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Luggage Transfer Correos

Security of backpack/contents overnight

jrickards

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2020), Camino Portugues by bike (2022)
By overnight, I'm not referring to hotels but the "typical" hostel-type accommodations. Of course, I'll have my pack (with clothes, toiletries, etc) plus maybe a point-and-shoot camera (haven't decided on this yet), cellphone and of course, wallet with cash, credit card and passport. Of course, it's the more valuable items that I'm concerned about.

How does one ensure that these items are secure while sleeping? Should I consider mini-locks for the backpack zippers? Do hostels have some form of lockbox for each person overnighting?
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
Just keep your valuables with you - wallet, phone, passport, credential. Your pack with your clothes will be fine. I had my valuables in a small bag that I slept with. My husband had his in his pants pocket, pants were folded under his pilow or in his sleep sack when he slept.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Most albergues do not have lockable lockers in which to store your belongings at night or during the day when you are out of the albergue. Your best bet is to simply keep your valuables with you at all times. The mini-locks could actually be a deterrent. From the incidents of theft I was told about by victims of it while I was on the Camino, the money or items were removed quickly and out of zippered pockets. I would guess the average bloody, thieving albergue scalawag has no desire to spend much time at each backpack, and having to negotiate a lock would slow them down because it would then involve a cutting open of the backpack. More time and more conspicuous. I would say during the day when away from the albergue have all your valuables with you. At night have your passport, wallet etc with you but put a lock on the zippered compartment where your camera is. Cannot hurt, only help.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
Hi @jrickards
I am a newbie on the Forum myself so unfortunately cannot give you any of my own wisdom.
There were many posts here at some point or another on the topic. While the majority will tell you that theft is a VERY rare occurrence on The Camino - things do happen none-the-less so common sense caution is advised.
Basically a lot of advises were about trying not to bring anything of the value (jewelry for example), even the cameras (use your cellphone instead, although arguments were also made in favor of even leaving that behind), keep your passport, money, CC (one - 2 at the most) and Credencial del Peregrino on your person AT ALL TIMES! Down to the point of placing them in a waterproof small bag and taking it into the showers.
Perhaps a money belt during day time. I would not bring a wallet per se, perhaps a small travel-size pocket gizmo that has maybe 6 slots (couple of CCs, your DL - even that is questionable since you'll have the passport - maybe your Medical Insurance papers)
At night - either put the bag INTO the pillow case (not under the pillow) or inside sleeping bag (and to be fair - there are enough pro and cons for both of these methods)
I would definitely consider mini-locks (like TSA-approved perhaps key-less but with the cipher-code...who wants to mess around with that?); if anything I DO consider doing so when I take to the road.
I am sure we'll get some words on the possible lockers\lockboxes. My thought is that it is probably individually applied to albergos - some will have them and some will not.
Good luck and Buen Camino 👍
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
I think a thief might just take the whole pack that has pockets locked. It would signal that something valuable is in the pack.
So..now we also bring the bike security cable and secure the bag to the bed post :oops:
While the above post has its own merit, I would think that the average bloody, thieving albergue scalawag would not risk grabbing a whole bag and being confronted at the front door by the actual owner (or his\her friends) who just happen to return at that moment!
(In a way happened to me long time ago in one of the Miami Beach hotels. I was standing in the lobby and completely by accident looked at the young guy who just exited the elevator. He had a bag that looked just like mine.... and a camera bag that looked like mine... and a suitcase that looked like...and that was WAY TOO MUCH for a coincidence so I took of after him. At the fist sign of confrontation he just dropped everything and ran.... Needless to say I DEMANDED to be moved to a different room)
Just IMHO but I tend to agree that these types of low life want to move fast and with least attention to themselves hence fast hit on something that can be easily opened and grabbed....
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I think a thief might just take the whole pack that has pockets locked. It would signal that something valuable is in the pack.
Not sure. They might, but the victims of theft I talked with only told of items (mainly cash money) removed from their packs. The pack was not taken and in one particular incident several packs had money taken from them at the same time. It was a full municipal albergue in one of the more popular stops along the Frances. I was never able to determine if the property was stolen at night or during the day when everyone was out and about the town, leaving backpacks unattended in the albergue sleeping quarters. Big open room with 30 beds/bunks. I just remember the next morning a lot of tears and sad faces and later in the morning while walking was told of the thefts.
I just could not imagine the thief running off with an entire backpack like that kid in the movie, The Way. I am sure entire backpacks are stolen on the Camino, but that just seems to go against a thief wanting to be low key. Same with a bicycle lock securing the backpack to a bunk. Will the thief just cut the strap and take it all? Sure, of course, or maybe they will just not want to bother with it. No telling. Either way, theft does occur fairly regularly along the Camino as it always has since medieval times, and suppose just being the hardest target possible to a thief is the best approach. Thieves live off of soft targets, low hanging fruit. They depend upon them.
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte?
The advice to keep valuable items with you all the time is a good one. I have two pairs of trousers with deep zippered pockets. In it I keep my purse, smartphone and camera all the time. (Not so much from fear that these valuables would be stolen but in my case more to prevent that I leave something behind in albergue or restaurant. It is an easy checkup when I leave to be on my way)Most times I take also a tablet with me, that stays in my backpack. I don't want to use locks. The most important reason for this is that everytime I close the lock I would have the feeling that I reinforce mistrust towards my fellow pilgrims or local people. Many aspects of walking a camino in my opinion are based on mutual trust and that is one of the things I like about it.
I don't understand why you would not take a camera unless you never take it along on a trip or holiday. I feel that a camino ( like many other walkingtreks) is one of the safest places where you can go
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino Vasco interior
I think a thief might just take the whole pack that has pockets locked. It would signal that something valuable is in the pack.
I see it like CdnDreamer. If it´s locked, there is something valuable inside.

