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#185034 - 05/12/14 05:58 PM Ultralight car keys?
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1730
Loc: Napa, CA

Do you carry your car keys with you on the trail, or you do hide them at the car? There is no point to carrying extra weight, and car keys certainly fall into that category. I leave all of my keys in the car EXCEPT the car key itself. That goes in my pack.

Or do you really practice ultralight backpacking, and leave the car key artfully hidden somewhere so that you don’t have to tote the extra weight? (And no, please don’t tell me or anyone else WHERE you hide those keys…)

Of course, true ultra-lighters will either take public transportation to the trailhead…or buy a car with keyless entry!
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balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#185035 - 05/12/14 06:20 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 847
Loc: Torrance, CA
I take my key with me... along with my drivers license, a credit card, and some cash. Its my reintegrating into society emergency kit.

I'm still trying to figure out what trailheads have public transportation.... and keyless entry still requires a FOB which is heavier and bulkier than a key.


Edited by BZH (05/12/14 06:20 PM)

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#185038 - 05/12/14 06:40 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: BZH]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6399
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I don't dare leave anything in my car that might be of interest to one of our many local car clouters. That includes any personal info.

I figure it's worth it for peace of mind to take my car key, drivers license, auto insurance card, auto registration, one credit card, debit card, a couple of $5 and a $20 bill, and a small piece of paper with emergency contact, medical and health insurance info on it. Total in a zippered snack bag is 1.8 oz. All other ID is left at home.

Re the car key, I take just the key, not the electronic remote gizmo which, as BZH points out, weighs more than the key.

Also, while on the trail, I treat my backpack as my purse and never leave it alone!


Edited by OregonMouse (05/12/14 06:42 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#185042 - 05/12/14 07:19 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: BZH]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1377
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I also carry the keys, cash, license and insurance cards. Put them in a small snack-sized ziploc, and you're really not talking about enough weight or bulk that your pack becomes a crushing burden.

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#185045 - 05/12/14 07:41 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
I leave the fob and remote in the car and take the key only, tethering it to my Leatherman Micra so if lost, I get double the fun.

Cheers,
_________________________
--Rick

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#185073 - 05/14/14 04:14 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: Rick_D]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6399
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Has anyone had any luck with those credit-card style plastic keys? I was given a free one with my most recent car, but it wouldn't work. That was 8 years ago, and perhaps the technology is more advanced? Certainly less weight and bulk than a metal key.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#185074 - 05/14/14 04:25 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: OregonMouse]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 847
Loc: Torrance, CA
Pretty much all new cars have the electronic chip in the key which means they no longer have those plastic keys for new cars. If you can find a place that will cut one for you I doubt the quality would be any better (more likely worse) than what you got 8 years ago.

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#185076 - 05/14/14 04:54 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2859
Loc: Portland, OR
I understand the impulse, but if I will need to return to my vehicle and drive myself home after a backpack, as opposed to being picked up, I always take the car key with me in the most secure place in my pack. I also bring my driver's license and oftentimes a debit card and a bit of cash. I deem these as necessary weight, like a First Aid Kit and PLB.

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#185078 - 05/14/14 05:24 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: aimless]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1377
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Good point on storage. Mine are on a ring, so I just clip them into the clip inside the hood pocket on the pack. I rarely have to get into that pocket so it's pretty sure to stay there. The cards and licenses go in there too, or in the pocket on the bottom of the hood pocket - again, someplace not likely to get opened.

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#185083 - 05/14/14 07:53 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
squark Offline
member

Registered: 03/14/11
Posts: 66
Loc: SF bay area, CA
I keep them in my zippered pocket, which I check obsessively every time I get up. Sadly, I don't trust the other users of the trailhead enough to leave them behind. Maybe I need to head out to more remote locations.

ETA: I did use public transportation to get to Point Reyes.


Edited by squark (05/14/14 07:54 PM)

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#185100 - 05/14/14 10:08 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Like others mentioned, I take my car keys, ID, debit card, health insurance card, and maybe cash if I have it with me. I leave rest of my wallet at home. I don't know how much that weighs, but it not going have material effect on my body when hiking. (It may not even have an immaterial effect!!!) Hike your own hike!


Edited by ETSU Pride (05/14/14 10:08 PM)
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It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#185105 - 05/15/14 08:34 AM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3571
Loc: Texas
Depends on where I am. If the area is protected, like a State Park or National Park, I'll bring only ID and the little plastic emergency key provided by Toyota. It's a slick little credit card thing, or hide one on the car somewhere. Otherwise, I'll bring wallet and keys. It's also good to make sure my hiking buds know where everything is in case I become room temperature during the hike.
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#185125 - 05/16/14 12:30 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: Dryer]
snapper Offline
member

Registered: 03/07/13
Posts: 37
Loc: NY
Depending on where I'm actually going I may put my key in one of those magnetic holders and leave it with the vehicle. Other times I take just the key and in some places I leave the vehicle unlocked. So far each strategy has worked where I've done it so no complaints as of yet. For ID I'll typically take my college ID card along with a $20 bill for that "just in case" situation.

That's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.

snapper

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#185136 - 05/17/14 02:14 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
anicinabe Offline
member

Registered: 10/10/11
Posts: 61
Loc: Ohio
I used to have a manual tranny car..I would put the ignition key in a ziplock baggie and roll the tire on to the key..They could search forever and not think to look under the tire for the key...the door key was in a hide-a-way magnetic box..

