A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Camino Forum Store

Advertisement

Safe to Leave Rucks in Refugios?

#1
Hi

As I prepare for my Camino, the thought occurred to me about the safety of rucks in refugios. After arriving, I would like to be able to go out to either explore or enjoy tapas or have dinner.

While I would never leave a wallet or passport or camera behind, is it safe to leave a ruck in the refugio or should I expect to carry everything with me as I go around the town/village?

Any opinions or experiences?

Michael
 

Advertisment

#2
Hi, Michael !

On my first week on the Camino in May, me and my fellow travellers always left the backpack besides the bed in the refugios when we got out for food or sightseeing. I never missed anything, and I will do the same the rest of the way to Santiago in september.

Buen Camino !

Liv :)
 
#3
Liv Marit said:
Hi, Michael !

On my first week on the Camino in May, me and my fellow travellers always left the backpack besides the bed in the refugios when we got out for food or sightseeing. I never missed anything, and I will do the same the rest of the way to Santiago in September.

Buen Camino !

Liv :)

Yes it is very save to leave your backpack.
I been there 4 times and all was going really good
don't worry all the pelegrinos leave there things .
Just watch out for your money and your passport
,that is important
Josephine
 

marktqm

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006)
#4
Generally, it is safe to leave one's backpack beside the bed as you go around town, but in some refugios (esp. the private ones) there are lockers that you can use. No one will probably take interest in your pack unless you let others see you stashing your expensive digicam inside it before going to the shower or going out. When I go to the shower I take the money and credit cards with me in a thin belt bag but I leave the passport and camera in the deepest recesses of the backpack, making sure no one has seen me.

Be warned though that some people around you are fake pilgrims with evil intent. Theft along the camino is not unknown.
 
#5
look at smillers blog

Hello

Sad as it seems there are thefts, just reading smillers blog on yahoo confirms this, a considerable sum of money was stolen from her Canadian friend Aidan. This is a really sad thing to behold.

I've often wondered when in the showers about my belongings but to judge other fellow pilgrims as dishonest displays a lack of trust and not very neighbourly.

We can just console ourselves that those who choose to steal from others are in the minority.

I'm off to Longoño on Wendesday to walk to Burgos.

Buen Camino
 

Advertisment

#6
Hi again !

Of course, you NEVER leave your little bag with passport, visa-card, plane-ticket or big money. Or anything else you would not like to miss. If you have a camera or mobile-phone, you could think about whether you would like to remove the cards in them. I never did, and all my 1084 pictures got home safely, even if I did'nt take my camera with me in the shower.

I cannot imagine anyone would steal my smellegrino-clothes in my smellegrino-backpack. And after the posts about bed-bugs, I can neither imagine people's sleeping-bags being in danger of theft.

Take care and be smart.

Buen camino ! I envy you. Santiago was beautiful last week......
Liv :)
 

Ulysse

Active Member
#7
Liv Marit said:
Hi again !

Of course, you NEVER leave your little bag with passport,Liv :)
Glad to see that you made it safely back Liv and that you remember how to treat your "mistress" .... Hugs and kisses from your old companion.

Michel
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#8
I always left my backpack in the albergues, and never had a problem.

That said, I took everything irreplaceable or of extreme value (money, ID, credit cards, passport, camera, guidebook, credencial) with me in a small daypack wherever I went. At night, I locked the zippers with a small TSA lock (and usually kept them locked while walking around in big cities to foil folks w/smooth fingers), and when I hit the rack I secured the daypack to the bedpost next to my head with a PacSafe cable lock.

Perhaps I was paranoid, but I wasn't taking any chances on some dirtbag ruining a once-in-a-lifetime experience like the Camino. And all that helped me not to forget my valuables - like a gal who left her wallet behind in an albergue. Despite one of the worker's heroic efforts to catch her (he ran up a huge hill outside of town - I think it was Castrojeriz), he was unable to track her down (perhaps she was a biker).