I close my backpack, and, if it´s possible I put it under the bed. You have to make it difficult for the thief. If someone is lying on the ground to pick my backpack out, it´s too noticeable. But in general, you clothes are not so attractive to a thief, that you have to lock your backpack.

But all valuable things are always by my side. They come with me to the shower and in the night, they are inside my sleeping back. After a few days, when you have a kind of camino family, the first one will go to the shower and the other one look after the things.

It´s a problem of the very big albergues, when you are alone and don´t know the other pilgrims.

Be as carefull as you are at home, not less, not more.👍
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
When I travel anywhere, I find it a useful habit to always keep my phone, passport, credit cards, and cash reserves in very precise locations so I can quickly check their status even when I am tired, confused, rushed, etc. They are carried in two locations - one hidden inside my clothes, and one slim cross-body bag for use during the day. I deliberately chose a bag that doesn't have room for much extra stuff so that my valuables don't get lost in other junk. I get used to wearing that bag and don't feel right without out.

At night, the secret pouch goes inside my night clothes, and the other is inside my sleeping bag. I have put a pocket inside my sleeping bag - within reach for me while I'm lying in my bag - where I can put an airtight bag containing the other valuables. (That protects against bedbugs as well as human pests.) That is easily removed if I go to the toilet at night. A camera wouldn't be very comfortable, though :confused:.

By taking this care and making it a habit, I don't have to "worry" about security. I just do it. Rather like making a rule to lock the house or car. Once you decide to do it always, you don't have to re-think it.
 
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FourSeasons

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
While walking the Frances in 2013 a woman came to Cizor Menor (where I stopped for the day) in search of her boots that someone had stolen just that morning in Pamplona. I'm not sure if she ever found them. I've been told that sometimes in the wee hours of the morning while a pilgrim is getting ready they may grab a look-a-like pair of shoes as theirs, also a set of trekking poles. It might be a good idea to mark these items in a way so others won't grab them by mistake.

Further down the way during a night in the big municipal alburgue in Santo Domingo there was thievery. From what I heard the thieves took cash out of backpacks and were so bold as to unzip the bottoms of sleeping bags and take what they could find there (not sure if the latter is true). I've been told the thieves will pose as pilgrims so they gain access to the unsuspecting sleeping pilgrims booty.

While walking the Frances in 2016 there were a few rumors about theft but at no place where I stayed, at least not while I was there. Although, I had my guide book (maps only) go missing at either in Logrono or Najera. Did I leave it behind, perhaps but not likely.