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#185423 - 05/28/14 09:43 AM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: anicinabe]
Sunkmail Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/08/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Vancouver, BC

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#193102 - 01/09/16 06:55 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
Johannes Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/16
Posts: 34
Loc: NE
I take my car key with me, no fob.
For extra safety, you could temporarily disconnect your battery while you're on the trail. This will deter most amateur thieves.
Another option is to leave your key hidden in your vehicle and use a club on the steering wheel which takes a smaller, lighter key or a combination lock, like this one.
Whatever you do, don't leave anything of value in your vehicle for other people or for animals.
Hope this helps. Cheers!
_________________________
"Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind." - Johannes Brahms

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#194346 - 03/18/16 10:23 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: ETSU Pride]
Jim M Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 252
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
I have a light weight wallet or two I use for just the essentials when i am hiking. I have only a house key and car key on my key ring. I clip it on the inside of my backpack so it is near impossible to loose on the trail. You could put it in a plastic z-lock bag and hide it 100 yards up the trail and 10 feet off the trail under a log or rock.
_________________________
Jim M

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#194352 - 03/19/16 01:51 AM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
BrRabbit Offline
member

Registered: 03/15/16
Posts: 58
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Both situations happened to me this winter -

a) I was camping about 2 miles from my car. Decided to take a walk in the morning to it to pack some extra gear only to find out that I don't have my keys with me.... Good lord, I found them in my hammock.

b) We were on our last leg about 5 miles left to my car, were crossing a public road and decided to drop our backpacks and sleds and hike light to the car and drive back to pick the gear... I nearly left my outer jacket with the car keys inside that backpack... It would be fun to snowshoes for 5 miles in fresh deep snow only to realize that I need to go back for 5 miles and do it again.

These situations made me think that hiding the keys a short distance off the car a mighty good idea. Besides, there're no valuables in my car, and if anyone wants to steal the car itself, glass window won't stop him.

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#194354 - 03/19/16 08:09 AM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: OregonMouse]
wgiles Offline
member

Registered: 05/19/14
Posts: 141
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
I took a cue from the travel shows, who suggest a money belt to protect your valuables from pickpockets. I regularly lose stuff from my pockets, so I use a flat zippered pouch with a cord that I wear around my neck. I put the paper stuff, like my fishing license or permits in a 3" X 4" zipper bag inside the pouch. It's light, unobtrusive and it hasn't gotten lost, yet.

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#194357 - 03/19/16 02:47 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2859
Loc: Portland, OR
I take my car key with me when I backpack. I consider my car key to be part of my critical emergency/survival gear. Like the rest of my critical emergency gear, I always know where it is and keep it with me always.

Generally, I place it inside my pack inside a small drawstring pouch filled with my valuables, such as my driver's license, debit card, and a 3x5 index card with some important phone numbers written on it. If I go more than a very short distance from my pack or my camp, it comes with me.

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#194360 - 03/19/16 05:59 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: aimless]
BrRabbit Offline
member

Registered: 03/15/16
Posts: 58
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
they aren't good without the car, are they?

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#194361 - 03/19/16 06:01 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: BrRabbit]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2859
Loc: Portland, OR
No. The car is equally useless without the key. However, you are welcome to pursue a different strategy. I'm happy with mine as it is, thank you.

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#194674 - 03/31/16 05:21 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
WVhiker Offline
member

Registered: 03/30/16
Posts: 28
Loc: West Virginia
I prefer to leave my keys at the car. Just that dreaded thought of returning to my car after a 20+ mile hike only to find that somehow someway i lost my keys on the trail would be a horrific experience that i plan to avoid. Especially if you are several hundred miles from home in a very remote area, which is a common practice for most of us hikers

But i also understand that areas like trail heads and long term lots are like a magnet for criminal activities. I have never had any bad experience but i am sure there are plenty out there that have. I also drive an old beater probably the last car someone would want to try and steal lol.

The new key-less start vehicles which are becoming the new standard however i think could pose a threat to both sides of the fence, since water (possibly even dew), sub zero temps or even dropping your pack off your shoulder on a hard surface could cause it to malfunction. I guess only time will tell but for the foreseeable future i think i will continue to hide my keys at the car.
_________________________
Leave nothing but footprints
Take nothing but pictures
Kill nothing but time

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#194676 - 03/31/16 11:02 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: balzaccom]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2751
Loc: California
Key with me. My pack has a clip for keys. Cash. Never know when I have to bribe someone for a ride back to my car if I bail out at a different trailhead. Drivers License and credit card, in the first aid kit.

My car is old and trashy. I doubt anyone would want to steal it. My bigger fear is that the car will not start due to some mechanical problem after sitting at the trailhead for weeks. I leave a small amount of cash in the glove box. Sort of tricks a thief into not looking further.

Food and cell phone are issues. No food can be left in the car due to bears, but I like to have some emergency food. I have an old Garcia bear can, so I put the food and toiletries in it and set it near my car. I have never had any trouble with this. I hide the cell phone in the car. Problem is that often I cannot remember where I hid it! When I get home I have to call my cell phone to find it.

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#194677 - 03/31/16 11:50 PM Re: Ultralight car keys? [Re: wandering_daisy]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1730
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By wandering_daisy
Key with me. My pack has a clip for keys. Cash. Never know when I have to bribe someone for a ride back to my car if I bail out at a different trailhead. Drivers License and credit card, in the first aid kit.


This. I do the same thing when I ride my bike. I don't carry a wallet or keys, but I do take along and extra $40 just in case I really need a ride. I've only used it once, and it was well worth it.
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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