Keys to your car ?

Do you take your car keys with you when you yak? I do and keep them in a waterproof container. I was thinking of hiding them on the car but don’t want to take the chance of having them stole. FishHawk

in the PFD
I clip the key into the pocket of the PFD. No need for waterproof - it’s nothing but a key.

In a small dry bag along with my wallet



Some of us
have electronic door locks with the control attached to our key ring. Don’t get it wet. Also, I’m not sure if the anti-theft feature built into my key is water sensitive. I keep mine in a small waterproof pelican box in my PFD.

take off the electronic fob.
I just remove my key and take that along. Or with my VW, (where the remote and key are the same device) I just take the Valet key instead. I zip it into a pocket, or drop it in the bottom of a drybag I don’t plan to open.

Yup, when I’m thinking ahead, I just take the key. This is also how I found out that the passenger side of my Subaru Outback has no key in the handle, only the driver side has a key in it!.

When I’m not thinking ahead, I just put my whole keys in a drybag.


Me 3. Just the key,
Either zipped into the PFD, or some of my shorts have a d-ring in the pocket.

Take it
I put it in a sealable tub that goes into my mostly dry hatch. If I lose my kayak, I lose my key. I don’t paddle places where I’m likely to lose my kayak.

If I am paddling in a place where losing my boat is a possibility, then I put the key (along with my driver’s license and health insurance card) in a mostly dry flat thingy on a tether around my neck. That then gets tucked under my PFD. The tether has a quick release snap so that if the tether gets caught on something when I’m out of the boat, I don’t get strangled. Being strangled will definitely put a damper on your outing.

  • Big D

Not usually
though most of the time I launch from my dock in the canal where my bay house is.

Occasionally I will drive over to the gulf side, and when I do, I put my keys in a little waterproof box I put in my PFD pocket.

car keys and water sports

– Last Updated: Dec-18-08 6:18 PM EST –

I have used a few measures over the last few years. Had a van with clicker to open the doors. Used the valet key without the clicker. On another car with the clicker I used a small "waterproof" bag tied into life jacket pocket. Worked o.k. but some days I saw slight condensation in the bag at the end of the day. My present car is a 07 Rav4. It has a clicker built into the key and all three supplied keys have a ignition chip. Should the key get wet the clicker may be toast. Should water penetrate the plastic cover of the chipped key (looks well sealed) it will fit in the ignition, turn, and the car computer will say wrong key. I used the "waterproof bag with trepidation for a year and again sometimes saw slight condensation.

This spring I thought about keys some more and investigated options. After some confusion over conflicting advice I arrived at a solution that works for me. Had my Toyota dealer make me a non-chipped copy of the chipped key ($5.50). It will unlock the doors but not start the Rav4. I drive it to the launch with the chipped key, stash the chipped key, unload, and then lock my car with the key that needs no protection (tied into my life jacket). On return, I unlock the car with the non-chipped key and recover my regular keys. A bit convoluted but I have no worries about the clicker being damaged or the chipped key not starting my car.


I keep a bare key in my PFD all the time.

When I day paddle my regular keys along with the phone and other junk in my pockets stays in the trunk of the car (after checking the PFD to be sure the key is there).

Am I worried about leaving my keys in the car ? Well, my PFD with it’s key is always in there when I’m NOT on the water, so I guess not.

I also found out the hard way that on a Volvo, if you lock the car with the remote, you can only unlock it with the key in the drivers door or the alarm will go off.

My kayak vehicle is a PU with toolbox
The keys are locked in the toolbox and the key to the toolbox is in my PFD on the lanyard for my Lendal Paddlok…

regardless of where you put your keys, and many of your schemes sound pretty involved, you should have a spare somewhere close by.

after YEARS of running rivers and doing complicated shuttles I have seen keys left in the wrong place OR lost many times. a spare hidden somewhere on your rig is a good eway to insure that you’ll get home w/o a hitch (literally.

Falcon had his clipped to the inside pocket of his PFD only to find that ‘somehow’ they came unclipped and jumped outta his pocket. Had to have a locksmith come down, break in, take the door apart, go home and build him a new key and the next day bring him the new key. $180 and a royal PITA, IMO. VW vanagons suck too!~


Same as others
Leave behind the elctronic fob, locked in the car with house keys etc, and take the key itself with you in a pcoket on your person. Clipped to a D-ring in that pocket even better.

i leave em
Istill live where cars dont get stolen so most people just leave their keys at the cars. Some of the boat launches will have 15+ cars do to fly fisherman and rafters since its a popular area etc.

