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Making TB bags supersecure

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    #16
    When I travel, I carry the bulk of my money, my passport, travel docs, etc. in a money belt that goes under my clothing. Because my travel pants have secret pockets, I'm able to put my credit cards there for easy access.
    I put about $20 (or the equivalent in whatever country I'm in) in the purse, so I can purchase small items without having to dig into the money belt. At restaurants, I excuse myself to go to the restroom and pull out the needed money.
    My travel purse is made out of recycled tires. If a thief's knife can cut through that, s/he deserves whatever money is in my purse. The worrying aspect of my purse is the strap. It's made out of a thin, cordura like material. If I could, I'd replace it with something more useful.
    Pickpockets are everywhere, including one's hometown. Fortunately, my regular purse is made out of recycled tires and has a wood bottom. Also the strap is made out of washing machine tubing.
    Onebag.com has some useful information on the benefits of the money belt in comparison to other methods of carrying one's money.
    The opinions expressed do, in fact, represent the opinions of the government--its Congress, Supreme Court, and President--as well as the United Nations and its representatives; because, let's face it, I have that kind of power at my disposal.

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      #17
      I confess I've only ever used a moneybelt once and don't take special precautions when I travel other than leave at home all the cards, ids, and other stuff I don't need to carry in my wallet. But then I grew up in Brazil where I have learned to watch out for pickpockets and the like.

      as for pickpockets with sharp knives... can't worry too much about it. I just make sure I always have my bag in front of my body.

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        #18
        Originally posted by falconea View Post
        have a small wallet in a pocket with one (invalid) credit card and a bit of cash for the pickpockets to have.
        That's a good idea. I usually keep my credit cards separate from my cash and always have a bit of cash in a pocket in case I'm confronted by someone. I'm not afraid of pickpockets but I often think of what to do if someone actually confronted me. So I keep a small wallet with cash that I can give pretending it's all I have...

        I've only ever been robbed once and as far as robberies go, it was a good one since they pulled out my wallet and went through it, pulling out and throwing on the ground all the credit cards, IDs and the like and taking only the cash. So we didn't lose much and there was no hassle afterward. Oh, and they did check to see if we had a moneybelt

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          #19
          I must admit I don't use a moneybelt. I find them akward and not very comfortable. I keep saying I am going to give it another try but don't. I ussualyl use a wallet with a chain attached and I push the chain down into my pocket. Not sure how safe it is but it gives me a bit of a sense of security. I never carry my passport with me only copies, I leave them in the room.

          I do like the idea of using a fake wallet though...but if they see my chain its a given. so I would have to switch to using another method if I was going to do that.

          Security is always a hard one with many different thoughts.

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            #20
            Deep front pockets and a thin wallet do the trick for me. I can put my hands in my pocket in a crowd if needed. I figure anyone interested will move on to an easier target. Plus a money belt would be conspicuous on me since I have a smaller build.

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              #21
              Originally posted by stan01 View Post
              Plus a money belt would be conspicuous on me since I have a smaller build.
              YES!! This is EXACTLY my thing with money belts. I love the idea, and they work for other people (example: my mother), but they are SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE and VISIBLE on me (things will poke me when I sit down, and/or bulge out, even when I'm not sitting.. talking about even only my passport, not even going into credit cards, money, etc.. I've tried moving it around on my waist, with even worse results)

              Thankfully (?), I've yet to travel to a country where I would be too obviously a tourist (this presents its own problems when they take you for a local, but you only know the language up to a 1st-2nd grader's level)... so I usually copy what I see the locals do (which in the east Asian countries seems to be to not care, and just stick the wallet in your backpack/handbag/back pants pocket)

              Of course I split up all my essentials between at least three different locations, so that if the others are gone/compromised, I can still get home/get help/continue traveling with the essentials contained in the remaining location.

              Sure, you can get mugged when you're not traveling too, but it's usually much more of an inconvenience when you're abroad.

              Originally posted by bluedenim
              Security is always a hard one with many different thoughts.
              I wholeheartedly agree. Sometimes being too secure makes you more of a target!!!

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                #22
                I'm kinda sold on moneybelts. On my first trip to Europe in the 70's I had the misfortune to be traveling with someone who fell victim to the 'Italian scooter-thief' on our second day in Rome. The shoulder strap on her purse didn't break, so she was dragged into the street, and it was a major hassle to replace her passport... she quit laughing at my moneybelt somewhere between the police station, the clinic and the Embassy. I've even used a moneybelt at home in Seattle - usually for big events like the hydro races, or parades, or other places with lots of people and lots of jostling.