What worked/works for me is using a money belt for passport/cash/cc that I wear 24/7 except when in the shower I slip it into a Ziploc bag and keep it with me. Yes, I sleep with it on too. While sleeping I also have my fanny pack/hip pack strapped to the bunk at the head and then put under my pillow. It holds my cell phone, change, chapstick etc....just minor things. My backpack which holds my clothes, toiletries etc sits on the floor near the head of the bed.

So, when you're on the Camino I hope the furthest from your mind is being robbed. Do as you do in everyday life, just be aware of your surroundings and try not to be a target.

Buen Camino and God Bless :)👣
 
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twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
I agree the best deterrent to theft is always have you valuables on your body. The problem is: just how many valuables are you carrying in weight and volume and can you keep them secure when showering and sleeping.

I don't like the feeling of having my pockets stuffed with documents, valuables and money. And there is potential for losing money when pulling things in and out of pockets. If something you need is at the bottom of a pocket and you must first remove things above it to access the items in the bottom, there are potential problems when first pulling out the items on top, setting them down and then re-entering you pocket for more. I use a hip or fanny pack and wear it so the pouch is in the front. I don't like the feel or look of the fanny pack either but it's the lesser of the two evils, for me. I can easily access my things (passport, credential, cash, camera/phone, guide book and more) without having to remove items to get to other things. There are potential security pitfalls with "fanny packs" so if you go this route, get one from Pacsafe that addresss most of those security issues. Bring it to the shower in a dry bag and wear it to bed (if possible for you) or have it loose in your sleeping bag or use a padlock on the zipper pulls and a tiny cable to go around the bed frame or bedpost and connect it to the padlock at the zippers. The opportunistic thief, if smart, will immediately move on to the next victim when meeting any resistance or challenge with the current victim.

I had a large volume of valuables on my last Camino so I took both the hip pack described above and a 15 Liter "safe" also listed below. If interested, see type below and do your own research to see how it works. It was multi-functional securing my valuables when I was sleeping, showering or away from the albergue, it was a secure chamber for my charging station to supply laptop, camera batteries, hard drive, phone etc...by running my extension cord with multiple outlets (A/C and 5v USB) into the secure bag with the other end plugged into the wall, it was a great carry-on bag when my back pack was checked luggage and it worked as a tote for trips to the laundry or shopping for food/beer/wine or taking a short hike as a picnic basket. It has a cable for attaching to a fixed structure that would require more than a multi-tool to cut and it cannot be cut open with a knife. A professional thief carrying special equipment will easily defeat this bag but those types of thieves are not on the Camino. The weakest link of this security bag is the lock that came with it so that was replaced.

There is a smaller 5 Liter version of this bag if you want the cable and mesh protection of the one described above but with less bulk and weight.

I was discrete locking and unlocking this bag and cable each time I used it. I did my worrying before the trip regarding security and devised a method to minimize theft so I could be worry free while on the Camino. I never worried about theft while on the Camino because I had already taken the precautions that were reasonable for me. Your situation will be different and what you need to do for your comfort will be different. I did hear of a theft in the morning when leaving one of the places I stayed. The place was 2 or 3 levels and the room I was in had about 10 beds (5 bunks). I don't think the theft happened in my room but I never heard any more details other than a few people lost their wallets/money during the night or morning.

There is no "one size fits all" solution to avoiding theft on the Camino. The variables mostly relate to how valuable the items are you are bringing and can you afford to lose them? Another concern relates to your support system back home. If you find yourself one morning without cash, phone, credit cards, etc...do you have family and friends to call who can quickly "save" you or is your situation one where you need to be more self reliant. If the latter, pre-trip efforts towards theft prevention are much more critical.

