We all do it to support our favorite brands. We plaster our cars with gear stickers. Some stickers are super cool. Some sticker display a message that we want to help spread the word or the good news. But do stickers on your car attract thieves?
How often do we hear stories of car break-ins and our hearts go out to our fellow climbers. Did that vehicle have some gear stickers? We all know that gear is NOT CHEAP. Tents, sleeping pads, ropes, quickdraws, trad gear, pants, and even your Icebreaker undies are all valuable. If your stuff is stolen, your trip is basically over.
So what do you think? Does a sticker on your vehicle make you a target?
Did you know that thieves target cars with gun stickers to burglarize.
Let’s step away from the climbing community for a moment and look at another community: Gun owners. Glock. Smith and Wesson. Ruger. Beretta. Fausti. Armalite. Some firearms logos are very cool and visually appealing, even elegant.
A recent article from the Hampton, Virginia area states: “suspects they’ve arrested have admitted to targeting properties with NRA stickers, military insignia and campaign signs that can tip criminals off to residents’ political values.”
Another story from Charlotte, North Carolina states: “police in the University Division arrested a group of suspects officers say broke into cars specifically looking for firearms. They looked for various gun-related decals and bumper stickers to pick their targets.”
Should you think twice before plastering your car with your favorite gear stickers?
That is really up to you. You know it is very unlikely that your car will be broken into. However, you can do a few things to help make things easier in the rare even that you are a victim of a vehicle burglary.
First, call your insurance agent to find out if your car, renters, or home owners insurance covers theft from your car.
Second, get into the habit of taking pictures of all of your gear before each outdoor trip. This works to keep track of your gear and for insurance purposes if need be.
Third, take a picture of the contents of your wallet and purse. Take a picture of the front and back of all of your bank cards so that you have the customer service numbers handy – just in case you need to report lost or stolen cards. I hope that does not happen to you; but if it does, you will be prepared.
Lastly, lock your doors. Be aware. Stay safe.
Here are some alternative ways to show your support of your favorite gear or outdoor companies:
- When you loan or give a book as a gift, include your favorite stickers as bookmarks.
- Water bottles. You already do this one. Yeah, everybody does this.
- On your mob gear. I use a Sterling Rope sticker to keep track of my rumble roller.
- Guide books.
- Kitchen kit container.
- Route setting bucket.
More thoughts on supporting your favorite gear or outdoor companies.
Get social. Support your favorite gear companies through social media. Write about them. Write gear reviews. Got to their events. Learn how to share on Facebook. Like on Instagram. Learn how to re-tweet.
What are your preferred methods to support your favorite gear companies. Share in the comments below.
Learn a whole lot more about climbing gear and easy repair and maintenance in the HCRBeta Gear Repair and Maintenance Section.
Jason Clements is the founder of and writer for HCRBeta, Hike Climb Relax: How to… Jason has served as the President of the Kansas City Climbing Club where he grew the club from 100 members to 1000 members. He lives in Shawnee, Kansas and also runs the cell phone recycling company, Cells for Cells, which recycles cell phones to raise money for families battling cancer.
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