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Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:06 pm
Be careful leaving vehicles unattended in habitat, even in what seem to be remote places with nobody around. Just had this email from a friend in Argentina:-
"Car broken into in Marayes. Left it for 20 mins to see if P. bulbocalyx in flower, returned to find window smashed and cameras, lenses, phones, sat nav, my iPad plus all the usual camera gear gone. Saw the guy speeding away on his motorbike but unable to catch/find him.
Back to basics now travelling round Argentina just with maps!! The car window could not be fixed so have a smaller drivers window which means we do not want to leave the car. Problem with Hilux is there is nowhere to hide gear and you can't take everything with you in the field. Fortunately wife carries passports with her but ALL car documents taken."
Posted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:55 pm
Guidance is never to leave valuables on display in a car. Unfortunate though if there is no other storage space. You can't take everything with you every time you leave the vehicle. I suppose if you're using a hire vehicle you need to ensure that there is adequate out of sight storage.
Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:59 am
Yes we used a couple of Suzuki Grand Normandie's in Chile. They were hatchbacks, but as soon as the back is closed things in the boot are out of site. A lockable boot is certainly an advantage to keep things out of sight, just as in the UK.
Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks seem to find favour in S. America and are freely available since they deal with rough country well, though the Suzuki's took some hammer over rough ground without complaining.
Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:21 pm
Sounds like good advice in London or elsewhere in UK. Point being?
Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 8:42 pm
Point being, even if you think you are in the back of beyond and you have not seen anyone for days it does not mean people are not around, or may soon be coming. He had been to S. America about 10 times, but this time got robbed.
The problem is you often have to leave the vehicles near the road or track and climb, so even if the vehicle is in sight you may not be able to scramble back in time, you still have to treat the vehicle and it's contents as if it was in the middle of a city and always carry your important papers like passports and some money with you, even if in a money belt.
Posted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:59 pm
More or less a happy ending, my friend just got back before the New Year and emailed me.
"We got a nice New Years present yesterday. All or most of our stolen goods have been recovered in Argentina. Sadly the same day as we left Chile so I have to return asap to collect what there is. From the photo sent camera, lenses and iPad are there but no diaries and the smaller GPS stuff is not obvious.
Will fly back late February to collect."
Posted: Tue May 15, 2018 10:14 pm
Sorry but leaving that much kit in a vehicle unattended is just plain stupid in absolutely any country.
Either take it with you in a backpack or leave it locked in a safe at the hotel. I agree with ragamala, leaving it in the car is stupid in itself, but on view is not something you should even do in this country.
Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:49 am
Problem is with the pickup type vehicles many hire since there is no boot to hide stuff out of sight in. Most essential stuff was left at the hotel and passports and money etc were always carried on the body. However it was mainly camera, GPS and computer equipment being carried to find and record the habitats and plants. A lot depends on the country, but if you are climbing steep hills in the heat, often with loose surfaces, you don't want to always be lugging all the cameras, alternative lenses and tablets etc with you up every hill even as a backpack.
Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 2:31 pm
You don't need to tell me Dave, I go diving and so definitely can't take my iPad, land camera, and GPS underwater with me
If I need to record anything, i.e. doing a SeaSearch survey for the MCS I do so on a waterproof slate and write it up when I get back. I'd suggest if you're not taking the camera kit into habitat to not take it at all, and if you can leave an iPad in the car to write stuff up on, you can leave it at the hotel just as well. Take a paper notebook and pencil.
When we leave a vehicle on the beach whether here in the UK, or in foreign states, 1st world, or 3rd world, we work on the principle that it doesn't stay in the car unless it's expendable. If we can't take it underwater with us, it doesn't come at all, or we accept it's replaceable (like the 10 year old white t-shirts, with holes in that I wear when I get out the water to protect myself from the sun - if someone wants to steal a smelly old rag, or an empty coke bottle filled with tap water, go for it).
Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 5:06 pm
He took notebooks containing his trips listed in them which were written up at the time before eventually putting them on computer. They stole the notebooks too and evidently later must have thrown them away as of no value, so he lost his notebooks although the police got back the laptop and tablets. Evidently they just snatch any bags etc and sort out what is of value to them later. He put more value on his notebooks he had compiled all those years than the computer itself, but of course out in the field information can be searched for quicker on the computer when finally entered than trying to page through notebooks or reference books.