Oh, I just remembered I was a victim of attempted theft on the Camino. My credit/ATM card was hacked in Spain. I got a text from the card company asking if I was trying to charge something for $1800.00 in Barcelona. That ended up being a hassle for me and it subjected me to more risk. I had a back up credit card but not a back up ATM card. The ATM card company wanted to cancel my card immediately. Cash advances on credit cards are expensive. I was able to get the company that had my ATM card to give me one more withdrawal but it had to be "live" with them on the phone talking to me and seeing the transaction evolve electronically on their systems. I ended up carrying about 600 euros with me for the last 2 or 3 weeks.

hip or fanny pack - pacsafe metrosafe LS120

5 liter container w/lock closure & cable - travelsafe 5L G2

15 liter container w/lock closure & cable - travelsafe X15 portable safe
 
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Anthony18

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I agree the best deterrent to theft is always have you valuables on your body. The problem is: just how many valuables are you carrying in weight and volume and can you keep them secure when showering and sleeping.

I don't like the feeling of having my pockets stuffed with documents, valuables and money. And there is potential for losing money when pulling things in and out of pockets. If something you need is at the bottom of a pocket and you must first remove things above it to access the items in the bottom, there are potential problems when first pulling out the items on top, setting them down and then re-entering you pocket for more. I use a hip or fanny pack and wear it so the pouch is in the front. I can easily access my things (passport, credential, cash, camera/phone, guide book and more) without having to remove items to get to other things. There are potential security pitfalls with "fanny packs" so if you go this route, get one from Pacsafe that addresss most of those security issues. Bring it to the shower in a dry bag and wear it to bed (if possible for you) or have it loose in your sleeping bag or use a padlock on the zipper pulls and a tiny cable to go around the bed frame or bedpost and connect it to the padlock at the zippers. The opportunistic thief, if smart, will immediately move on to the next victim when meeting any resistance or challenge with the current victim.

I had a large volume of valuables on my last Camino so I took both the hip pack described above and a 15 Liter "safe" also listed below. If interested do your own research to see how it works. It was multi-functional securing my valuables when I was sleeping, showering or away from the albergue, it was a secure chamber for my charging station to supply laptop, camera batteries, hard drive, phone etc...by running my extension cord with multiple outlets (A/C and 5v USB) into the secure bag with the other end plugged into the wall, it was a great carry-on bag when my back pack was checked luggage and it worked as a tote for trips to the laundry or shopping for food/beer/wine or taking a short hike as a picnic basket. It has a cable for attaching to a fixed structure that would require more than a multi-tool to cut and it cannot be cut open with a knife. A professional thief carrying special equipment will easily defeat this bag but those types of thieves are not on the Camino. The weakest link of this security bag is the lock that came with it so that was replaced.

There is a smaller 5 Liter version of this bag if you want the cable and mesh protection of the one described above but with less bulk and weight.

I was discrete locking and unlocking this bag and cable each time I used it. I did my worrying before the trip regarding security and devised a method to minimize theft so I could be worry free while on the Camino. I did hear of a theft in the morning when leaving one of the places I stayed. The place was 2 or 3 levels and the room I was in had about 10 beds (5 bunks). I don't think the theft happened in my room but I never heard any more details other than a few people lost their wallets/money during the night or morning.

There is no "one size fits all" solution to avoiding theft on the Camino. The variables mostly relate to how valuable the items are you are bringing and can you afford to lose them? Another concern relates to your support system back home. If you find yourself one morning without cash, phone, credit cards, etc...do you have family and friends to call who can quickly "save" you or is your situation one where you need to be more self reliant. If the latter, pre-trip efforts towards theft prevention are much more critical.

hip or fanny pack - pacsafe metrosafe LS120

5 liter container w/lock closure & cable - travelsafe 5L G2

15 liter container w/lock closure & cable - travelsafe X15 portable safe
Excellent advise TWH. Thanks for sharing!
 
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davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
This is what I have used. It is waterproof with two zippered compartments - one on each side. All of my valuables go inside: money, debit and credit card, passport, etc.

It fits into my pants pocket like a wallet, and hangs around my neck if I am in the bathroom and shower. It never leaves my person.

Here is where this specific model can be found, but there are other similar items around, too.


