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 Camera cases and general security

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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Camera cases and general security   Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:56 am

In another section Chally had posted that he had bought a long storage box for his Oztent to go on his roofrack. My reply was:-

Result! It also has the added advantage of not having Oztent written all down the side. 'Advertising' that you have an expensive tent on your roof isn't a great idea when parked in the docks area of Marseille.

This reminded me of a story that happened to a bloke I once knew. There were about six of us off-roading in Russia, so whilst there we decided to visit the city of St Petersburg. We said to this guy before we set off that we thought it was a bad idea him taking his camera bag as it had CANON in big letters on it. Well, it doesn't take a genius to work out what happened next.

On the underground he was mugged by a gang of about 20 men. Although a big bloke well able to take care of himself given the right odds, they still easily shoved him off the train just as the doors were about to close. Fortunately I clocked what was happening and quite literally dived over their heads, grabbed him and with my other mates dragged him back in as the doors were closing ... SAFE!!!

Moral of the tale? Never advertise 'goodies' to potential thieves. Ever since then I've never carried a camera bag, instead I bought a material 'bum-bag' in Kuala Lumpur which I strap around my waist so the camera and spare batteries sit quite happily in my sight at all times. It's also very handy as it leaves both hands free for hanging on to vehicles crossing rivers and taking a shot at the same time ... or other daft things. My passort and driving licence also stay with me at all times zipped up in my trousers.

As for cash and credit cards, if in a dodgy area abroad I will have a cheap material money belt strapped around my waist. However, this only contains a couple of low denomination back notes and a couple of plastic cards for petrol station point schemes. If ever in serious trouble (i.e. at knifepoint or a gun pointing my way) I would quite simply undo the belt, hand it over and RUN!!!! As long as you can still retain your passport, that is the main thing. With a money belt in their sticky hands, that I reckon would do the trick.

That said, most places abroad are a whole lot safer than the UK, but you still have to be wary. With a little planning, it can save a whole heap of grief. cheers

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4x4overlander
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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:24 am

Hence my comments re dummy wallet!

A 'standard' camera can be worth more then a whole years income abroard

Brendan
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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:17 am

One major problem with most of the British abroad is that they often stand out for a variety of reasons, and the typical image of the drunken British holiday maker with the union jack shorts or Tee shirt on immediately springs to mind, so simply dressing appropriately to the conditions is a simple way to blend in and become less conspicuous. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid being targetted by criminals abroad, and often one of the cheapest.

Simply conceling cameras under a coat leaves it invisible and easy to use, but the most obvious precaution is to remain observant and remain alert, in many bustling markets of bazzar's it is easy to be targetted and folowed, simply using shop glass as mirrors helps greatly. In addition it is wise to remain with other people, either as a group or where there are always other people passing, and if possible it is always wise to hire a local guide if in an unknown area. Guides are local people with local knowledge and often know the criminal gangs, their tactics, and how to avoid them; in addition they will speak your, and the local language and be a great asset if things do go wrong by acting as translators.

Secure clothing is now readily available, or even possible to make, internal pockets can house documentation or larger denominations of cash, leaving only small amounts in the normal pockets for normal use, although it is a little inconvenient having to go into a toilet to transfer cash it is a small price to pay for security. lol!
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:30 am

4x4overlander wrote:
Hence my comments re dummy wallet! Brendan
Where do you think I got the idea of "a couple of plastic cards for petrol station point schemes"? From you! As I never carry a wallet (too bulky) I came up with the money belt idea, but the contents were I have to say down to you. Plastic is plastic at a quick glance, so it makes perfect sense.

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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:29 am

Many people ignore vehicle security and often treat it as an afterthought, and many do not realise the poverty in many parts of the world in which they may travel, so vehicle security should be considered, and not as an afterthought, but as an issue in its own right.

Walk around your vehicle and think like a criminal or poverty stricken people in a poor country and see what can be stolen from your vehicle, and how easy it may be to steal.

External fittings:

Alloy wheels are fitted to many countries vehicles, but they are also not fitted to vehicles in many markets as steel wheels are cheap, durable, and easily repaired, so are an obvious target to many criminals. If your vehicle has wheel locks then use them, and also purchase a second set of a different type from an aftermarket supplier so you have two different types fitted to each wheel, criminals may have the tools for manufacturer supplied wheel locks, having two different types means it is virtually impossible for them to steal them quickly and easily, so is a useful deterrent.
Do not forget the spare wheel, fit one or two to the spare/s as this will make them easier to secure and harder to steal, and ensure a locking wheel cover is fitted.