Bottom line, I like the proverb: "Trust God, but tie up your camel." :)
 
#10
I left everything on my bunk each night from France to Finisterra and never lost a thing. But I almost always had a small fanny pack (worn to the front) with me that kept my small journal, digital camera, passport and funds. There were times, though, that, tired, I'd forget and leave even that upon the bunk with my other stuff when I walked off to find the shower, yet it was always there when I returned and spotted it, vowing never to do it again. The Camino is amazingly crime free. But it is, regrettably not entirely so.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#11
Janeh said:
Vinotinto, could you please explain what a TSA lock is and also how heavy or what type was your cable lock?thanks.
A TSA lock is one that can be opened by US airline security folks with a special key (so they don't have to cut it). It's just a small (about the size of your thumb) 3-dial combination lock used to secure zippers on packs, bags, etc. Makers include Lewis N. Clark and Eagle Creek.

My cable lock was an early model of the Pacsafe Retractasafe cable lock. It's a self-contained 3-dial combination unit about as big as a deck of cards. The approx. 90cm/35in. steel cable extends from (and rolls up into) the hard plastic casing, loops around the bag (or through, say, a handle) and locks it to a secure fixture (the end of the cable snaps into the case, thus creating a loop).
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#12
If you put locks on your pack it just makes it look like there is something valuable in it. Dirty socks are a good deterrent. And as everyone else says, keep your valuables on you at all times, including in the shower. I had someone riffle through my pack while I was washing, they didn't get anything, ha ha!! The less you take the less there is to worry about. I didn't take a mobile phone and never missed it.
 
#13
DIRTY SOCKS

Hello Folks

I was out today trying rucksacks and day packs on in a large outdoor clothing store.
A young assistant came across and was very helpful with his advice.

I asked him quite a lot of questions and he was very obliging.

BUT ONE PIECE OF ADVICE he gave me was regarding carrying money in a rucksack.

He advised that if you happen to be carrying money in a rucksack; TO CARRY YOUR MONEY IN A DIRTY SOCK.

Puzzled, I asked why and he said that no one will ever search inside someone else's dirty sock.

It makes you think, well it did me.

Regards to all.

Charlie.
 

camino-david

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
#14
Yes, I have never lost anything when leaving my backpack BESIDE the bed. That's after 1800kms on 4 Caminos. But I never put money in my backpack. If you want to, an alternative to dirty socks is a toilet roll (clean of course). And backpacks should never be put on beds as they spread bedbugs from albergue to albergue. David
 

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.
#15
Let's face it: You really shouldn't have that much to steal in your pack! After all, you will be walking with one (or at the most 2 changes of clothes). When you reach the albergue, your day's dirty clothes should have been washed and hung out to dry, including your only towel - and your other set of clothes should be on you :? . Your sleeping bag will have been spread out on your bed, your boots will have been put in the "boot corner" - your spare shoes will be on your feet. What is left? Your valuables (money, bank card, documents, camera, etc) should be with you AT ALL TIMES!
Another consideration is that because you will be taking so little with you that you will recognise EVERY object that belongs to you!
No, I think it's perfectly safe to leave your backpack alone in the albergue!!! Anne
 

BlackDog

Older Peregrino
Camino(s) past & future
Francés part 2012, Francés 2013, Inglés 2014, Muxía 2014, Fisterra 2012, 2014, Portugués 2016, 2018
#16
If you are concerned about security an added extra would be a movement alarm such as used for protection of laptops. See http://www.amazon.co.uk/TripNeeds-Alarm ... pd_cp_ce_3 as an example. The noise would attract attention of those around and deter any casual thieves. Still need to keep the good stuff with you though :wink:
 
#17
Re: DIRTY SOCKS

Dirty underpants would be better, but on the Camino one does not carry dirty socks or underwear (otherwise one is carrying too much.)
The concept is to wash your socks and undies when you arrive (after established/claimed your bed by putting your baggage and sleeping bag at/on the bed) after or even during your shower. You then put on the other pair of each which will be worn as the others dry, even if you carry them on the back of your rucksack the next day.
Overzealous weight obsessives wash one sock at a time and rotate. (A bit excessive to me.)
Enjoy but do look after your cash. Do not carry it all readily at hand. As long as the rest is in your rucksack, well tucked away. Maybe in the back support or somewhere awkward to get to. It should be OK because you will not be going far from your rucksack... will you? And in the Aubergue no-one will fiddle with your rucksack for long because there are too many people in circulation. (I was never subjected to, or heard of others fiddling with other people's equipment, but that is only a personal observation and experience.
Be sensible, be 'streetwise', avoiding temptation to others is a basic step to increasing your 'safety' and avoiding a bad experience of something which should be and can be a truly exceptional one!