53223
 

twh

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
and hangs around my neck if I am in the bathroom and shower.
“hangs around my neck” - this is off topic but I was just looking today for a way to solve a “showering problem” on the Camino. As is well known, shower stalls can be tiny…so tiny you can’t bend over to pick up a dropped bar of soap. I was thinking I might bring a soap-on-a-rope with me this fall. But I like using Dr. Bronner’s soap in liquid form as both shampoo and body wash. In addition to skinny shower stalls, many have no soap dish or shelf to put your bottle of Dr. Bronner’s on. I’ve never seen any shampoo sold in liquid form on a rope but I did find this today. I’ll be trying out this dispenser on a lanyard system. It’s a soft silicone container and the reviews say it does not leak and will dispense in a controlled manner “watery” (as opposed to creamy) liquids. There are many competitor products on amazon and some are cheaper than this version.



dispenser.png
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Toulouse to Lourdes
This is what I have used. It is waterproof with two zippered compartments - one on each side. All of my valuables go inside: money, debit and credit card, passport, etc.

It fits into my pants pocket like a wallet, and hangs around my neck if I am in the bathroom and shower. It never leaves my person.

Here is where this specific model can be found, but there are other similar items around, too.


View attachment 53223
Looks fab. I have same type but...not waterproof so it goes into a dry bag when in shower cubicle.
Geee.... I never thought I would have waterproof ‘wallet’ envy! :D;)

PS: I was going to send pic but....the model seems to have changed!!! Aargh! The old one was MUCH better and yet they changed it. Big sigh :rolleyes:;)
 
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RumAndChupacabras

Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019 ~Apr. 2018 Oviedo, Santo Toribio, Covadonga~May/June 2016 Portuguese
@jrickards, I wore a money belt containing my USA passport, Credential and Euros nearly 100% of the time (except for when showering). I slept wearing it as well as this handy RFID Theft-Proof pouch: https://www.pacsafe.com/citysafe-cs25-anti-theft-cross-body-and-hip-purse/20195310.html?cgid=bags-cross-body#start=1. I adjusted the strap and wore it as a pouch in front when walking. If I felt like it, I strapped it to the bed. Trust me...it does not 'look' gender specific.

EDIT: YES! What @twh wrote! PacSafe is excellent and I now see they have many new styles.

53226
 
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alaskadiver

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017-Camino Primitivo
April 2019-Camino de Invierno
We kept everything in our packs that were hanging on the post of the bed. No money belts or bum bags for us. Hubby and I are both light sleepers and anyone trying to steal our packs would likely end up with a broken wrist. While walking I keep my phone in my pocket because I use it frequently, again not worried about petty thieves. But that’s just us.
I found albergues to be safe places.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
@jrickards, I wore a money belt containing my USA passport, Credential and Euros nearly 100% of the time (except for when showering). I slept wearing it as well as this handy RFID Theft-Proof pouch: https://www.pacsafe.com/citysafe-cs25-anti-theft-cross-body-and-hip-purse/20195310.html?cgid=bags-cross-body#start=1. I adjusted the strap and wore it as a pouch in front when walking. If I felt like it, I strapped it to the bed. Trust me...it does not 'look' gender specific.

EDIT: YES! What @twh wrote! PacSafe is excellent and I now see they have many new styles.

View attachment 53226
Also look at Travelon anti theft bags. They have the same types of security features as Pacsafe, but many more styles and less expensive too.

 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
So..now we also bring the bike security cable and secure the bag to the bed post :oops:
While the above post has its own merit, I would think that the average bloody, thieving albergue scalawag would not risk grabbing a whole bag and being confronted at the front door by the actual owner (or his\her friends) who just happen to return at that moment!
(In a way happened to me long time ago in one of the Miami Beach hotels. I was standing in the lobby and completely by accident looked at the young guy who just exited the elevator. He had a bag that looked just like mine.... and a camera bag that looked like mine... and a suitcase that looked like...and that was WAY TOO MUCH for a coincidence so I took of after him. At the fist sign of confrontation he just dropped everything and ran.... Needless to say I DEMANDED to be moved to a different room)
Just IMHO but I tend to agree that these types of low life want to move fast and with least attention to themselves hence fast hit on something that can be easily opened and grabbed....
I strongly advise against a separate security cable. First, because of the weight, and Second, because it signals that "this bag is worth stealing..."

Hiding anonymously, in plain sight is your best defense.

Keep all your expensive, irreplaceable items with you AT ALL TIMES. Zip lock bags are good for this.

