How To Keep Your Keys Safe When Hiking

How to Keep Your Keys Safe When Hiking

In This Guide
  • Tips on Keeping Your Keys Safe When Hiking

There’s nothing worse than doing a long hike, getting back to your car, and finding out that your keys are missing. And it’s even worse when you are parked at a trailhead in the middle of nowhere. These tips will help you make sure that your keys are safe during the hike and that you get home safely.

I originally started to think about keeping my keys safe(er) when I lost them. And I lost them in the middle of nowhere. I was at a remote trailhead in the San Gabriel mountains, miles down a dirt road, and out of cell phone range. And it was before I had a satellite communicator, so there was no way to reach the outside world. It was sunset when I was finishing a 20+ mile hike. Returning to my car, I put my hand in the top pocket of my backpack and found my keys gone. They must have fallen out when I was getting something else out of that pocket. I had to hike miles to a road and wave down drivers until someone pulled over for a sweaty insane person waving their arms. It was a long day.

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Here’s what I recommend doing to keep your keys safe. 

  1. Use a carabiner as your keychain so that you can easily take your car keys off when you go for a hike.
  2. Leave all your keys aside from your car keys hidden in your car when you hike.
  3. Clip your car key to the inside of your pack. Some packs have lanyards with clips on them. If not, you can use a small carabiner.
  4. If you have two car keys, or if your key FOB allows you to pop out a manual key, put one key in your pack and one key on your person (ideally secured in a zippered pocket).

I also recommend carrying a satellite communicator in case you need to call for a tow or jumpstart.

Key Clip In Backpack
Look for this little clip inside your backpack; it’s great for attaching a keychain.


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