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How to lock a top loader?

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
#1
Hi there!

My previous backpacks were panel loaders and had double zipers. I could use a mini-lock to keep some valuables inside.
My current one is a top loader (Decathlon MH100 30L: https://www.decathlon.com.au/p/8493730_mh100-30l-hiking-backpack-black.html#/7844-132-30l) and I could not figure out yet a way to lock it... the thing has no zipers and very little loops. I'm thinking of just chucking the bag inside my foldable ultra light duffle bag and lock that one if necessary, but I'd appreciate other suggestions!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
#2
Hi there!

My previous backpacks were panel loaders and had double zipers. I could use a mini-lock to keep some valuables inside.
My current one is a top loader (Decathlon MH100 30L: https://www.decathlon.com.au/p/8493730_mh100-30l-hiking-backpack-black.html#/7844-132-30l) and I could not figure out yet a way to lock it... the thing has no zipers and very little loops. I'm thinking of just chucking the bag inside my foldable ultra light duffle bag and lock that one if necessary, but I'd appreciate other suggestions!
I think that the presence of a lock indicates that you have something valuable inside to steal! If someone wanted something out of your backpack it's very easy to cut it open. The best advise is to not leave anything valuable in your backpack when you leave it somewhere.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
#4
If someone wanted something out of your backpack it's very easy to cut it open. The best advise is to not leave anything valuable in your backpack when you leave it somewhere.
I totally agree with that and always have my passport with me during my caminos, for example. And if someone is really willing to steal stuff, they will cut it and end of story.
The lock is just to stop the "opportunity" thief, I suppose. So no loss of walking poles, chargers and things like this.

I come from a place where you lock everything all the times and it gives me horrible sensations to leave a bag 'unprotected', even in a safe place like the camino. Maybe it is something I have to work on. Let's see how it goes.
 
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Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
#6
Twist ties used creatively can slow down access to your pack.
That's a great idea - to build the loops if they do not exist. I'll check if I can do it in a discrete and functional way :) the top part is challenging, but I may be able to work with the main front buckle.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#7
That's a great idea - to build the loops if they do not exist. I'll check if I can do it in a discrete and functional way :) the top part is challenging, but I may be able to work with the main front buckle.
There's no need to get fancy, if you are just trying to discourage the casual snatch-and-run thief. Twist the tie around and around.
20190110_175116.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances , St Jean Pied de Port - Finisterra May/ June 2017
Le Puy en Velay - Ales May 2018
#8
I am inclined to agree with the no lock suggestion but if you must then there is a simple solution . Go to a boating or yacht shop and have a light stainless steel cable swaged with small loops to each end . Thread this through the eyelets of the bag then use a small padlock . Not thief proof but it will dissuade a light fingered opportunist and is easily hidden under the top flap . Make sure the loops are small enough to pass through the eyelets easily and make the cable short to ensure the top seals closed and prevents a hand passing through.
 

alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
#9
Why do you want to lock it? Are you talking about when you fly maybe? If so, don’t put valuables in it. If it’s that valuable why bring it at all? If it’s electronics then take it as carryon. That stuff is never safe in checked baggage. Not just from thieves in baggage handling but from getting tossed around.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
#10
Why do you want to lock it? Are you talking about when you fly maybe?
Not, not for flying, I never check in valuables.

It is really just for when you leave it around, like in the albergues to walk around the city. Not to protect real vaaaaaluables (those stay with me or at home), it more those things that are an annoyance or expensive to replace, like a charger or a jacket. As Cclearly mentioned, just to discourage the snatch and run thief.

Charles idea is pretty good for backpacks with eyelets, but mine is sewn all over the cord.
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
#11
FWIW in most cases, except in a city, when I go for coffee etc I'll leave my pack outside the cafe or restaurant, partly so it doesn't clutter up the place but also so other pilgs can see there's one of them (me!) inside if they want (or don't want) some company.
Anecdotage: I was in the parochial in Leon in November. About half of it was packed full. All through the night most people left their expensive smartphones charging, a mass of winking green, red, orange and blue lights, bunched together like a micro city, worth $1000s. That night 3 people had 100s of euros in cash stolen from them while they slept. As far as I'm aware none of the phones or any other items were taken.
 
Camino(s) past & future
January 2019, French Camino
#12
Not, not for flying, I never check in valuables.