You never lose your keys if they remain with the car and also if you for some reason cannot return to your car…i.e injury, sick, logistics or whatever …someone else can pick the car up…say another paddle person.

We sometimes leap-frog-car swap with other boaters. Someone will take and move our car and we will move theirs at the end when we get back, that way we both have vehicles at the take out when finished.

Electronic Fob is Part of Key - New Cars
A lot of newer cars no longer have the electronic fob - the electronics are built into the head of the key. This makes for an extremely large key - for a 2008 ford escape, the key measures 3 1/2" long with the electronic part about 1 1/2" x 2"… Needless to say, it is uncomfortable to carry this in a pocket. Also, they are supposed to be kept away from water - if the electronics short out, the car won’t start and the keys are quite expensive to replace. I’ve actually had the key poke holes in dry bags since it is so large…

Personally I don’t like this but the car manufacturers all seem to be headed in this direction as it cuts manufacturing costs. I think this is a mistake, and will only make american cars to much of a PITA for outdoor people to use. Additionally, the cars are getting cheaper - just take a look at roof rack on a newer car, chances are it will be plastic. Apparently they believe noone actually uses the accessories on cars anymore… The same thing with tie-down points, they no longer exist - it is a PITA to have to create tie-down points.

When I had my car serviced at the dealer, they were amazed that I was actually using the roof racks (although they frowned on the fact that I was carrying 2 canoes at a time, due to low weight capacity of plastic roof rails) and liked the tie down points that were fabricated.


Are foreign cars being made the same way nowadays?

What do people do with the newer style one piece keys?

key fob
My car is electric key fob with the key attached. It has a security chip that will only allow the car to be started with that particular key fob. It costs $80 for me to get a replacement key only available at the dealership. I can get the spare “dummy” key that would just unlock the door, but if I forget and try to start the car with it, the cars security system locks down the steering colum and ignition. Then I would have to get the car towed. I put the key in a nagene water bottle with my cell phone. That is attached to my kayak with a caribener.

Darn Honda keys have gotten so
expensive… I take them with me, in a small Watershed bag.

Not anymore!!
I was kayaking with 3 of my gal pals on the Econ in Florida. We found the most awesome rope swing and played around on it for about an hour. As I was going back for another jumped, I realized my keys were in my short pockets. I thought … crap; I need to take these out of here. I wish I had not notice my keys were in my pocket.

I remove them from my pocket and put them in a zipper pocket on my soft-chest cooler. Would have been good of me to zip that pocket up.

A little later, I tipped me and my kayak over laughing at one of my friends. Now the tipping over was no big deal and I’m sure what ever I was laughing about back then was funny.

Now the not so funny part (then) … it’s pretty funny today.

Once we got an hour down river to the end is when I realized - I had no more keys. Yep, me and my keys that was the end vehicle with the trailer for the four kayaks – was SCREWED!

So, I must have a spare back at my house - after 2 hours of trying to find my spare keys - NO!

At 5pm that evening, one of my friends and I paddle back to where I tipped over. There is no way in hell I was ever going to find these keys and my last option was having a tow truck take my vehicle to Mazda and for a lovely $400 I would get a computer replacement key - what the $%^& do we need all this fancy key crap for … oh yea … stupid carjackers.

So we get to the area and I get out of my kayak and begin a perimeter search of the area. I start by laying on my stomach just enough to keep my head out of the water while my friend keeps an eye out on dinner Gators — mmmmMMMMmmmm. I’m sure I looked tasty. I searched with my hands section by section through the grass at the bottom of the river.

After an hour searching (yes and crying), I found a bungee chord of mine, then my needle nose pliers (fishing - duh if you’ve read my other posts) and 20 minutes later - MY FREAKIN KEYS! Yep, can’t believe but true. And, they still worked just fine!

Funnier - 6 months later – found my spares.

Married now – and I don’t loose things anymore. Not allowed in our household – took em’ a bit to retrain me, but it can be done.

Key Necklace
I wear a bare key around my neck while paddling. It stays tucked beneath my clothing.

When paddling WW, I usually end up driving since I have a truck… I make it a point to show everyone that I am wearing the key to the truck… I figure it gives them a little extra incentive to come to my aid should I get into any trouble(or atleast recover my body).