Keys to your car ?

after reading the replies
I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to have three vehicles, none of which have anything electronic associated with the keys. I hope to continue to be able to avoid those with future purchases - though that may be a pipe dream.

Car keys not needed on a paddle,
so my feeling is why take 'em? I hide them somewhere on the vehicle. Used to use the gas door…until prices went over $3 bucks/gal 8>O.

IMHO…No chance of losing them if I don’t paddle with them. If I’m somewhere I don’t trust, I leave fob, bare key clipped into PFD under whistle.

Same as previous poster
I had a plain copy made which will only open the door. We put this one on a foam key float in our dry bag and lock up the electronic one in the van so no chance of ruining it. (I always wonder if the van will be gone when we get back though!!) When we bought this used van at a “ford dealership”, the morons only gave us that one electronic ignition key and refused to make us a copy for free. So we wouldn’t give them another penny! We guard it very carefully! We also have a spare plain one to open the door under the van as the emergency spare.

how about your wallet?
Where to store/carry? I cannot afford to lose because of credit cards, drivers license, phone numbers, etc. If boat were to sink

a wallet?

– Last Updated: Dec-18-08 7:53 PM EST –

who carries their wallet with them paddling, fergawdsakes!? Do you need a paddling license in yer state, er maybe your credit cards if you find a Wal-Mart on the river???

I’m a simple man…
I just clip my keys to my belt loop using a brass clip with a key ring attached. I have gotten the remote gizmo wet a few times, seems to work ok.

As other posters have mentioned, a spare in a magnetic “hide-a-key” thingy hidden up under the vehicle is a must in my book.

Don’t you keep a house key hidden somewhere in case you lock yourself out?

As far as the future of keys goes, it looks dismal. Some new cars have no keys, just an electonic gizmo that you carry in your pocket. Gotta wonder, with a dead battery, can you open up the car, to open up the hood?

My brothers Murano’s back hatch only opens via the remote. Now that’s just a bad idea.

I looked at a used Mercedes that had just this fat, little plastic cube looking thing, that worked like a key, sort of…

I asked the salesman what would happen if I soaked it in salt water for a few hours. His reply “Opps”…

I asked “Is that a $400 Opps?”

He didn’t answer.


Wallet and keys in a small dry bag.
Keep it fastened to a thwart.

Two keys in the dry bag.
I always have one key that will open the door & not start the engine in my small dry bag. (I have long feared locking my key in the car after a cold paddle). In addition, I put my regular key in the dry bag. Never had to use the emergency key.

In a drybag
Got one of those infernal VW electronic switchblade keys – can’t get ‘em wet. So, the keys go in a drybag with my wallet (Never know when you’re gonna need cash to buy lobsters from a lobsterman), and in the hatch in a kayak, and attached to a thwart in the canoe.

Haven’t lost a key in 30 years of doin’ that.

Keep Mine in My Jarvis
Most of my paddle trips are with my bud Jarvis. I had a key made for him. The chances of both losing are remote.

My key come off the Fob and goes in my pfd, or in the case of mountain biking, in a zip pocket of my bike shorts.


Escort - Just put it in my pocket.

Explorer - leave 'em locked in the vehicle, Use keyless entry to get in.

Either in an Otter Box in the day hatch or along with ID in a dry ‘bag’ intended for such around my neck inside my dry suit or at least under my pfd.

I read a bunch of the posts above.
they were all sounding pretty similar. I have keyless entry. I lock the keys in. And my Old Pickup Truck (I miss it, but it has been donated to NPR to help out the station) I just left the key in it. I put it in the weather stripping on the inside of the door. great hiding place.


RE Valet key
My Eddie Bauer Explorer has an anti-theft device, there is no “valet key”. I don’t know if the programable chip in the key is water proof and since it cost $150 to replace, Im not anxious to find out.

I can’t get any dealer or locksmith to make a key without the chip in it. When I show them the key, they say “sorry, you need the expensive one, we can order one for you.” :frowning:

worst case
I’ve done lots of things over the years, but now I’ve settled on a zip pocket in my shorts/pants. If no zip pocket, I use a big safety pin to attach it to the inside of the pocket.

Here’s my thinking on why other places aren’t as good.

Attached to boat - There are several far-fetched but possible scenarios where I might abandon my boat to walk out (get lost and sundown is near, boat gets damaged or trapped under falling tree, crazy locals with guns seem to be after us), and under the stress it’s possible I’ll forget to get my keys before I go.

Attached to PFD - Likewise, if I walk out on a hot summer day I’m likely to leave my PFD in the boat. On bigger water, if I lose the boat, I’ll have the PFD until I’m rescued, but then somewhere on the ride back to shore and catching a ride back to my car, I’ll probably take it off, and I could lose it in the confusion. Also, even if nothing happens to me, I might come across other people in trouble and there are some scenarios where the best thng to do is take off my PFD and throw it to someone in trouble - no time to think about getting out my keys first.

Tied by a string to belt loop, PFD, or anything else on my body - any loose string is an entrapment danger in the turmoil of a capsize and swim. (Note - I do violate this on occasion when I forget the safety pin, if I’m on a small, slow stream like a swamp stream. I use the shortest possible string and tie to the nearest belt loop. Here the risk of entanglement is slight, and it’s better than to have the keys loose in the pocket.)

The basic idea is that, whatever the turmoil of a disasterous trip, the piece of gear I’m most likely to retain all the way back to the car is my pants. So that’s where the key goes.

what the hell

– Last Updated: Dec-19-08 9:13 AM EST –

just leave them in the ignition---that way if somebody has to move the car while you're paddling, they won't have to break in and hotwire it.

You need to carry your wallet when driving to put-in point but don’t want to hide under seat or leave in car where it could be stolen. So you either carry with you in case you find a McDonald’s drive-in on lake/river or hide in car. Many paddling places are remote and vulnerable to break-in.

Eggs in One Basket Department
This post is aimed at those of us with both key-fob and at least one keyed entry point to their vehicles.

I normally put a fob in the Pelican case I use for my cameras. But I also keep a key on a lanyard about my neck (no lectures please - I always wear a shirt when paddling so entrapment is minimized).

I also tend to put the key-on-lanyard around my neck when I am out of town, as I was last weekend. I had not gotten around to taking it off and storing it in the console and yesterday after reading this thread I stopped at the store on the way home. I locked the door with the fob, but when I returned with the groceries the fob was dead. Lucky for me, the spare key was at hand.

I bought my car two years ago this January. It had been built almost a year earlier. If you put all of your trust in one electronic device, and it fails, you may be up the creek.

Redundancy is good.


issues with making extra key
I left this out of my post above to keep it shorter.

When I decided on having a chipless key made to use as described above, Lowes keymaker refused to make me one and told me using one would destroy the car’s computer. I didn’t intend to use it to start the car but had to check out the story as my old brain could allow me to use it that way inspite of not intending to do so. I asked my Toyota dealer about the “trash the car’s computer story” and they said nonsense, we doing it all the time-do you want us to make one now? I did-they did-the computer works-so for a 2007 Rav4 the trash the computer story is a folk tale.

Can’t say anything about chipless keys destroying the computer in other cars. There may be one where it’s true although that manufacturer is asking for trouble by allowing that to be the case. Check out the situation on your car with your dealer.