How to Secure Bikes When Camping? [6 Ways to Properly Secure a Bike]

A bicycle is a significant investment, so you want to keep it safe. Here are some tips on how to secure bikes when camping.


6 Ways to Secure Bikes When Camping

1. Keep your bike in plain view

If there’s nothing to secure your bike to, you can just keep it near your tent or sleeping area. One of the bike’s wheels should be under the flysheet so that you can stop a would-be thief from stealing your bike.

2. Bicycle tent

Enclose the bike in a garage or storage tent to protect it from various elements and keep it dry. A storage tent keeps the bike safe while you rest in your own tent.

You can also chain your bikes together for your peace of mind. Store your bike with noisy items such as saucepans. This way, you will notice immediately if your bike is being tampered with.

3. Coordinate with the campsite

Campsites may provide an area for storing bikes. Some campsites have bike racks where you can chain your bicycle.

You can access your bike easily when you need it and keep it safe when you’re not using it. The campsite may charge a small fee, but you will get peace of mind in return. You can relax knowing that your bike is safe from thieves.

5. Place the bikes into a combined nest

If you’re bringing 2 or more bikes, you can chain them together and secure them to a stationary object. This will prevent evildoers from unlocking and stealing your bike. A lot of campsites offer such facilities. In case they don’t, you can just chain your bike to some railings nearby.

6. Use locks

You can use a lock to secure your bike when camping. There are various kinds of locks to choose from in the market.

Cable locks are ideal for low-risk areas because they are affordable, easy to carry, and lightweight. It can also stretch around telephone poles or other bulky things. However, cable locks are easily cut through by a resolute thief.

You can also get a dog anchor screw. It’s ideal for wild camping and tenting as you can screw it into the ground when you can’t find a tree to secure the bike to. A dog anchor screw is widely available and affordable, but it’s bulky and heavy.

Another option is the wheel skewer, which prevents wheels from being stolen. It’s easily fitted and always on the bike. The best thing about it is that it weighs almost nothing and it’s also very affordable. However, a thief could easily lift your bike and walk away with it.

That is why you should be careful when choosing a lock for your bike. A keyed cable lock is a good option. Here’s what you need to consider when choosing a bike lock.

  • The cable must be thick enough to withstand attempts from a thief.
  • The cable lock should be long enough to wrap around the rear tire, bike, and the tree or object you’re going to secure the bike to. Longer cables are heavier than shorter ones.
  • Consider the kind of key used in the bike lock. Choose a lock with a real metal key because it’s more durable.

Aside from choosing a lock, it would help if you also considered where you’re going to secure the bike. Here are some possible options.

How to lock up bikes while camping?

You can lock up your bike using the below options to secure it while camping.

1. Trees

The tree should be tall enough that a thief won’t be able to lift your bicycle and lock over the top of the tree.

It should be thick enough that it can’t be easily kicked, uprooted, sawed, hacked down or kicked. Don’t lock your bike to a tree that’s less than 5” or 6” in diameter. Secure your bike around the tree trunk.

2. Poles

You can also secure your bike to a pole. The pole should be tall enough that a thief won’t be able to lift your bike and lock it over the top of the post and run away with it. Secure your bike to a pole that’s at least 10’ tall or even taller.

The pole should be thick enough that it can’t be easily smashed to bits or cut. You don’t want to lock your bike to a flimsy pole and give thieves a chance to steal it.

The pole should be set in the ground as well. It should be firmly set in the ground so that it can’t be easily lifted out by anyone.

3. Picnic Tables

You can lock the bike around the center of the table. Make sure that the lock can’t be easily lifted over the edge of the picnic table.

Choose a picnic table that is set in the ground. A would-be thief won’t be able to move a table with 2 bikes attached to it. Place your tent near your bike so that you can monitor your bicycle at night.


What if there are no trees, bike racks, or posts at the campsite? You can lock your bike around the tent poles. If someone tampers with your bike, you will notice it right away. You can also store your bike on the rear rack or roof rack if you’re traveling by car.

If you have a trailer with insurance, a normal bicycle lock will do. Use a strong padlock and cable to secure your bike to your car. Get a padlock and cable that match your needs and budget.

If you have an RV and you want to bring your bike, you should consider using a bike rack as well. You can attach the bike rack to the roof or spare tire bar to keep it in place.

The average bike rack can hold 2 to 4 bicycles. You can also store your bicycle in the cabin and secure it with ties or cables. The best thing about this method is that it doesn’t require any extra equipment.

Many campsites offer security for bicycles such as bike sheds and steel bike racks. Don’t leave anything that can be stolen like a pannier, seat, and the rear and front wheels included.

You may think that your bicycle will be safe all the time and that everyone on the campsite is honest. Taking precautions is important, especially if you are an avid cyclist.

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