.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000QEKXYS/?tag=
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
Refuge dorms are CROWDED! A bag alarm would be a terrible nuisance to others as it would always be being set off accidentally. You would not be popular! Everybody leaves their packs and belongings lying around in refuges, to do otherwise would be completely impractical. In any case, by day 2 your pack will smell of sweaty socks and be perfectly safe.

Valuables are another matter. Heed the advice posted above about taking your wallet, passport etc into the shower, ALWAYS. Reduce the size of your normal wallet by taking out things you won't need, and get a little plastic bag.

Don't take an expensive camera, and I managed without my mobile and ipod the whole time too (yes 5 weeks!). Chargers = nuisance. They are heavy and there are hardly any sockets in many places. Put a message on your mobile saying "I am off on a pilgrimage, please email me instead" and leave it at home. There are plenty of payphones and internet places. You won't have time to listen to music: there are far too many interesting people to go for a vino tinto with.

Experience the freedom that travelling without valuable impediments brings! Buen Camino! :D
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
All I will say on the subject is:- slightly jerky night train-bag alarm-absent owner-husband nearly arrested for attacking luggage-first coronary incident. It will end in tears. Don't
 

vinotinto

Active Member
tohams said:
You set a 4 digit code and arm it attached to your bag.

I brought a PacSafe backpack cage with me, since I was worried about theft. I threw it away in Zubiri after I began shedding weight in order to be able to continue walking (at that point, my bag was over 20K - no joke).

Anniesantiago said:
Keep your camera, passport, and cash in your fannypack and enjoy the Camino!

Anniesantiago said:
Always take your money, camera, and any other valuables WITH YOU INTO THE SHOWER.

Great advice. I had a small daypack that I kept my valuables in, and I never let it leave my sight. I even brought it with me into the shower (sometimes it was tough keeping it dry, but it was water resistant). At night when I slept, I used a small PacSafe cable/combo lock to secure it to the metal bedpost next to my head. Probably paranoid, but the Camino was too important to be ruined by theft, and I never lost a thing...thieves will mostly look for the easy target.

annakappa said:
having a well earned glass of vino tinto

Muy bueno - I love it! But still, never get drunk enough to lose track of things... :mrgreen:

VT
 

Nandy61

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2010 CF StJPP to Santiago
2014 CF Leon to Santiago
2015 Primitivo
what about little luggage locks? Many have stated that no one bothers with backpacks. I have little travel locks that lock the two zippers together. Would that suffice, d'ya think? Or would you still suggest taking the ziploc into the shower?
Ta!
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
I know - it seems like a good idea, but no. :?

The little luggage locks won't help if someone just takes off with your pack. To be safe rather than sorry, ALWAYS keep your passport and debit/credit cards on you, and yes, into the shower.

Everything else you might lose if your pack is stolen can be replaced more easily than your ID and access to money. :(

lynne
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
ALWAYS take your passport and money with you into the shower and NEVER leave it with ANYONE, even someone you've been walking with.

On my first Camino I met 3 young people who were scammed in Pamplona by a nice "pilgrim" who robbed every penny while they went to take showers and the pilgrim "watched" their stuff... all three had to end their pilgrimage there.

Oh yeah, I already said this... this was an older post.. sorry...
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Unemployment in Spain is nearly 20%. The massive influx of pilgrims for the Jubilee Year will create an attractive target to a lot of people who do not have much at the moment. It is safe to assume that you are always being watched for a sign of weakness. Train and bus stations are particularly bad for bump and run thefts. Be wary of friendly offers of help. A classic scam that continues to work is the "mustard scam." A friendly person points out bird droppings, filth, or "mustard" on your equipment or clothes, and offers to help you clean it up. They will have been the ones who squirted the mustard, and they will do more than clean up the mess. In an albergue, the vast majority of folks will be scrupulously honest, but expect infiltrators.

