What to do with wallet and keys while caving

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What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby mgmills » Mar 1, 2009 5:31 pm

On another thread this issue came up when a guy mentioned being worried his wallet and keys would fall out of his pack in the cave.

This got me to thinking. I've usually left my wallet in the vehicle and hidden the keys in different places depending on the location of the parking spot. Sometimes on a tire, sometimes under a bumper, sometimes on the ground behind a tire, sometimes under a nearby rock. Generally for me the more remote the parking spot the more I worry about security. Parked on a well travelled road I don't worry too much. :shrug:

I have know people who stashed car keys under a rock near the cave entrance. . . I've also known people to walk back to the cave to get the keys after arriving at the vehicle to remember they hid the keys at the entrance.

Once I had a trip where the driver of the vehicle hid the key under a rock near where we were parked and on the return from the cave we couldn't find the correct rock. :doh: Didn't help that it was raining and dark when we were looking for the keys. Ended up breaking into the vehicle to get a spare key that was in his wallet.

Regarding theft of stuff from the vehicle. It happens, but through the years I've been lucky with backpacking, canoeing, and caving to have not had a break-in. I once left the back door of a vehicle unlocked with the window down on a canoe trip and nothing was taken. It was on a busy road near a bridge.

Regarding the wallet. I carry only my debit card, one credit card, insurance card and driver's license. (I have other cards that I only carry if I know I'm going to use them.) That way if I should lose my wallet the phone calls to cancel stuff are limited.

As posted on the other thread you should not carry your social security card (unless going to apply for a job). Some states but the SS # on the driver's license but in TN you have the option to not have it on your license and I chose that option.

Actually on backpacking and canoe trips I usually carry my driver's license & insurance card because in case of injury you might end up exiting from the river or trail at some point other than your vehicle if an accident with injury occurs and you would want your ID and insurance card if you had to be taken to a hospital. :yikes: In caving, if there is an accident the rescue will probably be pretty near the location of your vehicle and someone in the party could retrieve it for you.

Anyone have any comments on this topic? :waving:
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Mar 1, 2009 5:53 pm

By and large I usually leave my wallet and other valuables (if I'm not driving) under a floor-mat in the vehicle and call it good. If I am driving then the keys go into a zippered pocket inside my pack and the wallet and valuables (read: cash... as I don't have nor prefer to use a credit card) under a floor mat and call it good.
I tend to worry less if the vehicle is parked in a remote area... the more remote the less the opportunity for it to happen... because how often does someone come OUT there? Oh it does happen from time to time of course but in my 30 years of experience I've never had it happen. But I do accept that it COULD.
I've seen more vehicle break-ins on crowded streets than anywhere else. You can lock everything in the glove box , making it harder to get into, or stash stuff away under the seat.
One fella I know ingeniously got a stuff sack just for his valuables and put that up under the seat into the springs so that when looking under the seat (usually thieves do not have the luxury of time on their hands) they see nothing and move on.
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 1, 2009 7:00 pm

Well, on a cave diving trip, you don't want to take your rental car keys with the electronic clicker door unlocker with you underwater. So you could bury the keys in the forest under the poison ivy and kinda (or kinda not) remember where you buried them.

Not that I'd know anyone who'd do anything that stupid, mind you. :doh:
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby fuzzy-hair-man » Mar 1, 2009 8:33 pm

There was a funny (funny after the event) story from one of the tassie clubs where a log had fallen over one of the tracks so they parked as far as they could go and the caver hid his keys under the log, whilst they were in the cave National Parks came and chopped up the log to clear the track and the keys went missing, in the end I think they started walking towards the nearest phone and their call out found them walking into town to ring.
BTW mobile coverage can be pretty poor for us, it's rare we have reception anywhere near where we are caving.

For my part I always leave my wallet in the car (not much in there anyway and cards are easy enough to replace/cancel) keys are generally hidden on the outside of the car and I make sure everyone knows where they are so in the event something happens and I can't drive for whatever reason they are able to drive for help.

I really don't like the prospect of loosing my keys in a cave and having to try to find them again...

Those magnetic key boxes which you can use to hide the key somewhere outside the car are useful too, therefore you can lock your keys in and have a backup if you accidentally lock your keys in the car. :doh:
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby mgmills » Mar 1, 2009 9:09 pm

fuzzy-hair-man wrote:Those magnetic key boxes which you can use to hide the key somewhere outside the car are useful too, therefore you can lock your keys in and have a backup if you accidentally lock your keys in the car. :doh:


I figure leaving the key somewhere on the vehicle isn't really a bad thing. If a thief really wants to get into the vehicle (especially in a remote area) he/she is probably going to smash out the window anyway . . . leaving a key for them to find may save you the cost of replacing a window.

Funny story about the park service removing the tree. . . sounds like the kind of luck I would have.
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby InTucky » Mar 2, 2009 7:29 am

90% of the time I take my dry clothes, wallet, keys, & cell phone in a second backpack, and hide it in the cave. I leave my truck unlocked so if "people" want to check it out, they won't break my windows out to get in.

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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 2, 2009 10:20 am

At an urban park where we do a lot of mountain biking, there was a bunch of thefts where someone would break in surruptitiously, steal credit cards out of the wallets, then replace everything like it was. People wouldn't discover the thefts until a day or two later. Well after the cards had many new charges.