                But they can be hot, even the silk ones. For some people, they do show up no matter what. There is another option. Go to www.saf-t-pockets.com and look at their patterns. They don't make men's patterns, but you could use the same philosophy and adapt travel clothes you already have. Don't sew? They have a list of dressmakers willing to sew your items for you.

                Don't like their styles? Orvis and Norm Thompson (among others, like TravelSmith) have clothing specifically made with hidden pockets for items you don't want seen but don't want to be parted from. They may be expensive, but so's replacing a passport, if not in money than in wasted time. Wouldn't you rather be taking in the sights or working? It sure beats calling all your credit card companies to get new cards, too.

                Or, there's always the Rick Steves approach. All his bags have o-rings in the bottom (backpacks, day bags, suitcases, etc.) to attach his small black document bag to. It's wide enough to hold a passport, long enough for a railpass, made of thin nylon so it's not heavy, and clips onto any ring you can find. It's wider than the Pen/pencil Pouch and much longer than the Passport Pouch - almost double - and zips down the length of the pouch instead of only across the top. In a black-lined bag, it's almost invisible. It's one more layer of fabric for a slice-and-grab to go through, and many won't take the time to cut twice.

                Diehard Tom Bihn user? There are the Pouches, but they won't be as invisible. On the colored Cordura, unfortunately, the black zipper and edging on the Pouches stands out no matter what lining is in the main bag. Same for the Solar or Steel Dyneema. In a Steel-lined bag, you can still easily see the Steel Pouches if the bag is opened.
                Indigo Co-Pilot w' Cache, Sapphire/Olive Medium Cafe bag, Sapphire/Black and Indigo Ballistic Swifts, 50+ assorted Stuff Sacks/Pouches/Key Straps, 4 Shop Bags. 2 Absolutes, 2 Strap Wraps, a #5 Brain Cell, 3 Clear Quarter Packing Cubes , 3 Aeronaut cubes, a 3D, a Kit, a Convertible Shoulder Bag and Convertible Backpack for my Indigo/Solar Aeronaut. Last, 3 Lifefactory Bottles and my Plum Field Journal! Plus a blue (natch) FOT. All bags decked out with Tom Bihn luggage tags .

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                  #23
                  I love these discussions about moneybelts because people think there is only one kind of moneybelt...and that's it.

                  I always wear a moneybelt when I travel. But I gave up on the one you wear around your waist years ago....decades ago.

                  I now use one known as a "hidden pocket." This type is perfect for those of us who wear belts. The hidden pocket has a loop your belt goes through and then it is hangs down from the belt inside your pants leg. It is so comfortable, I hardly feel it's there.(For those who don't wear belts, it can be attached to the inside of your pants leg with a safety pin. Just use the pin instead of a belt.)

                  Other types of moneybelts are the type you wear around your neck and one that you wear around your leg. There's even a new sock that has a zipper pocket large enough for a passport and cash.

                  All of these, of course, are meant to be worn UNDER your clothes and only accessed in private.
                  Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers.

                  Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by fbrown627 View Post
                    I now use one known as a "hidden pocket." This type is perfect for those of us who wear belts. The hidden pocket has a loop your belt goes through and then it is hangs down from the belt inside your pants leg. It is so comfortable, I hardly feel it's there.
                    As the starter of this thread, it's been fascinating to see this discussion go around and come back.

                    The above money belt is the one I use as well, and I use that for my passport, emergency funds, and a credit card or two.

                    I started this thread about PacSafe products because I was thinking of other items: prescription sunglasses, small camera, semi-valuable things - items that you could stand to lose, but really rather not.

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                      #25
                      While I had originally planned to order a medium cafe bag (as seen in my posting earlier this month in this thread), I have since been able to check out the Pacsafe Metrosafe 200. It's about the same size as a medium cafe bag but offers some protection not found on the TB bag. I really liked it.

                      I was able to get one online for $50 including shipping and it should be here tomorrow.
                      Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers.

                      Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

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                        #26
                        Originally posted by fbrown627 View Post
                        I have since been able to check out the Pacsafe Metrosafe 200. It's about the same size as a medium cafe bag but offers some protection not found on the TB bag. I really liked it. I was able to get one online for $50 including shipping and it should be here tomorrow.
                        Very cool! Please... do share what you think about it, and whether it would be a worthy consideration to all of us bag obsessed types!

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