camino-crime-watch/topic7127.html#p41921
 

jeploss

Member
Thanks to all the veteran posters who weighed in on this. I leave for my first camino in six weeks, and just walked with my pack after packing it for the third time. My good friend, a veteran ultralight backpacker, pointed out how heavy my small computer is. Now it's clear to me that I should leave it home not just because of the weight but also because of the worry about theft AND about using it enough to make it worth having carried the weight. I now see that rather than enhancing my camino, it could be a distraction. So what if I can view my photos only on my camera?
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
BRILLIANT decision! :::applause:::::

You will be SO happy you decided to leave it at home!
Buen Camino!
 

kwheinrichs

New Member
That device seems just a little overkill, when backpacking my friends and I have turned to a cheaper more common alternative. We live in Idaho and spend alot of nights up in the mountains.

http://www.rei.com/product/721998

This item is a Bear Bell, its small compact easily attachable to anything and its cheap. The little sack has a small magnet that silences the bell when applied. we just remove the sack and leave our bag out if it starts jingling in the middle of the night we know we have a problem.

I hope this helps and it seems a good idea and possibly applicable to this situation and many others. BTW the advice about keeping your passport and money in ziplocks is the greatest. I placed my passport in a locker for about an hour to go swimming once. turns out some ppl either have made copies or have a master key. Long story short getting a replacement passport is a B to say the least.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I can PROMISE you that the first time your little bell alarm goes off in the middle of the night, you will make many enemies!

For crying out loud people... take 5 weeks of your life and do your best to live WITHOUT all the electronic gadgets... Otherwise, just look at the pretty pictures on your laptops and say you have been there.

Put your valuables in the foot box of your sleeping bag at night and SLEEP.
And allow other weary pilgrims to do the same, not to be jolted awake by your alarm every time someone mistakenly kicks it in the darkness.

Just GO...
SIMPLIFY!
Leave the iPhone, the computer, the jewelry, at HOME.
Try it... you'll find freedom you never knew existed.

:::Annie sits down and puts her heads in her hands, contemplating how the love "things" can ruin a perfectly wonderful pilgrimage::::::

I'm feeling a little frustrated today... sorry...
 
D

Deleted member 43780

Guest
A bag alarm?
Oh no not on the Camino!

Couldn’t be any stealing on the Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
Thanks to all the veteran posters who weighed in on this. I leave for my first camino in six weeks, and just walked with my pack after packing it for the third time. My good friend, a veteran ultralight backpacker, pointed out how heavy my small computer is. Now it's clear to me that I should leave it home not just because of the weight but also because of the worry about theft AND about using it enough to make it worth having carried the weight. I now see that rather than enhancing my camino, it could be a distraction. So what if I can view my photos only on my camera?

Or merely on your phone? ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
I can PROMISE you that the first time your little bell alarm goes off in the middle of the night, you will make many enemies!

For crying out loud people... take 5 weeks of your life and do your best to live WITHOUT all the electronic gadgets... Otherwise, just look at the pretty pictures on your laptops and say you have been there.

Put your valuables in the foot box of your sleeping bag at night and SLEEP.
And allow other weary pilgrims to do the same, not to be jolted awake by your alarm every time someone mistakenly kicks it in the darkness.

Just GO...
SIMPLIFY!
Leave the iPhone, the computer, the jewelry, at HOME.
Try it... you'll find freedom you never knew existed.

:::Annie sits down and puts her heads in her hands, contemplating how the love "things" can ruin a perfectly wonderful pilgrimage::::::

I'm feeling a little frustrated today... sorry...

I hear you Annie ;)

I think we should all try to unplug as much as possible when on Camino and travel as light as possible.
Leave all those things behind that we think we 'might' need.
On #4 I'm going to try really hard and keep my pack to about 6.5 kg including food and water.
That means I'm only taking things I know that I really need.

But I will take my phone :eek: For 3 reasons.