I was out today trying rucksacks and day packs on in a large outdoor clothing store.
A young assistant came across and was very helpful with his advice.

I asked him quite a lot of questions and he was very obliging.

BUT ONE PIECE OF ADVICE he gave me was regarding carrying money in a rucksack.

He advised that if you happen to be carrying money in a rucksack; TO CARRY YOUR MONEY IN A DIRTY SOCK.

Puzzled, I asked why and he said that no one will ever search inside someone else's dirty sock.

It makes you think, well it did me.

Regards to all.

Charlie.[/quote]
 

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.
#18
Valdis Pauzers said:
claimed your bed by putting your baggage and sleeping bag at/on the bed) after or even during your shower.
Oh, Oh... please NEVER put your backpack ON the bed! Think of all the places that you have set it down during your day's walk! It is also one of the best ways to spread bed bugs (they LOVE to hike a ride in your pack)! The best place to store your pack, after you have sorted out your immediate needs for the afternoon, is under the bed. It's not in the way of anyone - and - it makes it more unaccessable. Anne
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#19
BlackDog said:
If you are concerned about security an added extra would be a movement alarm such as used for protection of laptops.
I really hope you are not serious.
Please do NOT put an alarm on your pack and walk away.
You may come back to find it in the nearest pond, especially if people are trying to sleep. :lol:
 

BlackDog

Older Peregrino
Camino(s) past & future
Francés part 2012, Francés 2013, Inglés 2014, Muxía 2014, Fisterra 2012, 2014, Portugués 2016, 2018
#20
Anniesantiago said:
BlackDog said:
If you are concerned about security an added extra would be a movement alarm such as used for protection of laptops.
I really hope you are not serious.
Please do NOT put an alarm on your pack and walk away.
You may come back to find it in the nearest pond, especially if people are trying to sleep. :lol:
I really am serious :roll: , why would the alarm wake anyone up if it is not moved. Do you want to sleep through a pilgrim being robbed? It's not something on a timer, it alarms when an unauthorised person tries to get into it. If you don't move it it's quiet, unlike some sleepers. If you accidentally move it it beeps, if you continue to move it it alarms. Its deactivation by its owner is silent. Where is the problem :?:
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#21
remember that the beds a usually double bunks and the climbing into and out of the other bunk by someone will very easily set of the alarm. Many reasons why the bed can be jarred.
Think of all of the car alarms we hear going off for hours with no one arround.
Shared quarters often take a little more consideration than usual.
 

BlackDog

Older Peregrino
Camino(s) past & future
Francés part 2012, Francés 2013, Inglés 2014, Muxía 2014, Fisterra 2012, 2014, Portugués 2016, 2018
#22
grayland said:
remember that the beds a usually double bunks and the climbing into and out of the other bunk by someone will very easily set of the alarm. Many reasons why the bed can be jarred.
Think of all of the car alarms we hear going off for hours with no one arround.
Shared quarters often take a little more consideration than usual.
With a rucksack not on the bed I can't see why an alarm should be going off :?
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#23
BlackDog said:
With a rucksack not on the bed I can't see why an alarm should be going off :?
I think you are underestimating how difficult it will be to ensure that your rucksack is so well isolated from disturbance as others innocently go about their business moving around the dormitory that the alarm doesn't get falsely triggered.
 

BlackDog

Older Peregrino
Camino(s) past & future
Francés part 2012, Francés 2013, Inglés 2014, Muxía 2014, Fisterra 2012, 2014, Portugués 2016, 2018
#24
dougfitz said:
BlackDog said:
With a rucksack not on the bed I can't see why an alarm should be going off :?
I think you are underestimating how difficult it will be to ensure that your rucksack is so well isolated from disturbance as others innocently go about their business moving around the dormitory that the alarm doesn't get falsely triggered.
My view is that you are overestimating the alarm triggering - we'll have to agree to differ. It was a suggestion to someone who was seriously concerned about theft.
 

lynnejohn

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2005), VDLP(2007), Madrid(2009), Ingles(2009), Sur (2011), VDLP(2011)-partial, VDLP(2014)
#25
I'll just throw in my 2 cents.

Hang your backpack from the top corner of the bed with a small cable. That way it's off the bed and off the floor (where the bedbugs are).
Keep all your valuables (camera, cards, cash, passport) in a small bag that you take with you EVERYWHERE, including the shower and toilet. Keep that bag inside your sleeping bag at night.