It is really just for when you leave it around, like in the albergues to walk around the city. Not to protect real vaaaaaluables (those stay with me or at home), it more those things that are an annoyance or expensive to replace, like a charger or a jacket. As Cclearly mentioned, just to discourage the snatch and run thief.

Charles idea is pretty good for backpacks with eyelets, but mine is sewn all over the cord.
I don't think thieves will be interested in your jackets and chargers. They want things they can sell fast and easy for cash. Things like... cash, jewelry, electronics. They know these have value. You jacket, on the other hand, it will be a pain to sell.

BTW, I also have the same backpack.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
#13
I do understand that the camino is safe and thatthere's not much to worry. I just wanted suggestions. For example, valuable or not, a jacket was robbed from a friend during our first camino (hence why I gave it as an example). Maybe it was just a pilgrim that got cold, but it was clearly not taken by mistake. And it was quite annoying for my friend to walk an entire day until he could buy a new one.

Also, my trips are not comprised only of caminos and it would be nice to have a 'less accessible' backpack for other travels. This one is very light and comfortable, great for caminos, but I would think twice before using it in some other places. I probably should just get another pack altogether for non-camino purposes.

EDIT: just out of curiosity, I ended finding a way to tie the top adjustable cord to make it lockable with a small suitcase lock. Old sailor knot, and it stays all covered under the top flap.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
January 2019, French Camino
#14
I do understand that the camino is safe and thatthere's not much to worry. I just wanted suggestions. For example, valuable or not, a jacket was robbed from a friend during our first camino (hence why I gave it as an example). Maybe it was just a pilgrim that got cold, but it was clearly not taken by mistake. And it was quite annoying for my friend to walk an entire day until he could buy a new one.

Also, my trips are not comprised only of caminos and it would be nice to have a 'less accessible' backpack for other travels. This one is very light and comfortable, great for caminos, but I would think twice before using it in some other places. I probably should just get another pack altogether for non-camino purposes.
Fair enough. The backpack has a drawstring top underneath the lid. Tie the drawstring well enough. Potential thieves would either have to cut it or spend time untying it.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
#15
Tie the drawstring well enough. Potential thieves would either have to cut it or spend time untying it.
Indeed. Managed to do it in a way that the only way to open it without the key is cutting it off - what would probably call a lot of attention. It somewhat of a clinched knot.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#16
IMHO, slowing any potential thief down or forcing them to make noise is the way to go. Here is what I have done:

I have a #6 Nite-Ize carabiner, made of nylon plastic. It snaps to the haul loop of my rucksack. The carabiner rides hidden in the water bottle 'slot' when not in use.

Either end is just wide enough to snap to an Ikea, standard bunk bed with tubular frame members. The result is that my bag hangs off the floor from the haul loop. That is what the haul loop is for - to carry the weight of the loaded bag when 'hauled.' This gets my bag off the floor, where the insects and other beasies are, and makes it a tad more difficult for someone to sneak into my bag. They have to move it first.

The large but lightweight carabiner is also handy for fastening to anything during the day at a rest stop, or outside an albergue in a line, waiting for the place to open. Absent any other structural item or furniture (like a cafe table or chair), I snap it to an adjacent rucksack. Works great!

My night time alarm system is a couple of inexpensive 'cat bell' balls, available in any craft shop. If you rig them with some sort of lightweight snap fastener, you can attach the bells (2 or more is best in a clump) to the rucksack. If someone jostles the bag, the bells will ring. Noise is not a good thing if you are trying to steal stuff.

Hope this helps.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Planning Italy to Finisterre and back (20xx)
#17
Hi there!

My previous backpacks were panel loaders and had double zipers. I could use a mini-lock to keep some valuables inside.
My current one is a top loader (Decathlon MH100 30L: https://www.decathlon.com.au/p/8493730_mh100-30l-hiking-backpack-black.html#/7844-132-30l) and I could not figure out yet a way to lock it... the thing has no zipers and very little loops. I'm thinking of just chucking the bag inside my foldable ultra light duffle bag and lock that one if necessary, but I'd appreciate other suggestions!
I see your point, sometimes the cheapest things that get stolen are the ones that cause more bother.

