Q. I would like to hike while boondocking in southwest Utah, but I'm a little hesitant to leave my popup unattended, as they are easy to break into. Ideally, the site would be shielded from the highway, but I'm still worried. Can you recommend a well shielded dispersed campsite anywhere off the 89 or 9 and even the 12 highways in Utah where I would feel comfortable leaving my tent trailer unattended?
The Frugal Shunpiker's Guide to Utah lists about a dozen excellent boondocking locations on those routes. We feel just as comfortable leaving our camper van in those sites as we do when parked at any trail head or public parking lot. But everyone has to determine their own comfort level.
Although a canvas popup may feel more vulnerable, in truth, any unattended RV or vehicle is pretty easy to break into. Friends of ours never lock their trailer because, if they are robbed, they won't also have damage - a broken lock, door, or window to deal with.
Here are a few thoughts that may help ease your mind:
Thieves don't want to encounter you. Hike from the campsite if you can, leave your vehicle there and no one will know whether you are actually inside your pop-up or somewhere nearby and within view of it.
Stow valuables such as electronic devices out of sight (in the trunk of your car especially if you're driving away from your camper).
If it's not possible to camp out of sight of the road, try to camp within view of others or close to the road - thieves don't want an audience.
What are the odds that one of the dozen cars that bumps down that dirt road in a day will be someone looking for a deserted camp that may or may not exist or have anything of value in it?
Do you think a thief would bother with a tent they encounter in the wilderness? What's likely to be in it? A popup is probably the next least-likely camper to hold a treasure trove of electronic goods or silverware and jewelry. On the other hand, a $100,000.00 45-foot shiny diesel pusher RV? Hmmm....now THAT might be worthwhile breaking into!
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