Locking the Bag

#1 Feb 5th, 2012, 01:55
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  • Alexandrr is offline
#1
Hello,

i will be traveling alone and i wonder how to keep my bag safe - especially on the train.

I read somewhere that you can lock it to the bench?! How does this work, does anybody has a picture of that. I cant imagine locking a backpack in such a way that it would be really safe.

Alex
#2 Feb 5th, 2012, 02:01
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#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexandrr View Post ...
I read somewhere that you can lock it to the bench?! How does this work... I cant imagine locking a backpack in such a way that it would be really safe.

Alex
Backpacks are probably inherently vulnerable because you can cut into them so easily.

Have you considered a cable lock? (like this though not a German source here: retractable cable lock or a pacsafe pac? like those here: pacsafe and here like these

We looked at the pacsafe things but they were too cumbersome and heavy for our needs, but we use rollaboards and now we favour hard-sided luggage, which is less prone to being cut.

distaff
#3 Feb 5th, 2012, 02:04
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#3
There are usually chains hanging below the lowermost berth. You just pass the chain through a hoop on the luggage and lock it. You will need to provide your own padlock - but you can buy padlocks in most stations.

The system is more of a deterrent to having your bag snatched. I have not come across any reports of the bag being robbed while it is chained, your fellow passengers will probably catch the thief and thrash him, if they catch him cutting through your pack. Make friends with other passengers on train.
#4 Feb 5th, 2012, 03:01
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#4
If you want to store your pack at a Railway Station left luggage room you need to be able to show that all compartments are properly secured. This is where a Pacsafe and a few cheap padlocks can be useful.
#5 Feb 5th, 2012, 03:20
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#5
I bought a normal chain and padlock and padlocked my bag to the upper birth (my favorite seat). I believe I put the bag through the shoulder straps, of course, if someone really wanted my bag they could take it, but the chain would slow them down. I like the looks of those pacsafe things but they are a bit pricey.
#6 Feb 5th, 2012, 03:32
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#6
I use a cable lock much as #2. I haven't found the left luggage people to be too picky as long as they see locks somewhere somehow. There are also Brit (expensive) made buckles for backpacks that facilitate locking..
#7 Feb 5th, 2012, 03:52
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#7
If you have soft luggage (backpacks, duffel bags or just about anything made out of denier nylon or equivalent), I highly recommend Pacsafe. It is an excellent luggage protection system and very effective anti theft deterrent.

Granted it does not come cheap but it is a good investment for travel. It may also appear to be cumbersome initially ( first few times at the most) but once you get a hang of it, it is a breeze. You do want something complex to deter the thieves. Think of it that way.

Pacsafe is highly recommended for India. And never leave your luggage unlocked or unsecured in a Indian train. You may hear from people that they left it unsecured and nothing happened etc but it is a game of odds. When your turn comes up, you want to be safe than sorry and it can dampen your vacation mood.

I also recommend one of those Rick Steves money bag(you can carry cash, passport, cc's in it) as well as a money belt (split your cash in 2 or 3 different hidden places). Avoid carrying a wallet as it is a pickpocket magnet or if you must, always in front pockets in a jeans type pocket, never in a side pocket.
#8 Feb 5th, 2012, 07:06
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#8
Paras 3 & 4 of #7 bear emphasis. My money is spread out in a half dozen peculiar places. However, I do carry a wallet for ready cash, small bills. Its a decoy complete with out of date & phoney credit cards. Give 'em enough toget on down the road (inspired by a friend who got mugged in Peru down to the skivvies)..
#9 Feb 5th, 2012, 07:15
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#9
My bag is nylon and could be opened with a pocketknife -- but it never has been. I padlock it to the bottom of the lower berth and nobody disturbs it. And ya know, if it was stolen, I'd have to buy a few things -- but there's nothing of value in it. My money belt is around my waist, with my passport and return ticket and cash, etc.
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#10 Feb 5th, 2012, 09:58
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#10
wonderwomanusa's experience is a lot like mine. You want to be generally safe and vigilant, but not paranoid, and the best way to do that is to make sure there's nothing in your bag that you absolutely cannot live without. If losing it would ruin your life, don't take it to India.

You can buy a light chain at most train stations, and while it wouldn't stop someone who really wanted to cut into your bag, it would eliminate the risk of a snatch-and-run. That's generally all it takes, provided you don't leave the bag unattended for hours on end.

I found the best security was to be friendly with my fellow passengers. If I had to go to the bathroom, I knew the nice people in the other seats would notice if someone had been messing with my bag. And, as a rule, people don't mess with other passengers' bags.
#11 Feb 5th, 2012, 10:39
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#11
I always use my backpack as a pillow, with the pockets and openings turned upside down. I think it would be pretty hard for someone to try and take something without disturbing me. Never tried a lock. Maybe my method and a lock would be the safest.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice,bigotry and narrow-mindedness" Mark Twain
#12 Feb 5th, 2012, 10:44
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#12
See under 'similar threads' on this page for more...
#13 Feb 5th, 2012, 11:41
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#13
The great thing about Pacsafe is it is like a steel mesh envelope for your bag so once your bag is enveloped in it, it is pretty hard for someone to cut open your bag and take things out. It is a very effective theft deterrent and intact it is better to use pac safe on your bag even outside the train so thieves and pickpockets cannot unzip your bag. I happen to have a backpack that is also anti theft which has zipper hooks hidden so someone cannot easily unzip it. Use one such backpack along with pac safe for the best security.

As for appearing over cautious or paranoid, it is better to be extra cautious than sorry after the bag is gone. Using your bag as a pillow with it fastened to something and secured with a Pacsafe is the ultimate way to keep thieves away.

If you are taking things like an expensive camera and a laptop (both of which seem pretty standard with most travelers off late) and things like iPods or iPads, better to be safe than sorry. Losing your bag can ruin the vacation for some people and it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth about the whole experience.

Pacsafe, Money bag, a money belt and a strategy to hide your money away in several places should all be on a safe traveler's list.
#14 Feb 5th, 2012, 13:47
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#14
Pacsafe is a good advertisement that there is something worth stealing. But, consider #11's advice. It paid off big time for me on my very first Indian rail journey..
#15 Feb 5th, 2012, 14:18
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#15
And without pac safe or other similar securing mechanism, it is an open invitation for thieves to target your bag. Your luggage might as well scream


And relying on your fellow passengers to guard or look after your bag and trust nothing will happen is mighty daft. Most theft on trains occur when it enters and leaves the station and the thieving people operate as gangs to target unsuspecting travelers and unsecured luggage (easy prey). At the end of the day, it is your bag and you are responsible for it and you have the highest stake in it.

If you secured your bag (which is not exactly theft proof but just a deterrent for thieves to go after easy targets), maybe fellow passengers might notice if someone is operating with bolt cutters or other advanced techniques. But it is unto you to sensibly secure your bags to avoid frustration.
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