Ever had someone mess with your base camp while out?

IZZY

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Ok, here is the scenario, you are out on a hunt in a public area, you set up basecamp in what you think is away from prying eyes, you go out to go scouting/start your hunt, you come back to find out that you have had a visitor (the two legged kind that drives a truck and has no respect for other people's property), while you were gone, they have rummaged thru your stuff taken what they wanted/vandalized your basecamp...anyone ever had experience similar to this? how do you prevent stuff like this from happening? or is that just some of the risk you take? And if it does happen to you, what is your next course of action?
 

sk1

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I have not had it happen, however I think it is some of the risk you take, there is no way around it. The best thing you can do is try to get in more of a remote area, away from the trails, etc....and if you've already done this and tried to blend in the best you can, I don't think there is much else you can do.

I left lots of stuff in my tent on my elk hunt this year, there were always things of value in there, and even my spotting scope on some days. Not sure what else you could do other than report it when you get out....I should have camped further off the hiking trail than I did, thankfully I was far enough in I only saw one group of fishermen come through on horseback and was in the area when they did, or else you just never know.

hopefully others have better answers for you, but I just dont think there is much that can be done......I will however keep that in mind a bit more my next time out when selecting my camp location.
 

mtnkid85

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Its never happened to me personally, however I have friends who've had entire packs worth of gear "stolen" while IN the backcountry. Two friends hiked in to a popular area, dropped there packs and instead of setting up camp first, they split to go hit there objective for the day. Upon returning from a long day... One of thier packs was missing. Spent the night with one bag, half a tent and half thier food.

Unfortunatly thieves are everywhere today.
 

a3dhunter

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Never had it happen but I try to position my camp out of the way, and if it isn't then I only leave the basics there.

I hear more and more about things happening though, last season had a guy tell me that when three guys went back to their base camp a couple years ago the whole thing was gone. Come to find out an outfitter had taken it, claimed it was abandoned up there. Some other hunters saw them loading it up and just figured it belonged to them until they ran into the real owners on the trail out and they were complaining about their camp getting taken. They confronted the outfitter and got their stuff back after an extensive "conversation".
 

Pilgrim

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"...anyone ever had experience similar to this?"
Fortunately, I have neither experienced anything like this nor have any second hand stories of the like. I guess those I'm close to and I are lucky.

"How do you prevent stuff like this from happening?"
This question assumes there is a way to prevent it, which I guess is true, but this cannot be assumed in all cases. If your hunting party can afford to leave someone at base camp all day/night every day, the potential for this type of situation virtually disappears. However, unless spouses or elderly go along just for the camping, you're not likely to opt for "base camp shifts." It is probably a good idea is to have a thorough inventory cataloged and photographed for insurance purposes.

"...or is that just some of the risk you take?"
I am pained to admit that I believe it is part of the risk we take. However, thieves also assume their own risks. I'll leave that statement right where it's at.

"And if it does happen to you, what is your next course of action?"
If I am away and return to an obviously pillaged camp, it will be reported as soon as possible with photographic evidence. Hopefully if that ever happens to me I'll have a proper inventory of everything I had at camp.
If I am away and return to a camp in the process of being pillaged... then I pray God's hand is on me and that he will guide my actions. This scenario is precisely one of the most important reasons I carry a sidearm.
 

CrzyTrekker

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This year we were in a remote area for archery season. Did not see another person the whole trip.

During the rifle hunt we packed about one-and-a-half miles out past the trail, maybe two-and-a-half miles from the road. One hunter stumbled upon our camp and spent a lot of time admiring our tipi with stove.

My motivation for getting into the backcountry has nothing to do with thievery, but I take comfort in the fact the average thief is not well trained in land navigation. I do worry a little about my jeep and pretty much strip it down before leaving it at the trailhead.
 

sk1

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now that I think of it....my buddy did have a brand new nice set of expensive snowshoes stolen he left at camp because there wasn't much snow......had them sitting just outside the tent and obviously someone saw them as easy to snag and run and took advantage of their opportunity.

shitty......and the thing of it is, these other people are probably hunters.....which i would like to think hunters wouldnt do that to other hunters, and it gives us all a bad name
 

a3dhunter

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Also talked to a hunter this year who had returned to the kill site of his elk and found a quarter had been untied from a limb in the tree and stolen, him and his buddies had hauled 3 of the quarters out in the first loads. They were about 4 miles from a trailhead when he killed the elk.
How crappy is that? You kill an elk and someone steals your elk meat.
 