Here some suggestions:

Get a bright colored pack liner (waterproof bag and the like), saw a (double) zipper, keep it inside your pack with everything in it and lock it.

Get a something like this: https://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B072M6VNZD/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09__o00_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 to discretely tie your pack to something solid (also good for locking lockers). Weight: lock 56g, cable 9g.

Bells are a good idea, a bear bell (google it) can also be silenced with the little magnet included, so it doesn't annoy when not needed. You can saw it to your pack liner as well.

If you want something cut-proof you can check Packsafe products, but they are way too heavy, so I won't suggest them for this kind of hike.

Hope this helps.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2020)
#18
I don't think thieves will be interested in your jackets and chargers. They want things they can sell fast and easy for cash. Things like... cash, jewelry, electronics. They know these have value. You jacket, on the other hand, it will be a pain to sell.

BTW, I also have the same backpack.
I agree completely. It is far more likely you’ll lose these miscellaneous items than that someone will steal them. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to forget things on the Camino. Don’t sweat the little things. Keep the things that are of significant value close at hand at all times or with friends you’ve come to trust.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#19
When sleeping, your valuables should be in your sleeping bag / liner nearest you. It is easier than it sounds.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#20
I always keep valuables on my person, cash, debit card, passport in a zip lock bag for protection. I keep my cellphone/camera with me. I take them to the showers even. Everything left in the pack is replaceable where I am traveling. The only thing that my wife lost a pair of panties hanging on the line to dry.
 

J F Gregory

Portugal Central - October 2019
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (March-April,2016) finished, (October 2019) Portuguese Central Route.
#21
When sleeping, your valuables should be in your sleeping bag / liner nearest you. It is easier than it sounds.
I am picky about my pillow so I do carry one in my pack. I place my valuables inside the pillow cover when I sleep.
 

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alipilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2005), Frances (2007), Madrid/Frances (2011), 1/2 VdP (2012),
#22
Go to a boating or yacht shop and have a light stainless steel cable swaged with small loops to each end . Thread this through the eyelets of the bag then use a small padlock
You can find bicycle locks very similar to this with a built-in tumble lock
 
Camino(s) past & future
Logrono to Burgos in week of October (2017); Camino Frances in 2019 or 2020
#23
First - a question for the crowd: On my travels around the world I've found most hostels have lockers, usually free to use as long as you bring your own lock. In my short week on the CF I only recall observing lockers in one albergue (though there may have been others - I wasn't really looking for them!) but didn't think to inquire about their operation. My question then being - are lockers in albergues common or uncommon? Does existence vary by type of albergue?

Next - Check out Pacsafe's wire mesh "bag", made with stainless steel cables, lockable. It will encase a pack of up to 55L. I considered getting one but declined based on its weight of slightly over a pound. Instead I just clip my pack's waist belt around chairs, beds, or poles when I set it down to make it slightly more difficult for someone to grab it and run (as in The Way!). And I tend to keep essential valuables (picture of wife, cash, passport, phone - in order of importance!) close at all times. I never felt uncomfortable leaving my pack, with nothing more than clothes in it, at the albergue when venturing out about town in the evenings.

Though I've just added a bear bell to my shopping list as an anti-theft alarm at night - I just hope I can hear it through my ear plugs!
 
Camino(s) past & future
January 2019, French Camino
#25
Come on, guys! We don't need bear bells jingling everytime someone stumbles by the bed to get to the toilet at night. Just dangle some crumpled plastic bags on your pack!
I'm going to rig my backpack with a car alarm, firecrackers and air horns. Good luck to the poor souls sharing an albergue with me. :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2014,2016),Primitivo (2015), San Salvador (2017), Norte (2018), Ingles (2018)
#26
I would generally advocate not locking up as it does make your stuff seem more attractive. Having said that I carry one of these
http://www.gapyeartravelstore.com/mini-combination-cable-lock.html
I have used it in the more "open" hostels, ie those open to non pilgrims if I feel I don't really know the people there. It doesn't lock the pack but I can attach the bag to a bed without it looking obviously locked.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2015
#27
I use a lockable duffle bag for air transport, and an open pack on the walk.
The duffle is good for left-luggage or shipping ahead and I think the major risk is international air travel (theft and also insertion), not loss of my smelly kit on the camino.
Of course I limit my valuables and carry those few things with me.
 

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