5 Ways to Keep Gear Safe On the Go
Guest post by Ralph Goodman
If you love the outdoors, you probably also love the gear that gets you outside. In this context, gear refers to the items that you cannot just throw in your backpack and run around with. For instance, your surfboard, mountain bike, road bike, etc. These items have a high price tag, meaning it’s vital to keep your gear safe at all times, especially when you are traveling. You must remain attentive to your gear whether you are going mountain biking, snowboarding, surfing, or skiing.
How? Here are a few ideas of how you can keep your gear safe while traveling
1.Plan Your Trip Right
Properly planning your trip helps make sure that your gear stays safe. While planning your trip, you want to verify (beforehand) that you can travel with all your necessary gear. If you are traveling on the road, you may not need to do this, but if you’re flying, it’s imperative that you check ahead of time.
If you do drive, make sure that your gear can fit on/in your vehicle, and that it is possible for it to be properly secured. The planning process also involves taking stock of all the gear you will need (including spares) and figuring out what you will need to securely travel with them.
Moving through the motions involved in properly planning your trip will help you figure out what you need, and help you figure out how to properly accomplish these steps.
2. Properly Store Your Gear
The way you store your gear plays a part in determining how safe it is. There are many factors that could compromise the safety of your gear and it is important that you do whatever you can to make your gear resistant to these vulnerabilities.
In order to properly store your gear, you need to know how durable your gear is under pressure, and also how much space it takes up. If you have gear that is fragile, it is advised that you pack it in hard cases. This will better protect them from external pressure. Traveling isn’t always smooth and this applies whether you are flying, driving, or sailing.
In addition to storing breakable items in hard cases, it is best to store smaller gear in duffel bags or containers, rather than packing them together with bigger items that could potentially lead to some items being damaged. For additional safety, wrap your smaller items with a padded material to absorb any external pressure that might be applied during your trip.
3. Do Not Overload Your Gear
This step is easy if you have followed the first two steps, and it will help you keep your gear safe while you are traveling. It is important that you do not attempt to overload your gear. If you are traveling by air, overloading your gear can lead to excess charges at the airport or (worst case scenario) it can lead to your gear being left on the tarmac without your knowledge, not until you land at least.Make sure that you spread out your items when you are packing them and find out what weight and length requirements you have to abide by when you are flying.
If you are driving, overloading your gear can lead to your vehicle and your equipment being damaged. Before you load any equipment onto your vehicle, find out the weight limits that your vehicle can operate under and pack your gear accordingly.
It is essential that you only take the gear you need and the necessary spares. This reduces the chance of you having too many items on-hand at once, and also reduces the chance of someone making off with any of your equipment.
4. Mark Your Gear
Another important step to keeping your gear safe while traveling is to make sure that everything is properly marked so that your gear is easily identifiable. In most cases, people prefer to mark their equipment with their names, signatures, or some other obscure symbol (RIP to Prince). This is to reduce the possibility of their gear getting mixed up with something similar.
In addition to these steps, it is important that you acquire the proper travel tags to accompany your items. Travel tags make your gear easily identifiable. At airports, it is very common for people to leave with the wrong duffel bag or suitcase because the one they grabbed seemed identical to theirs. Travel tags help ensure that people leave with the right bags, and thus it makes it less likely someone will take your equipment.
When using travel tags, it’s important to fill out all the requested information on the tag so it expedites the process of contacting you should the need arise. There will be no point to having a travel tag if your name is the only thing on it. If someone happens to take your bag by accident and there is no contact information on the travel tag, then they will not be able to contact you.
Marking your gear and employing the use of travel tags should not only be done if you are traveling by air because it can also come in handy when you are making your way across the open road. As was stated earlier, a variety of external factors can come into play whenever people are traveling and as such you might as well be prepared for anything that can arise.
5. Do Not Leave Your Gear Unattended
All the tips and tricks listed above will help keep your gear safe, but they will all be negated if you are constantly leaving your gear unattended.
When you are traveling through an airport make sure that you carry your gear with you wherever you go to ensure that you arrive at your destination with all your gear intact.
The same concept applies to those who would prefer to drive. If you have your gear stored in (or on) your vehicle, have a set of eyes on it at all times. If you happen to make a stop to rest, do not leave your gear unattended at any time. In the event that you are making an overnight stop, unload all your gear so that you reduce the chance of anyone leaving with your equipment.
Additional Safety Tips
- If you are traveling by air, do not arrive late to the airport. If you have a lot of equipment with you that needs to be checked-in, it will most likely be left at the airport. It takes a lot of work to load items onto a plane, so if you have a lot of gear moving with you, arrive early.
- When traveling with gear that has tires (bikes etc.) make sure that you let out some of the air in the tires before you fly with them. This helps prevent any damage to your tires with the external fluctuating air pressure.
- In the event that you are traveling around with lots of equipment, make sure that you have a checklist you can easily refer back to. This helps you keep track of everything, even down to the smallest item that you have.
The gear you use to make the most out of the outdoors is essential and expensive. In addition to the steps outlined above, the best tactic that anyone can employ to make sure their gear is being kept safe is to always pay close attention to it. Hopefully, these tips come in handy to help you keep your gear safe while you explore the world and go on amazing adventures.
Ralph Goodman is a professional writer and the resident expert locksmith on locks and security over at the Lock Blog. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about keys, locks and safety. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.