Roof racks and top boxes are easily accessible and removed from many vehicles as they use cheap screws which hold them in position, especially the clamp type, replace these with cheap high tensile security screws which are readily available and require a special tool to tighten/untighten them. If the thread protrudes you can get cheap shear nuts which can be screwed and tightened onto the protruding thread for additional security.
Shear nuts are ordinary nuts with a hexagon and rounded portion, they are screwed on and tightened in the normal manner but at a pre-determined torque the hexagon portion shears off leaving just the rounded portion in position.

Carriers and swing type carriers can be prone as they are often used for fuel cans or spare wheels, again they are easily removed by knocking out the hinge pins so secure them with a blob of weld, ensure they are able to be locked closed with another locking mechanism, caravan type hitch locks are ideal. Fuel cans are vulnerable in many parts of the world, many will knock a hole through them and drain out the fuel, or open the filler spout and syphon the contents out.
Simply covering in the open side, sides, and bottom of the carrier if they are the open frame type, with sheet steel will help protect against this type of theft, as will covering the filler spout with welded sheet steel so it cannot be opened while it is in the carrier.

Look around your vehicle, what can you see inside? whatever you can see a thief can also see, a simple rock through the window and several hands grabbing will quickly remove considerable quantities of your goods.
Window films are popular, many are now the security type which are remarkable resistant to such attacks, so fit some, it is easy and cheap to fit and will help prevent such attacks. Many now come as tinted or clear, tinted is better for rear windows, clear for front door windows.
If you have boxes then use them, likewise any load covers as these will help prevent prying eyes seeing what you are carrying, if you have internal cupboard space, then use it, simple cam locks can be quickly and easily fitted to doors, and offer more security while travelling.
If your vehicle does not have deadlocks fitted then fit them, they are cheap to purchase and easily installed, and another cheap insurance, especially when used in conjunction with window security film.

Older type vehicles were not designed to be security conscious, it is there simplicity and ease of repair which makes them known to most people around the world, this is their achillees heel, everybody knows them, and most are easily stolen. Here it is necessary to ensure your vehicle security is as bespoke as possible as older vehicles have windows which are held in by rubbers, and easily and quickly removed without trace.

If you have such windows they are readily and easily secured, while you have them out for fitting window security film you can secure them easily and cheaply, when installing the glass back into the rubber simply apply rubber adhesive to the inside of the rubber, this will bond the glass to the rubber. Install the entire assembly back into the vehicle, and while it is clean simply apply adhesive by peeling back the rubber and apply it to the window frame and the window rubber.
This will bond the glass to the rubber, and the rubber to the vehicle, use a rubber based adhesive such as Evo Stik or Bostick as this works well.

Watch them try to remove a window now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On the inside of the vehicle you can apply some mesh, weldmesh is readily available in 1" X 1" and can be simply cut and fastened in to the inside of the windows with simple clips, with tinted security film, bonded in windows, and weldmesh the vehicle is extremely secure, and criminals will not see the internal mesh through the tinted windows unless they specifically look. This alone is a useful deterrent.

Secure any bonnet or boot openings, many can be popped as they are exposed, and many are opened from the outside of the vehicle. Fit an internal opening kit which are readily available and cover the mechanism with sheet steel to prevent people popping them open with a screwdriver from under the vehicle.
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:04 am

Some great tips there, especially about older windows as they are often overlooked. clapping clapping clapping

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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:14 am

Continued:

Internal security is another issue which begins with installing a quality alarm system, and not one of the very basic cheap alarms with the flashing light, so what features should people look for in a quality alarm.

Alarms should have volumetric protection so that if a vehicle is accessed it sounds, in addition it should isolate the engine in at least two areas, in a diesel engine it should isolate the diesel pump fuel shut off valve, in a petrol engined vehicle it should be the ignition circuit, and in both is should isolate at least one other function. This is to prevent the vehicle alarm being easily bypassed by more determined thieves who may resort to such measures.

Alarms should have a number of additional "ports" which allow a number of circuits to be monitored, this should be both front doors and the rear door, and the bonnet as a minimum, better systems will allow all four doors, rear door, and bonnet to be monitored. If the vehicle has electronic control systems such as an engine managent system, isolating this at two points is preferred by using an additional alarm port.
Many of the better alarm systems have an inbuilt back up battery, this ensures the system works irrespective of the state of the vehicle battery/batteries, so it is a necessity, and one with it built into a seperate sounder is more beneficial as it will sound even if all the alarm wires are cut and the sounder is isolated.