So I tended to take my wallet, phone, and keys on my bike rides. One time I went to a different park with no history of theivery. I left my phone in the console, but my car was such a mess I didn't think much about it. When I got back to the parking lot 6 of the 7 or 8 cars in the lot had been broken into--smashed windows. Man, I had to get my window fixed for a 2 year old water damaged cell phone. :down: I have a lot of biking gear in my trunk. Not a lot of value for resale, but stuff I'd just as soon not get stolen. So I'm reluctant to leave it open.

Of course, there was the one time I came back from my ride to a parking lot to a rural parkland, and found my keys sitting on my roof. :doh:

I have had those magnetic key hide-a-key thingies before. But they have bounced off on rough roads/potholes. I think they need to be duct taped on or you'll lose them.
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby barcelonacvr » Mar 2, 2009 10:55 pm

I have a small camera dry bag that I hang around my neck and stick under my suit or wetsuit.15 bucks for the bag and no worries about finding the rock or finding the rock cans keys etc.
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 3, 2009 4:10 am

Ponorplumber wrote:I have a small camera dry bag that I hang around my neck and stick under my suit or wetsuit.15 bucks for the bag and no worries about finding the rock or finding the rock cans keys etc.

Well, that would take all the fun out of it, wouldn't it?
:big grin:
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby tncaver » Mar 3, 2009 8:19 am

I used to hide keys in a magnetic keyholder under the rear bumper of my vehicle. I used to leave my wallet under the
seat or under the floor mat. I had never had a break in, in over 40 years of caving.

But then it happened. It happened in the field, next to Coal Bank Road, near Blue Spring Cave. Side vent window
busted out, and hidden bumper key stolen from the magnetic "Hide A Key", cash stolen. Other oddities stolen, to include a camping spoon/fork knife, a duck taped worn out blue tarp, and other little things that I didn't notice missing for weeks. The strange thing, lots of caving gear was not touched. Very odd.

Now I always take keys and wallet in cave with me. Either in my front jeans pocket or in the caving pack depending
on what I'm wearing or the condition of the cave. I keep keys and wallet in a ziplock bag to keep them clean and dry.

One more thing. I removed my bat stickers from all my vehicles. No NSS Car Tags anymore either.
Advertising that you are a caver in a cave, rather than a hunter nearby with a gun, just might make robbers think twice before breaking into a vehicle parked in the woods. They know cavers might be gone for hours. Hunters with a gun might be just a short ways into the woods behind a tree with their gun aimed at them. Something to think about.
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby graveleye » Mar 3, 2009 9:40 am

I just carry my keys into the cave, whether in my pack or my pocket. My wallet too. I've actually left a note on the window of my truck that says "nothing valuable inside". I dunno - maybe that would be enough for them to at least spare my window. If I was a crook, and willing to risk getting in trouble, I would move on to something that at least would have more potential for some goods.

I also carry one single spare key to my truck in another place in my pack. I figure if I lost my main key-ring, at least I would have that one key so I could get home. My wife usually carries a set of keys too, so we're all covered. My wallet goes in the cave with me too. I just don't worry about losing it, I'm so always aware of it.
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby barcelonacvr » Mar 3, 2009 9:56 am

Squirrel Girl wrote:Well, that would take all the fun out of it, wouldn't it?
:big grin:


WARNING TMI territory!! below






Wellllll once upon a time I used to chuck my keys into my under suit ,loose like.I had FAR too much "fun" when my keys and nipple rings colluded with one another :yikes: I found a solution that is absolutely predictable and safe after that experience!!
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby Lost » Mar 3, 2009 4:19 pm

Squirrel Girl wrote:Well, on a cave diving trip, you don't want to take your rental car keys with the electronic clicker door unlocker with you underwater. So you could bury the keys in the forest under the poison ivy and kinda (or kinda not) remember where you buried them.

Not that I'd know anyone who'd do anything that stupid, mind you. :doh:
I cut the cable with my shears and stick the key in my undergarment pocket.
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby Squirrel Girl » Mar 3, 2009 4:39 pm

Ponorplumber wrote:
Squirrel Girl wrote:Well, that would take all the fun out of it, wouldn't it?
:big grin:


WARNING TMI territory!! below






Wellllll once upon a time I used to chuck my keys into my under suit ,loose like.I had FAR too much "fun" when my keys and nipple rings colluded with one another :yikes: I found a solution that is absolutely predictable and safe after that experience!!

:rofl:

I hope you don't mind my laughing at your expense, but I really did laugh out loud at that. When I started reading it, I figured it was some other part of your anatomy that got poked by the keys.
:big grin:
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Re: What to do with wallet and keys while caving

Postby wyandottecaver » Mar 3, 2009 5:30 pm

I find that if you put a small glass aquarium in the front seat with a rattlesnake and your valuables in it that works. I hide the dry Ice to cool the snake down when we leave.....
:funny post:

In all seriousness I had a wildlife professor who had a pet skunk. He would leave him in the car with the windows half down knowing the skunk wouldn't leave. It would however "guard" the car against strangers acting very threatning and raising his tail (was de-scented). Never had a problem with thieves even when the keys were in the ignition!
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