How to Keep Your Keys Safe When Hiking
|In This Guide|
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.
Here’s what I recommend doing to keep your keys safe.
- Use a carabiner as your keychain so that you can easily take your car keys off when you go for a hike.
- Leave all your keys aside from your car keys hidden in your car when you hike.
- 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.
- 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.