I usually limit this to my national passport, pilgrim credencial, wallet, credit cards, iPhone and emergency stash of required medications. EVERYTHING else is replaceable.

Another trick I have used when I have had to stay in albergues, is to attach my rucksack to a solid object, like a bedframe. If someone tries to lift and remove it, only to find it attached by a strap, they are likely not going to invest the added time to loosen it.

One technique I have used successfully, is a Nite-Ize #6 nylon carabiner hook that fits conveniently on the more or less standard Ikea issue bunk bed frame with tubular bars. The carabiner is also handy to connect my rucksack to a chair or other item when I stop for a break at a crowded place. Also, if you need to take a bus, it is a good way to make sure that it is impossible to easily grab your bag and run... in the underneath luggage compartment, connect it to an adjacent rucksack or suitcase.

When not in use, it is attached to the water bladder mounting strap in the rear panel of my rucksack.

But it rarely if ever comes to this.

Hope this helps.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
By overnight, I'm not referring to hotels but the "typical" hostel-type accommodations. Of course, I'll have my pack (with clothes, toiletries, etc) plus maybe a point-and-shoot camera (haven't decided on this yet), cellphone and of course, wallet with cash, credit card and passport. Of course, it's the more valuable items that I'm concerned about.

How does one ensure that these items are secure while sleeping? Should I consider mini-locks for the backpack zippers? Do hostels have some form of lockbox for each person overnighting?
I never kept anything of value in my backpack but that was because the only ting of value I had was my phone, wallet, passport and credencial. I have a large travel wallet that fitted into the cargo pocket of my trousers so that was all but mobile secure. My mobile phone, I kept on a lanyard mainly so it could not fall out and was always handy when I wanted to take a picture. Been on the camino 5 times and often leave my phone on charge in the dorm while I am out. Always there when I came back. I always carry a small shirt pocket wallet for convenience of having a handful of Euro handy so that I dont have to take out the big wallet every time. I must add, all this was not for security issues, just was convenient. BTW the large wallet was always kept in a ziplock plastic bag after everything got wet on my first camino when it rained solid for two days
 

Jim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006- Camino Portuguese
2008- Camino Frances
2009- Sanabres extension of the VDLP
2010- Camino Frances
2011- Camino Potuguese
2014- Camino Frances
2017- Camino Finisterre
I think a thief might just take the whole pack that has pockets locked. It would signal that something valuable is in the pack.
Yes, they would!
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I keep my passport, credential, credit cards and money in a large zip lock bag along with my phone in a front or side pocket of my hiking gear all of the time-day and night. Yes, I sleep in the shorts or pants I plan to be wearing the next day. The zip lock bag goes to the shower with me. I am comfortable leaving the phone on a charger while I'm taking a shower.
There is nothing in my backpack that I can't replace if it is stolen.
I met a pilgrim a few years ago who had the document holder on a string around his neck and it was cut off during the night and removed from him as he slept.
In large towns/cities you need to have your antenna up, especially if you are staying in a larger albergue. It is way to easy for someone carrying a pack to sign in with a stolen credential and case the place until everyone is fast asleep.
 

