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​What to do with the vehicle parked on a long trip?

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    Yes. For 40 years I left my wallet and spare clothes, some equipment in the truck out of sight. On a trip to Lake Shasta, someone broke the window and stole a bunch of stuff. The nearby town of Redding has a lot of drug problems especially tweakers. Now I only park my vehicles some place they can be watched over in that country.

    I used to paddle the North Platte R when I lived in Wyoming. People were so friendly, that I would just drive to the put in and hitchhike back for the truck at the end of the day. No shuttle.
    Same thing around the Klamath R in no CA. Sometimes the river would have lower flows than expected and the take out would seem far away. I can still hitch hike with a paddle in that country or just ask for a ride. Know your country. Most places are good about picking up boaters A few are full of criminals.


      I have only had two problems when coming back to my vehicle after a trip. One was a mouse that moved into my vent system and stocked away an amazing amount of seeds in the three days. We left it at the mouth of the Two Hearted river in October. Take out day was a rainy windy day on Lake Superior all 5 of us damp and dirty with all the gear and boats load we jump in the truck drive off. Soon as the windows fog I reach over turn the knob to defrost, crank the heat and max the fan and a shower of seeds were ejected from the vents mixed with little bits of foam. It as rather comical.
      The second was after paddling the Manistee River from headwaters to Pine River where I meant some friends to paddle the Pine river after a 12 inch rain storm. Returning 9 days later to my empty parking spot. It was late I was exhausted and my ride was heading past my apartment. The next morning I was able to discover it was towed from that counties dispatch. I found out that they thought it was probably stolen because they could not reach me. When they stopped at my apartment to check on me my neighbor who knew my plans and could have said I was paddling but he was no snitch. He proudly told me how he didn't tell them where I was at or what I was doing. Is that the definition of loyal to a fault?
      I worry about leaving my vehicle every time but really have had minimal problems. I think that as the number of people who will see your vehicle is proportional to possibility of theft. In the middle of no where maybe 5-10 people will even know its there. The odds of finding a bad apple in 5-10 people is very low. Tourist spots with lots of travelers is a thefts paradise. The prey feels safe and let guard down. I spent 6 months traveling solo in Central America, Columbia and Ecuador. Being solo my situational awareness was very high. I could pick the thief's out of the crowd. The predators were generally only around with lots of people or tourists. Their mannerisms and eye movements were predatory. Not sure how else to concisely describe it. Not that that helps with leaving ones vehicle. Something I believe and often traveling/ vulnerability make it clear is that the vast majority of people everywhere are good with positive intentions. Some are desperate some have too much testosterone and an underdeveloped frontal lobe therefore make poor decisions but are still probably decent people. The ones that scare me are the psycho paths and just evil people. Luckily there are very few of those. I am an atheist but sometimes blind faith in the greater good of humanity seems better for my mental health then the alternative. "Trust in Allah but tie your camel." or canoe....


        Up here it is pretty safe, I never had an incident on canoe trips, even on a fly in BIL met a couple at the lake where the plane was picking him up and we were paddling out, the plan was to try and get back to the truck hitchhiking(south canol rd no traffic) so he ask the couple and they agreed to drop the truck on thee way out to our take out location... It was my truck, so when he landed on the lake that afternoon, and he told me that I was WTF.... The truck was parked at the take out when we finished that trip 10 days later!!

        My wife on the other end wasn't so lucky one year. She's an outdoor ed teacher and the left a vehicle at the start of a multi day ski trip and an other vehicle at the hot springs where the trip was ending, so did the trip(3 days) get to the end, her chaperones jumped into the car to go retrieve the truck at the other end to find out that said truck on "blocks" wheels all gone!! It was a government truck....


          We went from Johnsons Xing to Dawson City and left our car in the Walmart parking lot in Whitehorse.
          11 days later we could not find it.
          We had parked it pretty much alone in a corner.

          It was totally buried in RV's. We had to have someone move their RV to extract it.


            I really like paddling the Sacramento River in California in the fall. The king salmon are running, the weather cools off and the river always maintains flows over 5,000 cfs. There are plenty of places to camp, no permits and few people except a few salmon fishermen. But finding a place to park vehicles at the put-in and take out requires vigilance. I am willing to pay someone to watch vehicles for 4 days or so. Sad but true.