Battery isolation systems are readily available cheaply, the most effective is a special clamp which fits to the battery and has a plastic knob which attaches the large power cable, this simply unscrews and allows the main power cable to be removed, and it has a thin bypass wire which is fused. The thin bypass wire allows vehicle systems such as alarms or clocks, and even powered systems such as radio memory functions to be supplied with power while the system large power cable is disconnected, yet if someone enters your vehicle and tries to starts it, it blows the fuse and the thin cable. To start your vehicle you simply lift the bonnet, install the large power cable onto the pin, and screw the knurled knob which was in your pocket and start as normal.

Fuel shut off valves are readily in both electric and mechanical types, they fit anywhere in the fuel feed line and are manually switched for electrical types, or key switched for manual types, but manual types are better. Install them in the vehicles fuel line, and cut a hole on the vehicle floor above the valve, and a flap in the carpet so it, and the floor flap can be lifted, put the key in and switch it on or off as required, and it cannot be seen.

Vehicle safes are a good idea, but what happens if you are involved in an accident, or your vehicle has a fire? one simple tip is the marine grab bag, this is simply a bag with all the necessary emergency equipment you need if you have to jump ship rapidly. A variant of this is to store all your valuables in one bag in your vehicle safe, if you are involved in an accident or incident you simply grab the bag and have all your essentials to hand.

Some simple driving measures can be employed, if you are parking up park the vehicle up to a brick wall, reverse up and get so close nobody can get to your rear door to steal off your carriers, or if there is a corner of a wall let your passenger out and park close to the wall, then back up, this protects one side and the rear of the vehicle.
If there are two or more vehicles the same tactics can be deployed, reverse both vehicles up to one another, it protects both vehicles rear doors and carriers from attack, and you can do this with as many vehicles as you have in your group. If there is a convoy you can park in a block formation, park two vehicles back to back, then two more back to back, but close to the first two vehicles so their sides are protected also.

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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:36 am

Alternatively, form a circle and break out the Winchester's! Laughing

Nah, gotta say, sound advice again. So often there is a choice of reversing up to a wall or tree yet for some strange reason and folk elect to park where all asides are accessible ... really can't figure it out? Driving Range Rover Classics for years I know this only too well as the top tailgate lock is about as much use as a mini door lock from the 1960's, virtually any key can open it ... chocolate fire guards spring to mind!

If nothing else, as a temporary measure slipping an important bit of paperwork under a carpet or even a rubber mat is better than nothing, anything to prevent something being lifted that would be a disaster to lose. Myself, I have always found myself a little hideaway somewhere in a vehicle behind a piece of plastic trim that I stash a £20 note and a couple of fivers. It's always somewhere that would be impossible to find unless a tea leaf decided to quite literally strip the interior, so this in conjunction with a spare door/ignition key cable-tied to the underside of the vehicle would get you out of most sticky situations such as being mugged and having all your cash/cards/keys/phone robbed; common sense really.

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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:50 pm

Tom:

You know what they say about common sense, it is not that common.
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Tom Mc
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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:07 am

Tis true. No

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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Mon Mar 14, 2011 1:31 pm

Most of the stuff in my landie is either thrown in, or in see-through cheapo plastic boxes. The way I see it, they can clearly see there is nothing of any value...unless they are particularly hungry or thirsty!

I have a battery isolator...locks on bonnet and jerry cans, stuff on the roof is a pain to get off and of no value. I have waffle boards bolted over the side windows so no quick access there...a guard between the cabin and the back of the vehicle. I also have a GPS tracker fitted so I would be able to track them up to the point they managed to turn it off. I guess I could put a guard over the rear window...but guards over the front side windows would be a bit silly on a series landie, if they really wanted they would smash the windscreen instead.

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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:38 pm

As seen in previous pics i have posted, everything is in the Ali boxes in the rear.( GPS CB taken with us if we leave truck parked up) we also leave the sides rolled up and 2 Jack Russells in the back Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:27 am

Assassin wrote:
Tom:

You know what they say about common sense, it is not that common.

Common sense dies some time ago. I have his obituary.

mike
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PostSubject: Re: Camera cases and general security   Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:06 pm

as do all the other watches from IWCa screw-down crownAny person who is buying Portugal "Lawrence Sports Community Foundation Edition" automatic watch designer karen millen 48-hour power reserve
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