Jim

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006- Camino Portuguese
2008- Camino Frances
2009- Sanabres extension of the VDLP
2010- Camino Frances
2011- Camino Potuguese
2014- Camino Frances
2017- Camino Finisterre
Yes, there are reports of European transients, who befriend true pilgrims and come into an albergue with them, will the intent of stealing anything they can. If with a group of two or three other pilgrims, the hospitalero will sign them in and no knows until reports of theft are made. Anyone could get a credential -- they are readily available at many points all along the camino. the smart thief knows how to get them, and may even have multiple copies. A few stamps from bars or churches along the way and they appear like real pilgrims. Be careful and keep valuables on your person and concealed at all times.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
Been on the camino 5 times and often leave my phone on charge in the dorm while I am out. Always there when I came back.
Yeah... I actually wanted to expand the original topic into this issue (in a sense it applies)
All the talk about recharging the electronics and ...how does one do it? plugged into the outlet for whatever duration and be it evening or overnight?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis SJPP
April 2016, August 2017, May 2018
Camino PortuGUESE
May 2019
Hi @jrickards
I am a newbie on the Forum myself so unfortunately cannot give you any of my own wisdom.
There were many posts here at some point or another on the topic. While the majority will tell you that theft is a VERY rare occurrence on The Camino - things do happen none-the-less so common sense caution is advised.
Basically a lot of advises were about trying not to bring anything of the value (jewelry for example), even the cameras (use your cellphone instead, although arguments were also made in favor of even leaving that behind), keep your passport, money, CC (one - 2 at the most) and Credencial del Peregrino on your person AT ALL TIMES! Down to the point of placing them in a waterproof small bag and taking it into the showers.
Perhaps a money belt during day time. I would not bring a wallet per se, perhaps a small travel-size pocket gizmo that has maybe 6 slots (couple of CCs, your DL - even that is questionable since you'll have the passport - maybe your Medical Insurance papers)
At night - either put the bag INTO the pillow case (not under the pillow) or inside sleeping bag (and to be fair - there are enough pro and cons for both of these methods)
I would definitely consider mini-locks (like TSA-approved perhaps key-less but with the cipher-code...who wants to mess around with that?); if anything I DO consider doing so when I take to the road.
I am sure we'll get some words on the possible lockers\lockboxes. My thought is that it is probably individually applied to albergos - some will have them and some will not.
Good luck and Buen Camino 👍
 
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
If you are worried about your backpack walking in the middle of the night just undo one of the straps and wrap it around the bed leg before putting it back together. An opportunist thief will have difficulty undoing the strap.
If you are an early riser and forget to release the pack your room mates might be annoyed if you drag the bed across the room because you forgot to undo the straps.
 

AlmostAnastasia

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2018
Keep your documents and money with you at all times. including at night (store safely in your sleep bag).

Someone did take my lush soap - at an albergue in October, 2018. I was very upset - it did smell very nice. There are thieves everywhere. I will not forget my soap next time. That's for sure.

Most pilgrims are carrying a minimum of gear for the most part, so there are better pickings in other places in Europe.

Buen Camino.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Yeah... I actually wanted to expand the original topic into this issue (in a sense it applies)
All the talk about recharging the electronics and ...how does one do it? plugged into the outlet for whatever duration and be it evening or overnight?
I would not leave my phone charging out of sight for very long, especially not while I go out for a meal.
The biggest problem is the lack of power points. The strategy is to find a bed next to an outlet.
There are people who are regularly unplugging your device or even worse walking off with your converter to use in another outlet. The solution to this is to duct tape your USB block to your converter. Then it is gets a little embarrassing for someone to explain their way out of their transgression.
 

Anthony18

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
This is what I have used. It is waterproof with two zippered compartments - one on each side. All of my valuables go inside: money, debit and credit card, passport, etc.

It fits into my pants pocket like a wallet, and hangs around my neck if I am in the bathroom and shower. It never leaves my person.

Here is where this specific model can be found, but there are other similar items around, too.


View attachment 53223
[/QUOTE
I had a battery pack with me and I charged up my watch and phone when I stopped for lunch. After washing my clothes I could sit and relax and charge up the electronics. It was just part of the daily chores.
That's my plan. Thanks for sharing.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Yeah... I actually wanted to expand the original topic into this issue (in a sense it applies)
All the talk about recharging the electronics and ...how does one do it? plugged into the outlet for whatever duration and be it evening or overnight?
I had a problem with my phone in 2015. Every day when I reached the albergue it would be almost flat so it went on charge as soon as I arrived. I then would go for a shower and then out for a drink and a bit of people watching in a roadside cafe. The phone took forever to charge so I was picking it up around dinner time. It was always there. Obviously, I preferred to have a wall socket by my bed but occasionally there would only be one or two sockets so it was out of sight but no-one ever touched it. As an aside, I eventually reset the phone to factory settings and no longer had to charge it every day :). My son left his charger in an albergue some years ago and had to buy a Spanish replacement. I always travel with it now so I dont need to carry adapters
 

