How to avoid dropping your phone (and other accidents) outdoors

February 11, 2015

It’s all very well having a great day out in the countryside, but it’s easy for accidents happen, such as dropping your phone into a stream or onto some rocks. What if you lost your car keys? Here’s a few items that can help…

How to avoid your phone getting wet

When you are outdoors, it’s all too easy for expensive electronics to get ruined.

Climb a style and your phone could smash on the stoney ground…and you can only image what could happen to it when using stepping stones across a stream.

Whilst destroying your phone can be annoying, inconvenient, and potentially expensive, losing your car keys could have more serious consequences, especially if you’ve come back from some activity and your family is cold and wet, and just want to get home. Even worse, what if you are parked somewhere remote with no way of contacting anyone?

You won’t be Mr. Popular.

Here’s a few things that can help avoid losing things such as your car keys when doing outdoor activities.

To Keep It: Zip It or Clip It

Hidden zipped pockets on craghoppers trousers
When going out camping or hiking, I’ll wear some outdoor trousers.

Now they may not be to everyone’s taste, but you’re more likely to survive in these than jeans (which are notorious for helping bring on hypothermia when wet), bit they have another useful feature: They come with lots of pockets, and usually one or two have zips.

It’s simple. If you don’t want to lose it, put it in a pocket with a zip and zip it up.

We have a lot of craghoppers trousers (pictured) that always come with a lot of useful pockets. (These are my Classic Kiwi Trousers and have been great. They have two zipped pockets as well as 7 other pockets.)

Endura cycling shorts with pockets so that you don't loose things
It’s not just walking trousers either that have zips. I have a pair of cycling trousers that also come with zipped pockets so your keys don’t fall out when cycling up and down hills.

My endura cycling shorts (pictured) are also padded, making the ride a lot more comfortable. 😉  

Key clip in backpack
Another place to keep your keys or phone is in your backpack.

Many bags have a key clip making it easy to find your keys without having to rummage through your bag.

Of course, you could accidentally leave your bag somewhere, but that’s less likely to happen than something falling out of a pocket when doing outdoor activities.

Splish, Splash, Splosh

So you’ve solved the issue of keys or other valuables falling out of your pocket, but what if you are doing water activities (or anything near water), and your keys, phone, or wallet fall in the water (or you fall in, and your stuff goes with you!)?!?

We used to have floating key rings ‘back in the day’. These were basically large foam blocks that you’d attach to your keys so if they fell out of your pocket whilst doing something like sailing (where you may not be wearing a wetsuit), then you could just fetch them out of the water.

Small aquapac dry bag we use when canoeing
Unfortunately, car keys usually have an electric lock these days, so you don’t want to get your keys wet at all.

One solution is to use a dry bag.

When we go canoeing I place keys, phone, wallet in a ziplock bag, which then go inside a big dry bag.

You can get small dry bags that you can attach to your belt, such as this one from aqua pac (pictured) that’s designed to keep your phone or camera dry.

A dry bag inside the pocket of these craghoppers trousers
Craghoppers decided to combine both trousers and a dry bag.

On another pair of craghoppers trousers I bought there’s a dry bag inside one of the large pockets (pictured). Perfect protection if you are stuck in a downpour. (These are the Nosilife Cargo Trousers).

Things that go bump in the night

It’s not always a case of actually losing things; sometimes you just cannot see them.

Life Systems Glow Marker used in our tent
Fortunately this handy little glowing tag from Lifesystems may be the answer.

The Lifesystems Glow Marker can be attached to all sorts of things. We’ve used this on the car keys in the tent, though as we’ve never had to grab the keys in an emergency in the middle of the night (thankfully), we might start using the glow tag on a torch.

Finally, if in doubt, don’t take it

Some activities are just plain difficult to take things with you (surfing for instance). However, there is one solution: leave things behind, including your keys.

Frostfire Mooncode Car Key Safe
Using something called a key pod, you could bolt your keys in a combination safe hidden somewhere under your car for example.

This sort of device has been used for years in the surfing and other outdoor communities. (View on Amazon).

So there you go. Common sense really.

Photo Credit: Peter Kemmer, CC 2.0

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Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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