  1. ;)Safety, in case of emergency. Bit awkward if someone needs urgent help (like me) and no one has a phone.
  2. Camera. Main reason. Because I love to take pictures and video, and my phone is my camera.
  3. Communications. I talk to my wife Pat daily, to make sure she is OK and to let her know I am OK. Usually 10 minutes in the evening. Ooops. Should be main reason! If we are out of contact, she stresses........ a lot.
But I am unplugged as much as I can be I think. I run 4 businesses operating across 3 countries, and whilst they run OK when I'm on Camino, it would be irresponsible for me to be totally off the grid and not fair on my team. Only one person has my number, and in 3 Caminos I have never been called.
But they know they can if they need to. It's come close a couple of times apparently, but they knew calling me had to be basically life and death and so they dealt with it.

So Yes I am with you on leaving the technology as home where is is going to be a distraction.

To gain the most out of the Camino experience I strongly believe we have to leave our day to day life at home and step out into a much simpler, more natural, and community focused World.

Which for some can be a scary step ;)
.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and back (no name; Tours; Francés; sea; no name)
jeploss's post is from 2010. The technology of taking decent photos with a phone has progressed a lot since then.
Not only has technology evolved, so has people's opinion 😄.

A quick look into less old threads tells us that the very person who was strongly against taking any "gadget" on pilgrimage, as can be read in this thread that has been slumbering peacefully and untouched since 10 April 2010 until it was awoken yesterday, said in 2017 that she resisted carrying an iPhone for years, but lately has been taking it, and in 2018 she let us know that her iPhone lives in her pocket, that she LOVES Vodafone and that she even carries an iPad in her backpack under certain conditions.

But that should not stop us from commenting on opinions expressed in messages from 2009 and 2010. 🤣
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
I purchased a couple of Tile devices before my Camino

These devices can be placed inside a wallet or attached to a keyring. If the tagged item is misplaced, the app on the phone can help you to find it. Likewise, if the phone is misplaced, you can push the button on the tile and make the phone ring. Tile isn't a defense against theft in the way that doberman claims to be - but helped me to avoid losing stuff that mattered and it never woke my fellow pilgrims up.
 

Dorpie

RIP 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015, July 2017, October 2019
Oh wow.

I started reading this thread thinking "these new pilgrims are so paranoid" before realising about 5 posts in that they were from a time before I even knew the Camino was a thing! I guess nothing really changes.

I'll just keep on taking chances and maintaining my faith in humanity....and hope my insurance pays out if I do fall victim.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Not only has technology evolved, so has people's opinion 😄.

A quick look into less old threads tells us that the very person who was strongly against taking any "gadget" on pilgrimage, as can be read in this thread that has been slumbering peacefully and untouched since 10 April 2010 until it was awoken yesterday, said in 2017 that she resisted carrying an iPhone for years, but lately has been taking it, and in 2018 she let us know that her iPhone lives in her pocket, that she LOVES Vodafone and that she even carries an iPad in her backpack under certain conditions.

But that should not stop us from commenting on opinions expressed in messages from 2009 and 2010. 🤣


Yup.
I've evolved and entered the current century (unfortunately.) :p
When I take a group, an iPhone and/or iPad is a necessity.
However, when I walk alone, only the phone goes and it's off all day.
I still prefer to go unplugged.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
I don’t use a fanny pac or a money belt. An alarmed pack is total overkill. I keep my phone in pocket as I’m always taking pictures. My husband keeps his wall in the top flap of his pack as do I. We took it out when stopped at bars so could pay.
We also kept our credencial and passport in a ziplock bag in the same top bag. Grabbed for stamps and by default had our passports with us. They all stayed in pack at albergues except for our phones which we’re charging overnight none by our bunks.
The fear of packs getting stolen I think is an American fear mostly. The Camino is not New York City nor is it anything like the Martin Sheen movie.
You will be fine without buying a bunch of gimmicky gagets.
 

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