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Fool Beach Thieves with These Clever Hiding Techniques

hand stealing womans purse on beach

You’re at the beach and it’s a scorcher. You want to cool off and the water looks rather tempting. But how do you hide your stuff so it doesn’t get stolen?

You’re almost always going to have some kind of valuable with you: keys, credit card, cash, smartphone, e-reader, tablet, etc.

You could nominate someone to stay out of the water to stand guard. But that isn’t always an option, especially if you’re out alone or in a small group.

Buying a house with a private beach? That’s not really affordable or practical.

The first thing you need to do is decide if you really need all or any of that stuff with you. You may be able to pare it down to the essentials and leave super important stuff in your car or hotel room.

If you do leave any valuables in your car, make sure your stuff is hidden out of sight and your car is locked! And don’t try to hide a key on top of your tire.

That said, here are some ways to hide your stuff at the beach to help prevent it from being stolen.

Some of them are clever. Some are really just common knowledge (but still helpful).

Know that none of these ideas is 100% foolproof. Nothing is ever 100% safe, not even if you stay at home. These ideas could help prevent a theft, but cannot guarantee security.

Common Methods

  1. Make friends with the people sitting near you – it will make it that much more likely they’ll speak up if some random person is rummaging through your stuff.
  2. Put your things in a zipper-lock plastic bag and bury the bag in the sand, underneath your towel. It’s also a good idea to safety pin a string between the bag and your towel so you don’t forget it’s down there.
  3. Get a beach safe. It doesn’t take too much effort to find beach safes for sale. They lock right to your chair, cooler or other heavy/hard-to-move objects.
  4. Use a waterproof container. There are lots of these for sale too. The idea is you wear your stuff into the water. Watch out for leaks, though.

More Clever Ways to Hide Your Stuff at the Beach

  1. Book work. Bring a hollowed out book with you. It’s unsuspecting and easily concealed.
  2. Make it look gross. Wrap your belongings in a disposal diaper ( … an unused one). You would ideally crumple it up to make it look like it has been used, though.
  3. Attract LOTS of attention. Decorate your beach bag with loud, bright, gaudy colors and designs. The idea is that it attracts so much attention, thieves will move on to a more subtle target.
  4. Hide it in a ball. You may have heard the tip about cutting a tennis ball open. That’s great, but that’s not nearly big enough for a couple of credit cards, keys, cash, earbuds and a smartphone. A soccer ball? Now we’re talking. Make sure the sliced side is down and leave it in a beach bag or on your chair under a towel.
  5. Fly it. Securely attach a small rip-stop zipper bag to a kite and fly it up in the air. Then secure the string spool to a picnic table or other heavy object. It will most definitely be out of reach of thieves. But … use this one at your own risk since your stuff could just fly away.
  6. Get a container that looks like something else. You can easily find containers for sale that look like sunscreen bottles or soda cans. You could also just clean out an old sunscreen bottle yourself. Also, don’t forget to bring an actual bottle of sunscreen to help prevent sunburn.

Again, none of these ideas guarantee 100% security. If your stuff does get stolen at the beach, or even stolen from your car parked in the beach lot, your home insurance policy (not your car insurance) may be able to help with the loss. Check with your agent or insurance professional about the specifics of your policy.

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