Re-tired

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
My wife and I travel all over France, Italy, Spain with just backpacks. We each have a Hikpro day pack that we take out and put everything we don't want to lose when we are out about town. They only weigh 9 oz, pack into their own zippered compartment, and are available on Amazon for like 8 bucks. We will likely use these at night also in our sleeping bags or under a pillow on the Camino next year. I'm a light sleeper and if someone tries to take this from me at night, there will be consequences...:)
 

Texas Walker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017 summer)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
Yeah... I actually wanted to expand the original topic into this issue (in a sense it applies)
All the talk about recharging the electronics and ...how does one do it? plugged into the outlet for whatever duration and be it evening or overnight?
One assumes you are not wondering how to charge in general. You should bring the appropriate plug converter...your electronics are probably "smart" and will do okay with whatever the wall power is, so only the little plug adapter with in "your" type and out "host nation" type is really necessary. One looks around and asks if necessary to find a plug.
In many of the newer albergues there are many plugs. Some we stayed in last year had a plug for every bunk. (Not just every bed, every bunk in the bed.) We take only the one plug, which is good for our tablets and our phone, and one camera charger. (We carry the same brand of camera, it makes things much easier on the weight. Also the swap batteries are interchangeable that way.) We swap hungry gizmos over the course of time while there. The camera and or the tablet goes with us, so we can take pictures around the village or city. When the camera battery runs low, we pull out the swap battery right away and swap it, then when we return we charge the battery. One of the little plug adapters does the job.
I've had more trouble with losing sink stoppers--due to "pilgrim brain fog"--than with losing adapters.
Also with losing flashlight--don't tie it to the bed in case you need to visit the accomodation, it will vanish into the post when you're packing up and that will be the end of that flashlight. The hospitalero will find it after you're long gone and wonder about you...but then, the brain fog is real and if hurrying to pack in the morning you might conclude that you're lucky you got out of the place with your head properly attached! :)
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
My son left his charger in an albergue some years ago and had to buy a Spanish replacement. I always travel with it now so I dont need to carry adapters
I have a charger from a Huawei phone we bought in 2016 while spending 2 weeks in London. I think that probably will do the tick just nicely for either my phone or camera (both take mini-B USB)
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
in Planning stage: Frances (SJPdP --> SdC) & Finisterre "2021"
@Texas Walker
Yes I was asking on the safety of the action so to speak be it that the OP's theme is 'security'
I have couple of European adaptors as well as above-mentined charger\cord from Huawei phone
I guess now the wish is to be able to stay over in these 'newer albergues'
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2008, 2009), Camino Frances (2011)
Porto to SDC (7/2017)
Everything of value, cash, cards, passport, camera/phone, etc, etc are always in my pants pockets. Once into the albergue they transfer into the clean change of pants in the shower for the next day. At lights out, my pants go into the slept sack or bag at the foot or opposite the zipper or opening. Everything else is expandable and if anyone wants my dirty Camino clothes then they have more problems then I, God bless them!
I use fast drying pants with cargo pockets that have a zipper to hold my passport , cards and cash securely. This way everything I value and need for travel is with me at all times with out me thinking about what to take from my pack each time I remove it. For battery packs and such then a detachable pouch that is external to your pack or easily accessed works and can easily be placed into you sleep sack/bag as well.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
I have a charger from a Huawei phone we bought in 2016 while spending 2 weeks in London. I think that probably will do the tick just nicely for either my phone or camera (both take mini-B USB)
If you bought it in London it will have the British three prong plug so you will need a british to European adaptor.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
@jrickards , I try to keep things simple

I have a pouch that hangs around my neck 24/7. Holds cards, money and passports.

My tablet goes under the pillow with the 3 metre USB cable snaking to the universal charger at a power outlet.

But not uncommon to see a common table with several power boards and everyones phones, cameras, whatever in full view.

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011)
Norte (2014)
Norte (2016)
Salvador (2017)
Frances (2018)
Madrid-Salvador-Primitivo 19
In Roncesvalles a couple of years ago, someone took one of my Black Diamond poles, but left another almost identical. So I walked on, with different color versions of the same poles. Many days later, at another albergue, we met again and exchanged poles. For the rest of the Camino we were joking about it every time we crossed paths. The confusion arose because she used to start in the wee hours, before there was light.
 
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Richmond Gardner Personal Safety 53

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