If someone wants to go through your backpack, there won't be anything there they want.

Do not keep ANYTHING of value in your pack.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#26
BlackDog said:
dougfitz said:
BlackDog said:
My view is that you are overestimating the alarm triggering - we'll have to agree to differ. It was a suggestion to someone who was seriously concerned about theft.
I thought the thread re-started with the dirty sock suggestion. I have seen similar suggestions about customs checks, and my experience is that it is thoroughly bad advice in that context.

On the matter of securing valuables on the Camino, I agree with the others who suggest that you take them with you when you leave the albergue.

As a further security practice, I never discuss the details of how I have arranged my valuables, and I am particularly wary when someone asks directly about this in conversation. I am prepared for it to be an innocent question, but that doesn't mean it deserves an answer that reveals my own arrangements to anyone who might be listening.

Regards,
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC - Finisterre (Fall 2012)

Future:
Via de la Plata
Primitivo
Mozarabe
#27
Oh, Oh... please NEVER put your backpack ON the bed! Think of all the places that you have set it down during your day's walk! It is also one of the best ways to spread bed bugs (they LOVE to hike a ride in your pack)! The best place to store your pack, after you have sorted out your immediate needs for the afternoon, is under the bed. It's not in the way of anyone - and - it makes it more unaccessable. Anne
I know this is the thread about the safety but I need to add my two cents about bed bugs. If there are bed bugs on the bed then it really doesn't matter whether you hang the backpack on the top corner, put it under the bed or next to it. Bed bugs are not selective when it come to their pathways...
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#28
it really doesn't matter whether you hang the backpack on the top corner
While it is hard to get into the mind of a bed bug, they mostly live in walls and lay their eggs on mattresses and in crevices. If a backpack is hanging from the corner of a bunk, particularly a metal bunk, then they don't need to pass the pack on the way to flesh, their real objective. They will visit your pack only to lay eggs, since there is no nourishment for them in your pack (unlike that Snickers bar that will draw bears). The permethrin on your pack will make it a very unattractive target if you have sprayed inside and out. The bed bugs lay eggs after feeding on blood, and it is less likely that they will negotiate the path down a cord or carabiner from the top corner of a bunk post, than just head for the mattress or the wall.

So the bunk post is a better place than against the wall or under the bunk. No perfect, but better. The idea of putting the pack in a large plastic garbage bag each night seems pretty good. Of course, they can hitch a ride on anything, so almost everything will need to go into the bag for the best protection.
 

fraluchi

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
One every year since 2007
#29
dougfitz said:
[...] .... I never discuss the details of how I have arranged my valuables, and I am particularly wary when someone asks directly about this in conversation. I am prepared for it to be an innocent question, but that doesn't mean it deserves an answer that reveals my own arrangements to anyone who might be listening.
Wise advice, DougF, and that's why I copied this for the later readers.
Ultreya!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2010, 2013, (2015)
#30
Some of the advice about securing personal items here is a bit of a concern.

Without wishing to cause offence to anyone, there are a few assumptions that need to be challenged:
  • that it is possible for you to hide something in your pack/bag that a thief could not find (given time and opportunity),
    that a thief will not look somewhere unpleasant,
    people who seem nice, friendly and helpful would never steal, and
    pilgrims would not steal from each other (not yet mentioned in this threat but has been in other similar threads).

Let's assume that by definition a thief has the intent to steal (something). Your unattended, unobserved (by you) and therefore unprotected pack provides an opportunity to a thief.

A thief could be a pilgrim who likes something you have and thinks they should have it (for whatever reason), a thief posing as a pilgrim with the intent to steal, or someone off the street who is targeting a place or person.

Assuming your valuables are in your bag, thief can steal them by:
  • searching though your bag wherever you put it, and
    stealing your whole bag and taking it somewhere else where they can conduct their search uninterrupted.

You cannot completely remove the risk of theft however you can reduce it. The best way of doing this is to reduce the opportunity to steal something and to increase the time it takes to access your valuables. Some suggestions are:
  • Lock your bag so thieves can't get into it without a lot of time and effort,
    Lock your bag to a fixture so it cannot be removed from the alburge/pension etc without time and effort,
    Keep your bag in view of you or someone you trust (not always practical), and
    Keep your valuables with you at all times.