OP
I

IZZY

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interesting...reason the topic is crossing my mind is mainly because am new to the whole outdoors thing...years of living in the city and not having anyone that really does the outdoors in your life leads to a 33 yrs old man exploring the outdoors on their own for the first time (minus the forced military bivouacs)...so I took advantage of cyber monday and a couple of other sales, and have been accumulating some gear for next season's hunt. Time to own my own stuff I figured...but as I was doing this, I am picturing in my mind, setting up and going out to hunt, but then the idea crept into my head, someone else watching me, and waiting for me to leave in order for them to have a different kind of shopping experience...the 5 finger discount type...I never go hiking without my side arm, I am good with land nav, and am in good shape, so hiking with gear out for 1-3 miles away from roads is not a problem...it just baffles me that others don't have respect for peoples property...not to mention, the owner of the gear you are stealing might happen to catch you in the act and decide to take justice into their own hands...crazy world...
 

sk1

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it is even more crazy if that person stops to think the people he is stealing from is likely armed in some form, and has no idea where you are....apparently worth the risk to some still

uh yeah, if someone steals an elk quarter from me, they better hope they can hike out without me finding them, that would make me way more angry than any piece of gear I own. If the situation allowed, I would take time to try and look for them, be it getting up high and glassing for someone walking out, or racing back to likely trailheads, I would be actively looking for sure. Take a mans gear that's one thing, take my hard earned elk quarter and that's a kick in the nuts.
 

unm1136

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My dad had two entire tagged mule deer taken from his camp a couple years ago. I tend to stealth camp in a hammock when I can. When I am car camping/hunting, especially with friendsI try to leave a vehicle at the camp. Once there is game in the camp, we try to not leave the camp alone for more than an hour or so. When car camping/hunting I also bone out the animal as quickly as possibe and get it in a cooler, which is locked in the vehicle at the camp. It is a strong arguement for not base camping and basically carrying all your stuff. That said, I will basecamp in the back country until I get my stuff damaged/stolen and then you will see me going UL to make sure my base camp is always with me.

pat
 

Slim Jim

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I backpack pretty deep into the backcountry and away from trails so that has never been a problem but a base camp it always worries me. I have a cabin tent that I have used for years and am now looking for a cab over camper for my dodge ram. I know it's not bulletproof but at least I can lock it up and feel a little safer when sleeping in grizzly country.
 

RosinBag

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IZZY for Arizona hunting down south be much more careful. I have had encounters with several illegals in and around my camp and it took grabbing the nearest border patrol guy to get them out of the area. I don't think it happens to much in other areas of the country, but I am more concerned about my rig getting broke into while at the trailhead and I am gone for 5 to 8 days.

In Arizona, the illegals will take what they can. Here is a picture of the Border Patrol rounding up the guys near my camp....They all scattered with the trucks, but didn't get far when the helicopter came in and corralled them. I only saw 3 near my camp, but there were about 15 total. I would bet they would have taken everything I had if I didn't show up.

DSC01001.jpg
 

JPD350

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I have had my camp robbed in NM and have had things stolen from my truck on other occasions, I agree if someone wants to steal or commit any other crime not much will stop them.

I think it is getting worse because the cost and quality of gear is on the rise and it is extremely profitable and easy to get away with.
 

c5mrr270

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Haven't had my base camp messed with but I did have my backpack stolen last week.
 

Arrowslinger

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In 2000 i took my first solo backcountry trip up in the wasatch front, hunting a basin or two i'd seen some good bucks in. It was the Friday after the opener and i was gonna stay the weekend and see what i could find. Set up base camp in a cool little spot, went out for a quick hunt and came back to an empty camp. I was furious and figured some hippy valley hiker found my crap and packed it all up and headed for the trail head. I was shedding some clothes getting ready to run the bastards down when i took a quick glimpse over the ledge i'd set camp up on. Not sure if it was a bear or the wind, but my tent and all my gear was 50 or so yards down the hill scattered around like a yard sale. I packed up and headed home.

Like others, i'm more worried about my rig being broken in to. Steal my shit in the woods and i will run till i find you.
 

sk1

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In 2000 i took my first solo backcountry trip up in the wasatch front, hunting a basin or two i'd seen some good bucks in. It was the Friday after the opener and i was gonna stay the weekend and see what i could find. Set up base camp in a cool little spot, went out for a quick hunt and came back to an empty camp. I was furious and figured some hippy valley hiker found my crap and packed it all up and headed for the trail head. I was shedding some clothes getting ready to run the bastards down when i took a quick glimpse over the ledge i'd set camp up on. Not sure if it was a bear or the wind, but my tent and all my gear was 50 or so yards down the hill scattered around like a yard sale. I packed up and headed home.

Like others, i'm more worried about my rig being broken in to. Steal my shit in the woods and i will run till i find you.


that's interesting.....not a ton of bears on the front but they are definitely around.......It sounds like it could have been, or else a pissed off hiker?? was anything mauled or scratched up?

the front is an awesome place to hunt, but unless you are in a hard to get to area, and there definitely are a few....I wont leave anything behind, pretty crappy but I just know how much human traffic the front has and you can't trust anyone anymore. i for the most part will trust the few people that happen to see my things in a difficult to get to area, as places like that seem to weed out your shmucks
 

Arrowslinger

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sk1....think it was the wind, but i had my sleeping pad/bag and some extra gear in the tent...must have been a monster wind to snatch that up. I was up one of the cottonwood canyons. Nothing mauled.
 
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