Another less effective idea is to keep your bag in view of other people. This is less effective because there are so many people coming and going that they may not remember (or care) who's bag goes with who.

It is easy for a thief (especially a practiced one) to feign forgetfulness, tiredness or confusion if caught going through your bag.

The suggestion given in a post above of having a motion alarm in the bag would be unlikely to serve as an effective deterrent, unless it was clearly displayed and fastened to the outside of the pack, simply because the thief would not know it was there until it was tripped. Then a thief could simply explain it away. "Sorry wrong bag", "I tripped and kicked it" etc. An experienced thief may wait until you were out exploring and so could also explain away the alarm to bystanders.

The best deterrent for a thief is a visible lock because it increases the time to access the bag and it is difficult to cut a lock or bag without looking suspicious. The assertion in another post above that thieves would think "lock = valuables" might be true in some cases but in all cases they will also think "too hard... move on to the next unlocked bag". Thieves are inventive and sneaky but also cowardly. The main thing they want to avoid is getting caught. Lock = greater chance of getting caught.

All of the above are good suggestions to protect yourself against opportunity thieves. If however you flash your valuables around and make yourself the target of determined criminals then you need a whole lot of other advice.

The final thought is have backup plans in place to cover the "what if" scenarios. What if I loose my
  • Passport,
    Money,
    Credit cards
    Medicine,
    walking poles,
    Shoes/boots, etc

Have a plan other than "oh, I'm sure some one will help me" or "the Camino will provide".

The idea is to get all this sorted out so you can focus on enjoying the Camino and not continually worry about what might happen.

Cheers,

Jason.
 

OrlandoG

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April-May 2013
#31
vinotinto said:
... and when I hit the rack I secured the daypack to the bedpost next to my head with a PacSafe cable lock.
One of the best items ever invented. Ever since I found them I do not travel at all without them...as in more than one.
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#32
I have some opinions. Please know they are only that.. my personal opinions, having walked the Camino many times.

I guess if you're taking ipads and iphones, you might need a place to put them. But to me, that sort of ruins the whole idea of "getting away from it all?" But if you are taking valuable items, maybe keep them in the footbox of your bag? I took an old iPhone this last trip, so I didn't have to worry about it. If it'd been stolen, I'd just replace it in the next big city. But frankly, if I had not had a group I wouldn't have been carrying a phone anyway...

I think some folks who have done the Camino will wonder what in the heck you have in your pack that could be stolen and why would you want to carry that extra weight? To me, an alarm or a lock is just a big flashing sign, alerting the next thief that you have something valuable and they should grab then entire pack first time you lay it down to get coffee!

As far as locks go, I have watched a thief walk up behind a girl, slash open her pack and steal her passport and money, and be lost in the crowd before any of us had the time to warn her. She, by the way, just kept walking because he was so good at his trade, she didn't even feel him slashing her pack with his razor. He must have been watching her at the last stop, and had seen where she put her "goods." A lock or alarm would have made absolutely no difference at all. Your money should be on your BODY in a secure money belt.

As far as alarms go, anybody who has DONE the Camino will attest to how close the beds or sleeping pads can be. Someone getting up in the middle of the night to pee will most probably bump your pack and the alarm is going to upset a whole bunch of weary pilgrims. You will not be popular, believe me.

As far as putting your pack on the bed or the floor. Those bedbugs are more likely to get into your pack if it is on the floor, in my opinion. I NEVER put my pack on the floor.Bedbugs travel from one bed to another across the floor! This is why one good way to keep the bugs off the beds is to put the feet of the bed into a container of poison. Hanging the pack from the bedpost is a good idea, keeping it up off the floor. I always try to find a chair in places that provide them. Otherwise, it hangs from something somewhere. . . but never is on the floor.

As I said, these are my personal opinions... so no tomato throwing please? :wink:
 

OLDER threads on this topic



Advertisement

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 7 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 3 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 24 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 85 15.9%
  • May

    Votes: 141 26.4%
  • June

    Votes: 43 8.0%
  • July

    Votes: 12 2.2%
  • August

    Votes: 9 1.7%
  • September

    Votes: 143 26.7%
  • October

    Votes: 58 10.8%
  • November

    Votes: 7 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 3 0.6%
Top